Marama Davidson: NZ minister points out obvious about white cis men, violence and transphobia

Marama Davidson: NZ minister points out obvious about white cis men, violence and transphobia


New Zealand minister Marama Davidson

Marama Davidson, a leading politician from Aotearoa New Zealand, has powerfully addressed the “harmful and false narrative” that trans people are “one of the biggest risks” to women.

Davidson, a co-leader of the Green Party, spoke in the wake of anti-trans activist Posie Parker’s visit to the country, which was cut short after pro-LGBTQ+ crowds outnumbered an Auckland event, and an activist poured tomato soup over her head.

Parker (real name Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull) was due to give two talks in NZ to end her ‘Let Women Speak’ tour of Australia and New Zealand, but ended up leaving the country after not being able to deliver her first event in Auckland.

Massive counter-protests by LGBTQ+ people and allies took place in cities around New Zealand over Saturday and Sunday (25 and 26 March) against Parker and her anti-trans rhetoric.

Marama Davidson, who is also the country’s minister for the prevention of family and sexual violence, attended the protest against Parker’s event in Auckland on Saturday (25 March), where she was reportedly injured after being hit by a motorcycle.

Later in the day, she was approached and filmed by conspiracy theory-linked and far-right media outlet Counterspin Media, where she said: “Trans people are tired of being oppressed and discriminated.”

She also added at the time that she knows “who causes violence in the world – it is white cis men”.

The comment drew criticism for generalising such a large population group, including calls from the leading opposition party for an apology. Two minor parties also called for her resignation.

Davidson has not apologised, but did clarify her comments.

In an initial statement on Monday (27 March), she said her intention had been to make clear “that violence happens in every community”, RNZ reported.

“My intention was to affirm that trans people are deserving of support and to keep the focus on the fact that men are the main perpetrators of violence. I will continue to stand with my trans and non-binary whānau and support action to ensure that everyone can live their lives without fear of hate or discrimination.”

In parliament on Tuesday (28 March), Davidson was questioned by opposition MPs.

In response, she said: “What I was doing was pushing back on the harmful and false narrative that trans people are one of the biggest risks to women – and this is simply not true.”

Davidson also said she needed to be clear that “violence is enabled by socially-accepted hierarchies of power that include sexism, racism towards minority communities, colonisation, ableism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia and classism”.

“I am really clear about those drivers of violence and that we must change those structures of inequality and power.”

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