It was the notorious Kit Kowalski who confidently “wagered a bottle of prosecco that @abcnews will not cover the @ThePosieParker #LetWomenSpeakAustralia tour.” The tweeting public was incredibly cynical, voting that ABC would decline to cover the tour at all.

We at Women’s Cooee bravely took up the bet.

A bottle would be opened on condition that our dear Aunty:

  • covered the tour at all ✅
  • named participants ✅
  • named the tour itself ✅
  • named violence against women, or ❌
  • (the big one) broadcast women’s voices ❌

In case you don’t want to read the entire article: yes, we shared a lovely bottle between us, but no we didn’t get to celebrate Aunty amplifying our voices to the world.

An Overview of the Let Women Speak Tour

The LWS tour started in Sydney on 11 March proceeding around the country. Video from the Sydney event shows smiling faces on an uncharacteristically sunny March day.

The anti-women campaigners were held at a safe distance while they … did their Morris Dancing!? That will surely smash the heteronormative sex binary.

The Brisbane (12th March), Perth (14th March), and Adelaide (15th March) events were slightly more fraught. The anti-woman protesters multiplied but were kept at a safe distance and so were unable to disrupt proceedings. All events were held under police guard. Perth and Adelaide events were held at the steps of Parliament. Anti-woman protestors chanted noisily but speeches went ahead successfully.

Then we had Melbourne (18th March), Hobart (21st March), and Canberra (23rd March) – read on for more.

The antipodean tour reached a crescendo in Auckland where police just didn’t show up. Anti-woman protestors swarmed and mobbed the Let Women Speak rally. Several women were seriously injured.

No Smear/No Headline

ABC Australia’s coverage of the Kellie-Jay Keen Let Women Speak tour began and finished in relation to the Melbourne event on 18th March.

Why was Melbourne so different? A chance to smear

It seems that not even the ABC can resist the lure of reporting a resurgence of the kinds of people who were in power in Germany between 1933 and 1945. Especially if they’re able to link them to types of people to women who say no to gender identity ideology.

What do women have in common with anti-feminists?

Not much, really. They both happened to be in the same place at the same time.

Nazis are anti-feminist. Not in the way that a women’s rights campaigner might say “I’m not a feminist” in order to side-step the factionalism of the established feminist apparatus. No, they actually believe women should not have rights and men should run society. We have nothing in common. For the avoidance of doubt, we at Women’s Cooee are left-wing women who are against nazism. We are also against cloaking male violence in a rainbow flag.

Melbourne (unlike most of the rest of Australia) has an active neo-nazi population of young men recruited from boxing gyms. The anti-woman activists actively invited these men to the protest by wrongly framing Kellie-Jay Keen as a “Right Wing UK Activist” who aims to “build alliances with far-right groups”.

Neo-nazis appeared at the Melbourne Let Women Speak event. They were ushered behind the cordon by police, but out of sight of the LWS rally attendees. Media had an absolute field day trying to piece together “women don’t have penises” with the tenets of national socialism.

In the end, most media settled for (1) ignoring what women said (2) amplifying the chants of anti-woman protesters (3) bizarre eye-catching video of young men in matching black shorts (not very serious) performing a hateful arm gesture.

Great entertainment. Not a lot of journalism to be had. ABC took the opportunity to then smear women who say “women don’t have penises” as fascists.

We Have A Winner 🥂 🍾

Our old friend Patricia Karvelas contributed an article entitled “Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull’s anti-trans rights campaign has become a headache for the Liberal Party. But the issue runs deeper than one MP“. She attempts to link the Let Women Speak Tour, neo-nazis and the flagging appeal of the Liberal party together with the obligatory alarmist suicide stats for self-selected transgender populations.

However biased this article it did trigger a win in the bet for

  • a mention of “Let Women Speak” by name
  • quotes attributed to women being smeared (just one though – Moira Deeming)

It seems that everyone is still talking for and over us. We are STILL holding out for ABC to cover the actual words of women who came together to “Let Women Speak”.

Hobart: Braced

ABC warned that “Tasmania’s transgender community braces ahead of Tuesday rally after Nazi outrage in Melbourne” although no nazis appeared at the actual event.

Because women who want to talk about their sex-based rights are not nazis. The nazis are young men who are racist, but also anti-feminist.

ABC ignored the events at the Hobart rally where police failed to maintain a cordon between women speaking and anti-woman protesters. Women were overrun and pinned against the parliament building. Tasmanian Greens Senator Nick McKim used his parliamentary privilege to insult Kellie-Jay Keen & women who also recognise biological sex.

“Warning this report contains nazi images” in Canberra

ABC did cover an incident at the Canberra event which saw security & police rebuff a bodily attack on Kellie-Jay Keen from Independent Senator Lidia Thorpe.

The video report begins with “Warning this report contains nazi images”.

Images of nazis who were not present at the Canberra rally. It was footage of the nazis who turned up in Melbourne uninvited, spliced in later by ABC. The rally is called anti-trans, and women’s voices are not mentioned.

The video shows imagery of women speaking overlaid with the sound of anti-woman activists chanting.

Q+A Panellist Urges Women to “Stay Home”

ABC rounded off their coverage by inviting a man called Deni Todorovic to discuss the Let Women Speak rallies on panel discussion show Q+A.

Deni Todorovic: a man

who commanded women like Moira Deeming to “Stay in bed and watch Rage, doll. Like seriously, stay at home.” rather than involve themselves in politics.

Women’s Voices Still Not Heard

But as we covered on our Women Take Direct Action page, the ABC has (disparagingly) shown women’s words in chalk. Graffiti left outside their Ballarat offices say it all really.

Journalism: LOOK IT UP!