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Contrary to conservatives’ popular belief, people do not just “declare” that they’re transgender for whatever situations they deem appropriate, and they certainly don’t come out as transgender when they’re not getting their way. Women, too, don’t just get a “pass” to say whatever harmful, anti-women ideas that come to their minds just because they’re women.
However, that hasn’t stopped an Australian senator from stating that his gender is “to be a woman,” so he can share his restrictive opinions on abortion without being attacked for his ideology.
According to BuzzFeed News, nationals Sen. Barry O’Sullivan told the parliament on Wednesday that he was a woman after being criticized for attempting to stop pro-choice groups from protesting at the annual “Day of the Unborn Child.” O’Sullivan had called it “hypocritical” for pro-choice activists to want to protest at anti-abortion events, yet take issue with anti-abortion protesters at abortion clinics.
O’Sullivan’s motion to ban pro-choice protests was voted down, but not before Greens Sen. Larissa Waters told O’Sullivan to get “his hands and his rosaries off my ovaries,” as well as the reproductive systems of “10,000 Queensland women who have an abortion each year.”
So, O’Sullivan did what any old, white man is wont to do when told that his rhetoric and ideology harms thousands of women—he doubled down and decided to spitefully offend thousands more, claiming that he, from that point on, would “be a woman.”
“These people come and attack me for my religious basis the other day, using words like rosary beads, because I had the audacity to raise issues around late-term abortions where babies that are only minutes away from getting a smack on the arse and a name are being aborted under the policies of the Australian Greens,” O’Sullivan said. He was referring to the 0.7 percent of abortions performed after 20 weeks in Australia, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
“I will not stand silent, I will not stand mute while these people continue to marginalize policies and ideas…that I think are largely supported still by the majority of the nation,” O’Sullivan went on. “I am going to declare my gender today, as I can, to be a woman and then you’ll no longer be able to attack me.”
Here's the video of Nationals senator Barry O'Sullivan saying he is declaring his gender "to be a woman" so the left-wing people can no longer "attack" him over his anti-abortion views. pic.twitter.com/YzbOCWp0YC— Alice Workman (@workmanalice) November 14, 2018
BuzzFeed News reported that he had told people on Tuesday that he was planning on coming into the chamber to carry out the “stunt.” O’Sullivan’s stunt, though, isn’t just ignorant and done out of hate, it’s harmful to transgender people, regurgitating misinformation about what it’s like to be a trans person. No, trans people don’t “declare” that they’re trans out of spite, and especially not to avoid receiving well-deserved criticism over harmful opinions.
- Trans and nonbinary people explain what gender dysphoria feels like
- The financial costs of an uninsured abortion
- I chose to have a late-term abortion because I love both my daughters
While some of his critics have had a field day making jokes over his words, it’s not enough to say, “You want to be a woman? Then experience the prejudices that women experience.” His misplaced arguments must be shut down altogether, just as Waters did when she called out his harmful rhetoric.
H/T BuzzFeed News
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.