I was asked to chair a women’s narcotics anonymous (NA) meeting. NA is a not-for-profit organisation run by its members to support people who are re-building their lives after addiction from substance and alcohol abuse. The NA women’s meetings are held to provide a safe space for women who have often suffered trauma and hard life experiences to share and find recovery. Mixed meetings can often be dominated by men who are confident to speak more and sometimes hit on female members. The women-only meetings are fewer but offer a space away from these distractions. When I arrived at the meeting I was surprised to see a man present who had a regular commitment as tea maker at the meeting. He was in no way presenting as female and his very large male track-suited frame felt slightly intimidating. I asked the lady who took the meeting why he was here and her response was ‘That is ** and they identify as a woman’. I was shocked that the few regular women that took the meeting were ok with this and I noticed a few newcomers that didn’t speak in the meeting and looked visibly confused and slightly awkward. There were also fewer women in attendance than there had been in the past. This man spent his time talking about his feelings as a woman and how his acceptance by everyone there validated his womanliness. None of it related to addiction or the subject usually shared. I never returned to that meeting. This incident sparked my interest in this new gender ideology. I am a bisexual woman and have a previous partner who has since transitioned who I fully support in their choice. I’ve also spent my fair share of years in the gay underground party scene in Sydney and dated both butch and femme lesbians and I’ve known quite a few trans-identified people in my time. I’m generally liberal-leaning but these past few years I feel that the liberal left who are endorsing rhetoric gaslighting women into accepting male bodies in their spaces has gone too far.
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