On the night of October 29, 2019, Meghan Murphy, a freelance writer, spoke at a Toronto library to an audience of roughly 100 people, mostly women. Her topic, entirely unwarranted just a few years ago, was “Gender Identity: What Does It Mean for Society, The Law, and Women?” Her main point was that “allowing men to identify as women” endangers and undermines women’s rights. Murphy identifies herself as a feminist and her presentation was hosted by a group called, “Radical Feminists Unite.”
As we’ve come to expect with any speech that diverges even mildly from the latest politically-correct fashions, several hundred people (upwards to 1,000, according to the Toronto Star) protested vehemently outside the library, accusing Murphy of “transphobia,” and “misogyny,” among other things too indelicate to mention. A dozen police were brought to the scene and it was clear that members of the audience, upon exiting the library, felt unsafe. “I think it’s really unfortunate,” said one protestor, “that the Toronto Public Library felt it necessary to give a platform for hate speech.” An objective observer, however, might very well conclude that the real hatred was coming from the protestors, not from the speaker. Hate is not a synonym for speech.
Murphy expressed her concern that the trans-activist movement was bringing about “the erasure of women.” Her point is well taken. If a woman can become a man, then being a woman is no longer a permanent feature of her personality. If womanhood is a transitory phenomenon, something that changes according to one’s feelings, then it is not something that should be honored for itself. Avoiding the “erasure” of women, one would think, should be a concern for all women, and not regarded as a form of hatred that should be censored by force.