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CITIZEN SCIENCE: Gender Identity and the Case for Online Anonymity

The Prime Minister’s ditching of the Hate Speech law is welcome news for the many whose views have been sidelined in recent years. Concern about the amount of online abuse heaped on public figures and even ordinary people who dare to publicly express an opinion, and whether it’s having a dampening effect on public debate, has been used as a fig leaf to cover some seriously authoritarian overreach and it’s good to see the government coming to its senses.

A popular solution with armchair pundits is to make everyone use their real name on the internet. But for all that social media is a hellscape, it has enabled the flourishing of conversations that the mainstream media will not touch, by the rapidly growing number of people who the mainstream media refuses to represent. It is talkback radio writ large, and we all know what would happen to talkback if people had to give their real names. Anonymity allows people with mouths to feed and employers to appease, people who literally cannot afford to be visible, to have a therapeutic and often insightful rant about the state of the world on their morning tea break and then get on with their lives.

Some ideas that the legacy media won’t scrutinise are bonkers – just like some of the old codgers who phone in to talk radio and whose ravings are kindly tolerated - but the bonkers-ness of other ideas is most definitely dependent on which side of the fence you sit on.

For example, is gender identity objectively less batty than QAnon?

The London Times recently withdrew anonymity for commenters on its news stories, resulting in the immediate silencing of a fierce debate about the medical transing of kids, and whether saying you’re the opposite sex makes it so, and whether we should all be compelled to go along with it. A debate that should be visible here too since many families with a teenager have found themselves floundering in the upside down of planet trans, and no compass to navigate with thanks to a coverage blackout by their usual trusted sources.

But why the silence?

Because gender identity is an extremist idea of the left – it’s basically a project to dismantle heteronormativity - and as such it has been unquestioningly swallowed and followed by the left-leaning media and the leftie employees of our state institutions. Voicing concerns about some pretty grave consequences of gender identity ideology, or even just politely saying you’re not onboard, can get you ostracised in these workplaces and worse: your contract not renewed, your product boycotted, your community group defunded, your event shut down.

And as for the mainstream media, journalists cannot be unaware of this debate, it is marching in all caps across the world stage. A likely explanation for their refusal to investigate the effects of gender identity ideology is that their editors are demanding that they publish under their byline, thus refusing to extend the protection of the company to their staff. Anonymity is an essential protection for reporters, and it is negligent and anti-democratic of media companies not to offer it on contentious issues. When issues are particularly polarised, it should be extended to commentators too.

The paradoxical effect of all this is that many lefties have started to feel some sympathy for anti-vaxxers, conservative Christians and other thought criminals. Those who identify as Woke have suddenly woken up to the fact that there are ideas they can no longer express – can’t even hint their discomfort about, as their kids come home with a new name and asking for breast binders or worse, and it turns out they’ve been socially transitioning at school for a year.

The left has tended to see itself as on the right side of history, but history is being dragged into a dangerous and repressive phase from the left-hand side. It’s depressing to see the lack of lessons learned from previous periods of left-wing stupidity – eugenics was originally supported by people who regarded themselves as progressive, particularly here in New Zealand, and as for the psychology professions which are stacked with lefties, they should hang their heads in shame: repressed memory syndrome, Satanic panic, lobotomy. Where is the self-reflection and correction? Where are the guard rails? Where is the professional debate? The silence is deafening and we must speak into this void.

Actual crimes – threats, harassment, filmed abuse - should be policed but challenging conversations should not. Gender identity ideology is a threat to our children. They are being affirmed onto a pathway of irreversible medical interventions, in exponentially growing numbers, by schools, the psychology professions, and well-meaning lefties who are too clever for their own good. Even if anonymity is the only way, it is time to speak up.

Citizen Science is a pseudonym

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