What are Posie Parker's views and why are they so controversial?

Fri, Mar 24
Posie Parker in London in February 2023

Anti-transgender rights speaker Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, will deliver talks in Auckland tomorrow and in Wellington on Sunday. But what are her views and why do they cause such a strong reaction?

So who is Posie Parker?

Posie Parker is a British activist who is the founder of the group Standing for Women.

She claims to be an advocate for women and that "a woman is an adult human female".

This morning Parker told RNZ's Kim Hill that women across New Zealand are scared of trans women.

"I don't want men in women in spaces, and when women speak up against men in women spaces, these are things that happened to women we get tarred with just horrendous ideology. Women across New Zealand are very very afraid."

But Immigration Minister Michael Wood said earlier this week that her views on these issues are "inflammatory, vile and incorrect".

What is Hate Speech?

Why is she controversial?

Parker is at the centre of attention because of what trans activist groups say is anti-transgender rhetoric.

She has claimed that billionaires are funding transgenderism, generating significant profits.

"You’ve got Big Pharma for example, they make a substantial amount of money out of transgenderism," she told RNZ this morning.

Though she was pushed several times to explain this statement she did not provide any details.

She has also made various claims about the bodies of trans people and whether they take hormones or other medication, and has taken aim at migrant communities in the UK.

What is Free Speech?

'We are standing for women'

Parker's campaign, Standing for Women, says its purpose is to raise funds to "promote the fight back against this global assault of women".

Her website says her campaign "fosters a community in which all women feel empowered to speak".

However, rainbow community leader Shaneel Lal says Parker isn't standing for women and certainly isn't a feminist.

"Posie Parker, in my view, is an insular transphobic bigot who masquerades as a women's rights activist.

"To call her a feminist is to throw bread in a pool and say it's toast."

What's the Difference?

Reaction from trans community

Earlier this week a trans Kiwi told 1News stress levels were high among her community.

"I'm feeling pretty s***, actually. Stress levels are high.

"The worry is that we might start moving backwards, like we're seeing in other countries like the US."

She said she acknowledges that progress has been made in terms of trans rights in New Zealand.

"We've been making small bits of progress, and we're actually most of the way there already," she said.

"People can change their driver's licence details, their birth certificates, the passports and stuff, so we're doing OK."

However, she worries that these gains may be lost in the future.

"The worry is, is that even though while we're holding the line here in New Zealand, things might start going back," she said.

PM's response

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins didn’t want to comment on the process of Keen-Minshull's immigration status, but condemned people who use free speech to create division.

"Anybody exercising their right to free speech, whatever the circumstances are, should be mindful that we don't want to incite hateful behaviour or violence. In fact, it's illegal to do so, and I think everybody should bear that in mind," Hipkins said.

Earlier today a last-ditch attempt to stop Parker from entering the country was been dismissed after rainbow groups asked for a judicial review of Immigration New Zealand's decision not to prevent entering the country.

She wasn’t represented at the review, but the Free Speech Union was allowed to join proceedings as an “intervener”.

INZ had said there is no reason to believe Parker is or is likely to be a threat or risk to the public order or public interest.

Councils in Auckland and Wellington have said while they don't support Parker's views, they can't stop her events.


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