Flat White New Zealand

Laurel Hubbard is just a symptom of new chilling attacks on free speech in New Zealand

30 June 2021

5:11 PM

30 June 2021

5:11 PM

Individuals seem born with a basic sense of fair play, and perceiving hard-working, well-deserving or brave individuals treated unjustly inevitably rankles.  So condemnation of the New Zealand Olympic Committee’s decision to allow Laurel Hubbard to compete in the women’s weightlifting is increasing worldwide.  Born a man named Gavin, previously competing in male weightlifting for many years, Hubbard decided at age 35 to live as a woman and change his name. 

The increasing phenomenon of transgenderism may well be another of those passing waves of attacks sweeping the world against what most regard as reality, where individuals, born male or female in biological terms, wish to change their gender, which is based — apart from some very rare exceptions — on being born with XX or XY chromosomes. 

However, from the ideological Left has come an unprecedented power grab against centrists.  Most in democracies find themselves there, neither far-Left nor far-Right, understanding that without acknowledging the importance of the family unit –- a mother, father and children underpinning of the foundations of our society — our very stability and social cohesion is threatened.   

The situation regarding the NZOC’s decision is now even more relevant, given new proposals by the Left to widen New Zealand’s “hate speech” legislation, proposing it be removed from the Human Rights Act to create a new offence in the Crimes Act. Despite the usual disclaimers, it will inevitably (and is very probably so designed)  not only inhibit debate, but empower the government to punish those formerly able to claim freedom of speech in any area now regarded as displeasing. Possible debate around basic sexuality has become one of these fraught areas.  Ardern’s government has opened for consultation proposals “to strengthen protections against speech that incites hatred and discrimination, and seeking New Zealanders’ views about how they would make Aotearoa New Zealand more socially progressive.” 

Weasel words indeed. This government knows very well an independent poll shows that 90% of New Zealanders reject this divisive far-Left government’s attempt to prioritise Aotearoa -– never the traditional Maori name for the whole country. Moreover, its own constant promotion of supposedly Maori beliefs — and its granting part-Maori greater rights over the majority — is already discrimination on racial grounds, predictably promoting a backlash from the community at large. As for “socially progressive”? What is the government’s definition? One wonders if our now illiberal, pro-death legislation targeting unborn children — and embarking on the slippery slope of euthanasia — can possibly be called socially progressive? Regressive is arguably the more accurate description. 

Regardless of the forked-tongue utterances of our political hierarchies managing to claim simultaneously that their increasing restrictions on freedom of speech are necessary, while not really restrictions at all, we have reached a dangerous situation. Activist individuals — or groups with some sort of common background or shared allegiance — increasingly and even threateningly claim they cannot be expected to tolerate the expression of viewpoints with which they do not agree. 

This, of course, is an attack on the very foundations of any democracy, with freedom of speech its most important underpinning. It is also basically waging war against those raising issues of conscience, or questioning the directions into which, worldwide, Western societies are being shepherded.  

The intolerance of the Left, much better strategically at organising, at communications and PR, has seen the tentacles of government control in this country reaching further and further. So-called ordinary people, basically wanting to be free of the constant political intrusions they are now faced within their lives, to care for their families and earn a living to provide them with food and shelter, are becoming fearful of arguing issues according to conscience, or of claiming there is a basic normality with regard to male attraction to female, for example — and vice versa.  

It is the mark of a free society to accept that individuals are responsible for their own choices and the consequences of these, and should be free to make them. Nevertheless, it is ominous that while many feel concerns they would like to express about today’s issues, particularly when worried about the kind of society our children are facing, with government drenching them in leftist propaganda in schools, they are being driven underground by the Left’s bullying –- the usual claims of homophobia, racism, or whatever aggressive rhetoric it uses to inhibit debate. 

Nevertheless, debate is needed about what the majority very probably feel is a copout by our New Zealand Olympic Committees allowing the transgender Laurel Hubbard, who will always be basically biologically male -– in spite of the blitz of hormonal and chemical treatment to which he/she will have been subjected — to compete with females in competitions where male strength gives Hubbard an undoubted advantage. 

Because of the perceived sheer unfairness of the committee’s decision –- inevitably supported (no surprises here) by our Prime Minister — this whole problem is going to have to be revisited.  Sport is seen as meaningless without fair competition. And while the claim is made that if a man tries to turn himself into a woman, even undertaking war on his own biological inheritance to do so, this eliminates all the male performance advantage he had as a man, science does not support it. The developmental biologist Dr Emma Hilton points out that much of the physical aspects of being born male simply cannot be reversed – and are carried over into sporting performance. 

It is time to support women worldwide, who, while even feeling sympathy for those who were not born as women but wish to become so, understandably want to retain basic amenities such as showers and toilets for themselves and their daughters to remain restricted — for privacy and protection reasons — to biological women and their daughters.  

And in sports where transgender male-females opt to compete against women, its essential unfairness needs to rule this out. The solution might be to establish transgender-only categories, with more appropriate competition. 

But are we in this country any longer “allowed” to point this out? How have we even reached the stage where a government of the Left can grant or withhold such rights? 

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