CSW Communications Procedure
Human Rights Section
220 East 42nd Street, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10017 USA
Thursday, 29 July 2021
My name is Christine Edie Chehade, I am an Australian feminist and I write and blog under a family name Edie Wyatt. I started to write initially under my family name because I was worried about the repercussions of my views on my daughters. Women like me can sometimes accept the social sanction we receive by speaking up but find the issues this brings to our families less palatable. I contribute to The Spectator Australia, Quillette and several smaller publications, writing mostly about the rights of women and girls. I would never find a left-leaning publication to publish my views, despite the fact that I am from a left-wing political and cultural heritage.
I believe that the vulnerability of women is based primarily in biological sex and now dissent to an elite form of western gender theory that is embedded in what is called intersectional or liberal feminism. Women with my views on sex and gender are scorned, vilified, and abused in order to push us to the margins of public discourse. We are often bullied by men who are ingrained in the media and cultural classes. I wrote about in this in a letter to The Guardian with examples. Here you will find “blue tick” elites bullying and abusing women for the belief that “woman” is a word with biological and not just cultural meaning.
As a blond, white middle-aged woman who advocates for the rights of women as female people, I frequently find myself being called a “Karen” and told to “educate” myself. I graduated with First Class Honours in Humanities from the Institute of Cultural Policy Studies at a Brisbane University in 1994. Before that, I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities specialising in political and cultural theory. I have had a lifelong interest in politics and feminism, and I am well acquainted with the theoretical foundations for what is now popularly branded queer or gender theory, which now forms the basis of liberal or intersectional feminism. Since leaving university, I have run several businesses and raised two female children.
I strongly believe the embedding of queer or gender theory into institutions and law is subjecting women to the type of discrimination and state-endorsed misogyny that we have not seen in the west for decades. The first people to be subject to the consequences in Australia are the most vulnerable, Indigenous women and girls and same-sex attracted women.
Indigenous women are being silenced by intersectional feminism because interactionism links to American based cultural theories of social justice relating to cultural theories of race. I wrote about this in Quillette regarding a group of Indigenous Australian women who were trying to draw attention to systemic sexual abuse and violence within their own communities. Indigenous women and girls are some of the most vulnerable in the world.
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price is an Australian Indigenous woman, Alice Springs Deputy Mayor, and head of the Indigenous Research Program at the Centre for Independent Studies. She is also a candidate for the Australian Senate. In March 2020 Ms Nampijinpa Price went to Canberra with Cheron and Meesha Long to highlight issues faced by Australian Indigenous women. Cheron and Meesha are cousins of 15-year-old Layla Leering, who died in 2017 after being sexually assaulted in the Northern Territory. Layla’s death—along with that of two other girls, Fionica Yarranganlagi James and Keturah Cheralyn Mamarika—has been the subject of a coroner’s inquest. Judge Greg Cavanagh concluded that “these children lived and died in conditions of violence, sexual molestation, and despair. That these conditions continue to exist in an affluent country such as Australia is a disgrace. These are similar conditions to that witnessed by me, and recorded in my findings into youth suicide deaths in 1991 and in relation to volatile substance abuse deaths in 2005.”
Ms. Nampijinpa Price speaks contrary to the kind of colonial oppression narratives that are linked to what she calls “white feminism”. In 2018 publication Price argued that her own culture is “deeply patriarchal”. Rather than taking the line that patriarchy is unique to “white people”, Price said that in her culture she has to fight ingrained ideas that “men are superior to women and more privileged and the collective quashes the rights of the individual. These principles, thousands of years old, come together to oppress women now.” Price claims that this reality is subject to censure by “white feminism” that recognises only white men as oppressive.
Price and the Long women flew into the nation’s Capital to attempt to bring media attention to the plight of Indigenous women. They were told that they would not be heard in the Australian left-leaning media if they were to imply that Indigenous men were in any way responsible for violence against Australian Indigenous women. Cheron Long then wrote a statement that Nicole Flint MP offered to read out in Australian Parliament to be recorded in Hansard. The statement included the following;
We have to live with an Aboriginal rape culture. Sexual abuse is accepted as normal in too many Aboriginal communities. When I have been interviewed by the media, I have been told not to use these words because they demonise Aboriginal men. The media don’t want to hear the truth. But white feminists are allowed to say whatever they want. Why is it that Aboriginal women and children suffer the most, but they won’t let us have our own voice when it comes to violence and sexual abuse in this country? Why won’t they let us tell our story? (Cheron Long, read by MP Nicolle Flint to Parliament
While the statement was being read Parliament was being broadcast live on ABC Radio. However, when it came to this section above the transmission was cut, with apologies, and then radio silence.
Nicole Flint MP has made ongoing claims that there is a systemic silencing of the voice of women in Australia regarding these concerns that are branded as “conservative”. Ms. Flint has experienced misogynistic attacks and violent threats of the worst kind. Because of the continued abuse, she has decided to not contest her seat at the next election. She is calling for the safety of women to be above politics in Australia.
Ms. Nampijinpa price said that there is a media blackout on the voice of indigenous women who did not consent to the ideology embedded in “white feminism”. She wrote on Facebook “I cannot believe the utter contempt of the ABC and outright silencing of the voice of Cheron Long!!! Cheron is absolutely livid, deeply insulted and in utter disbelief that our tax payer funded national broadcaster deliberately censored her voice! Absolutely disgraceful, discriminatory and racist behaviour all on display from the ABC!!! If you’re just as deeply insulted as Cheron and I please make your voice heard and write to the broadcaster. This cannot continue!”
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price here talks about the abuse that Indigenous women and girls are being subject to, and the silencing of issues by “the human rights lawyers the feminists and others. The cries for help from our own Aboriginal girls and women, Australian Citizens usually fall upon deaf ears in our own country”. Ms. Price is pushing back against the American race ideology and intersectional feminism saturating Australian cultural institutions. American race ideology like intersectional gender ideology can only recognise race and gender in cultural frameworks. These theories are birthed in the kind of cultural theory department where I received my degree. But these theories were never designed to deny the realities of women and Indigenous people as they are being used to now.
By pushing this idea of “woman” as a cultural construction, organisations like UN Women deny the bodily reality that makes female people subject to misogyny, rape, abuse, pregnancy, miscarriage, specific forms of infections, specific cancers and a variety of cultural and economic disadvantages.
Ms. Nampijinpa Price has argued that the American Black Lives Matter activism is actually harming the ability of women to speak out about violence in the community in favour of advocacy for Indigenous men caught in the criminal justice system. She said that “There is no evidence to suggest that systemic racism is the leading cause of suicide. However, there is overwhelming evidence that child abuse, neglect and sexual assault lead a child to want to take their own lives.” Jancinta Price herself has been subject to sustained misogynistic and racist abuse in an attempt to silence her.
Gender ideology is not just adversely affecting Indigenous women, but also same sex attracted women, or what we use to call “lesbians”. These women, who are now subject to rebranding as “cis lesbians” are being coerced into the understanding, buy the state, that they must include male born people who identify as female in their social, political and dating circles.
A recent case in Hobart, Tasmania highlights this. LGB Tasmania spokeswoman Jessica Hoyle brought an application for an exemption from the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner to hold some single-sex events for gays, lesbians and bisexual people. Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sarah Bolt refused the application.
In making the application Jessica Hoyle said that “she wants a space for young women to express themselves and not be harassed by transgendered persons, that she has been harassed and abused by transgender people and called transphobic”. She said that her and “members of LGB Alliance want their own space to meet women away from dating apps which can be very unsafe”
The application was denied because “sex is not a protected attribute” in Tasmania. The Commissioner considered that a person trying to gain access to the LGB event would have to go to humiliating lengths to prove that they were female. The ideology that the public knowledge of a person’s biological sex is “humiliating” and an infringement to their right to privacy a modern invention and nonsense. This is why we have always recorded sex on identity documents.
According to the commissioner the “LGB Alliance seeks to go further than asking a person sexual orientation, by requiring people to provide intimate information about their body to gain access to the proposed events…[the] LGB Alliance wants their community to know attendees are in the ‘right bodies’”. This decision reflects a bizarre ideology that denies that male bodies are a natural risk to female bodies. This is a denial of the overwhelming crime statistics about femicide, rape, and violence against women. Crime statistics show that the greatest danger to women is male bodies, not masculine identities. Single-sex safety provisions reflect the reality that women are physically safer in the company of female bodies.
Furthermore, lesbian sexuality is based on the attraction of one female body to another female body, that the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner is shaming same sex attracted people regarding their bodily reality, can only been seen as homophobic. I spoke to Jessica Hoyle, the lesbian woman who made the submission on behalf of the LGB Alliance, she was deeply upset and offended at the suggestion that her desire to meet with people of the same sex for dating and social events is considered by the state of Tasmania to be “at odds with promoting and approval of acceptable attitudes”.
Thus, 24 years after homosexuality became legal in Tasmania, same sex attraction is considered an unacceptable attitude. Women are no longer allowed to draw a biological boundary around where they meet, date, undress or politically organise for their own needs in Tasmania, Australia. This is systemic, discrimination, homophobia and misogyny. The UN needs to mitigate the spread of this state sanctioned homophobia via gender ideology with the enshrining of sex-based rights in international law.
Providing proof of your biological sex cannot be considered a violation of a human right without advocating for the undermining of the dignity and safety of women. Because women require single-sex spaces to maintain their own dignity and safety. This has been highlighted by a British court decision recently when a prisoner sought application to keep the female prison estate single-sex. It was revealed that of the transgender identifying males who were eligible to enter the female estate “over 50% have committed sexual offenses”. This means that either males are gaining access to female spaces by shielding themselves in feminine gender identity, or transgender identifying males have a higher rate of sex offending that both male and female prison populations.
The prisoner was unsuccessful in keeping the prison single-sex, and therefore women (many of whom have committed poverty related offenses) will be housed with male sex offenders. After the Biden Executive order women’s prisons in the US are also being flooded with male prisoners who identify as women. To prepare female prisoners are being provided with condoms, STI treatment options and abortion facilities, for when they are raped and fall pregnant and get diseases. This is a direct failure of the UN Women’s refusal to draw biological boundaries around the word “woman”. Women need international protection to apply to, otherwise, they will continue to be subject to rape as a form of legally sanctioned torture simply by being given a male sexual offender as a cell mate.
To add insult to injury, peak advocacy groups ACTCOSS (ACT Council of Social Service) and Meridian, (which represents LGBTQIA+ communities, people living with HIV and sex workers), are arguing that under new laws that relate to sexual consent in the Australian Capital Territory “people should not have to disclose their gender any more than they should have to disclose their race or a disability during the process of granting consent.” So, lesbians can be sexually coerced into an encounter and will have no legal capacity to revoke consent on the basis of the person having a penis. This is scandalous and a dangerous game of pretence that violates the rights of women, to which lesbians are specifically vulnerable.
In addition to the legal revoking of women’s sex based rights in the guise of including “trans women”, women have lost the ability to talk about themselves and their needs, and this is being promoted by UN Women with irresponsible tweets about trans women being women, they are not. The reason trans women are trans is because they are males who take on the cultural meanings and stereotypes that cultures give to women. Many of these cultural meanings and stereotypes are rejected by women themselves, who have fought against them for decades. These cultural meanings or “gender” attached to women are different across the world, but the biology of women and the vulnerabilities this biology subjects them to is the same
We are facing the untenable situation where cultural meanings and stereotypes of femininity are being enshrined in the law as the definition of women, but these very stereotypes and meanings are being protected as a right for only men to own. Women are no longer permitted to express their own cultural meanings that are connected to birth giving, breast feeding, mothering, lesbianism, homemaking and gendered religious belief if those meanings relate to their bodily experience and material reality. Women need to have the ability to take hold of and redefine their cultural representation that can remove shame and fear around the powerful abilities of our bodies that have birthed every person on this earth. We will not be silenced on these issues, and we will not be redefined by powerful oligarchical alliances that deny us connection to that which is our greatest vulnerability and our greatest strength, our bodies.
I in no way deny the existence of trans people or exclude them from my feminism. Trans men do not adopt the stereotypes of women but still require access to women’s health services, particularly with the adverse effects of testosterone on the female body. The answer to this problem is not to redefine women, but to maintain the definition of women as a person with a female body and to accept that trans men have the freedom to adopt masculinity, male pronouns and male names without any pressure or shame to acknowledge that they have a female body and are covered by the rights of women where they are subject to the vulnerability that the female body is subject to. Aaron Kimberly is such a trans man that has been subject to bullying and abuse on the basis of his female sex.
UN women must stop the promotion of a dangerous ideology that will not only lead to further abuse of women but the silencing of our voices by governments and cultural institutions. These institutions that are captured by this science denial nonsense deny that women exist as a biological human beings, and in turn deny our right to the protection from the vulnerability that our bodies are subject to. These bodies should be protected within inalienable human rights for people who have always historically been known as “women”.