MIA ASHTON: Defending women, children and the LGB community from the harm of gender ideology is not hate

Once you see the harm being done to women, children, and the LGB community, you can’t look away.

Mia Ashton Montreal QC

In a recent op-ed in the Toronto Star, Fae Johnstone, a prominent Canadian trans activist, warned Canadians that we are witnessing "a staggering rise in anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate." The examples Johnstone gives are "efforts to roll back inclusion in our schools," and drag events being targeted by protests, as well as his own personal experiences online.

Johnstone, a trans-identified male who was one of the faces of Hershey Canada’s International Women’s Day campaign, says he has personally felt the impact of "rising anti-2SLGBTQIA+ rhetoric" after experiencing backlash on social media for taking a woman’s spot on a day intended to celebrate women.

Anyone speaking about controversial issues online can attest to the fact that vile abuse sadly comes with the territory. Any woman who has the audacity to say that there’s no such thing as a woman with a penis is likely to face a torrent of death threats from trans activists. Such abuse should be condemned, no matter at whom it is directed.

Over the years, Johnstone has done his fair share of directing hate towards Canadian women. In 2021, Johnstone called on elected officials to "denounce TERF rhetoric for the hate-fuelled speech it is."

For those who don’t know, TERF stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist and is a slur used to silence any woman who rejects gender identity ideology. Lesbians refusing to accept heterosexual men who identify as women as partners are routinely called TERFs, and so are mothers trying to protect their children from becoming victims of the medical scandal underway in pediatric gender clinics.

"I actually do want a political environment in which TERFs are so vilified they don’t dare speak their views publicly, let alone act on them. Shut. Them. Down," demanded Johnstone, in a now-deleted thread of tweets.

In March, when women’s rights activist Kellie-Jay Keen feared for her life while being mobbed by a 2000-strong crowd of seething trans activists, Johnstone tweeted, "Hey Canada? Let’s bring this energy to anti-2SLGBTQIA+ protests," to which one dedicated follower replied, "Yes. Make transphobes afraid again."

A small part of me does feel sympathy for Johnstone. After all, he put his face to a movement that has annihilated women’s rights and resulted in the atrocious medical abuse of some of society’s most vulnerable young people, seemingly believing that the pendulum would never swing. Perhaps believing that the tactics of bullying and intimidation were always going to be enough to silence Canadian women, to force them to accept being redefined as nothing more than an insulting set of stereotypes and a feeling inside a man’s head.

Never does it appear to have entered Johnstone’s mind that there could one day be backlash to a rights movement that demanded society turn a blind eye while teenage lesbians had their healthy breasts cut off and young gay men were pumped full of estrogen and robbed of their future sexual function.

Perhaps he also thought that the women locked up in Canadian prisons with violent rapists and murderers would never be heard, and that society wouldn’t care about the homeless women and the victims of domestic violence forced to share shelters with any man who chooses to declare possession of a woman soul.

Johnstone announced the launch of the Society of Queer Momentum, an organization calling on the government to "take immediate steps to address anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate," a seemingly desperate bid for censorship of those with opinions of which Johnstone disapproves. Trudeau’s upcoming Online Harms Bill will likely answer that call, but even that won’t be enough to quell the rising backlash against the modern gender movement.

Because once you see the harm being done to women, children, and the LGB community, you can’t look away. Canadian women deserve the privacy and safety of female-only spaces; children deserve the right to a childhood grounded in reality and the chance to grow up healthy and whole; lesbians and gay men deserve the right to be same-sex attracted. It’s not hate to defend these rights, and Canadians won’t be silenced any longer.


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