Rachel Smalley: How on earth did the Greens become so anti-women?

Rachel Smalley: How on earth did the Greens become so anti-women?

OPINION: I wanted to interview one of the Green Party leaders this morning.

Both declined. James Shaw and Marama Davidson said no. They’ve been vocal for days on their own social channels, but they won’t be challenged or face questions from media who don't agree with them. 

I watched what the Greens posted on social media over the weekend, and I’m sure the Government did as well. I imagine Chris Hipkins and the Labour Party will be pretty troubled by what they saw. And they should be. We all should be.

Remember this date – Saturday, 25th of March. It’s the day the Greens stepped up and publicly applauded the intimidation and silencing of women. 

50 percent of our population is women. 50 percent of the voter base is women. And the Greens say our voice doesn’t matter. Worse, they applauded the men who raised fists, called women c-words, and backed the men who pushed through security fences to intimidate and mob Posie Parker.

Hate has no place in society, they say. Hate against who?

The Greens are the party that Chris Hipkins has no option but to go into coalition with. And if this is the devastation the Greens can inflict on our freedom of speech and on social cohesion when they are in essence outside of Government, imagine what they can do from within it? Labour’s tripping over itself at the moment trying to find its official position on what’s just happened to our society this weekend… but they are largely mumbling something about supporting trans rights and opposing hate.

And don’t we all? Don’t we all support trans and oppose hate? But how can politicians justify the hate that has been unleashed on women? I feel like I am living in some sort of parallel universe. How can it be that it's okay to silence women about issues that affect them, and physically intimidate them into silence?

None of us are allowed to speak. Women, if they raise their hands to speak, they are silenced and abused. Since I wrote my editorial on Thursday, I have been called many things. A Nazi. A Terf. A supporter of hate. Anti-trans. A bigot. A bitch. And far worse. 

I am none of those things. But I am a woman and I've been around these traps for a while. And I do believe that we should all be afforded a voice and an opportunity to speak to issues that impact the world that we live in. That impact our world.

And that's why I wanted to talk to James Shaw and Marama Davidson this morning. 

Four of the Greens’ senior women were utterly fervent in their opposition to women at the weekend, calling on the public to rise up against the Let Women Speak group, and then applauding the abuse and intimidation that rained down on them.

How on earth did the Greens become so anti-women?

The Greens won't accept that you can be pro-trans rights AND pro-women rights. You don’t have to pick a side, but the Greens did. And they opposed women’s rights. In 2023, they opposed women’s rights.

And for me... well, the hypocrisy is breathtaking. 

Earlier this year, I interviewed Greens MP Golriz Ghahraman on the issue unfolding in Iran. She said New Zealand must stand up, and stop the misogyny and the hate and the violence that was raining down on the women of Iran. And then on Saturday, I watched her dog-whistle misogyny and violent behaviour against the women of New Zealand. In the moments before the protest, she posted a picture of herself smiling on Twitter holding a sign where she labelled women’s rights campaigners as Terfs and she wrote “Ready to the fight the Nazis!”

That’s me, Golriz. The same woman who stood with you and called for Iran’s women to be given a voice… that same woman is me. And now when I ask for women to be given a voice in a situation that significantly impacts women's rights, you call me a Nazi and a Terf. 

Marama Davidson is another female Green MP who opposes women’s rights. She is co-leader of the Greens. This is what she said immediately after the Let Women Speak event was shut down, and after women were mobbed and police rushed them off.

Here she is. 

Marama reminded us that she is the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence Minister. She reminded us of that as she walked away from a protest that used fear and intimidation to silence women. And she said it’s straight white men who are responsible for violence. White men inflict violence on the world. 

How does that sit with the Prime Minister? How does Chris Hipkins view that statement from a Minister in his Government? That's a big question for him today. 

The third woman who supports the silencing of women is Tory Whanau, a Green Party member. Until recently, she was the party’s Chief of Staff. She’s now the Mayor of Wellington. And no sooner had police swarmed around Posie Parker in Auckland to protect her from the mob, she called on Wellingtonians to do the same….she said “it would be great if the community really show visibility”. She said Parker would get the same treatment in the capital.

And the fourth female Green MP to support the silencing of women is Chlöe Swarbrick, who I usually have some time for. She is the Auckland Central MP. She posted on social media that thousands of Aucklanders from all walks of life who had attended the protest had just experienced – quote - love and affirmation.

Four Green Party women. Four women at the coalface of silencing women. Four women who believe women cannot have a say in decisions that will impact their lives and their rights. 

These are the same women who are behind the forced change in the way the Government now speaks about women in documentation. No woman has been consulted on this. 

But I am no longer called a woman by the Government. Girls are called menstruator. Or a person who bleeds. Or a person with a womb. I'm called a chest-feeder or a baby carrier. I, like every New Zealand woman, have been told that I have to accept how this Government is choosing to refer to me in its correspondence. And if I don’t accept it, I am a bigot or transphobic.

What a mess. 

Why should Labour and Chris Hipkins be worried about what played out at the weekend? Because the only way Labour can form a Government in October is with the support of the Greens. If Labour gets into power, they will bring the Greens with them. They will have to, to get the numbers. And they'll have to work with Marama Davidson who shut down the voice of women, and said white men are behind all of the violence in the world. How do you come back from that?

If this is the level of damage the Greens can inflict on society and on women’s rights when they’re officially in Government, imagine how much destruction they can do if they are entrenched fully within a Labour government? 

For the first time in my life, I am fearful of a political party. I really am. I am fearful of how the Greens mobilised their MPs and their followers to shut down women. Marama Davidson is something of a lost cause now. How do we believe or trust in her as a politician? And James Shaw? As co-leader, you’ve lost control of your party. And your political credibility has taken a major hit.

I'll say this one last time for all of the haters out there, and there are many. 

Trans rights are human rights. I 100 percent agree. But I also believe women’s rights are human rights. And one should not come at the expense of another.