Flat White

Dark times for freedom of speech

23 February 2022

5:38 PM

23 February 2022

5:38 PM

You could barely imagine a more ludicrous scenario. A female CEO sacked without process. From Girl Guides. For questioning why Girl Guides admits males.

And a political and media culture that sees nothing wrong with this.

The firing of former CEO Karyn Lisignoli by Girl Guides WA should send a shiver down the spine of every Australian. It shows that even in the most obvious situations where the safeguarding of young girls should be the top priority, it is forbidden to question the radical left-wing ideology that males have a right to identify into any female space.

As Ms Lisignoli told The Australian: ‘There is a reason why there are certain situations in which we say men can’t be present. Do parents know when they send their nervous and shy 12-year-old girl to Girl Guides that she might be camping in a tent with a biological boy of the age of 15?’

This is more than simply a fair question for the leader of an organisation with young girls in its care. In the eyes of most Australians, it would be downright negligent not to ask questions and inform parents about the presence of young males on a Girl Guide camp with their daughters.


30 per cent of Australian women experienced physical or sexual violence before the age of sixteen. 97 per cent of sex offenders are male. The reasons why we separate girls from boys in activities like an overnight camp is as clear as crystal.

Ms Lisignoli’s dismissal for raising this issue sets an abhorrent standard for the next CEO. To avoid being sacked, the new appointee will either be a person who is happy to place a teenage boy in a tent with a young girl without the knowledge of her parents, or a person who knows that this goes against every safeguarding principle in the book, but is prepared to stay quiet about it to preserve their employment.

In any other circumstance, a female CEO being sacked for trying to protect girls in her care would be on the front page of every paper in the country. Yet what do we hear from left-wing media and the taxpayer-funded broadcaster? Silence.

It’s time for us as a nation to grow a backbone before it’s too late. The sensible majority is being continually dictated to by a vindictive mob – a mob that will gladly harass women out of a job for raising basic safeguarding questions about protecting young girls. Spineless institutions and businesses are happy to play along if it keeps them out of the gun. Australia has barely finished digesting a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and already we are back to organisations choosing to prioritise their reputation above reducing the risk to children in their care.

Hundreds of Australians have contacted me over the last two years raising concerns about the risks of this uncritical adoption of gender ideology in their professions. They are doctors, lawyers, teachers, psychologists, nurses, elite athletes and coaches, academics, scientists, and public servants. People widely respected in their fields and from professions highly valued in the community – yet all believe that speaking out against the new elite orthodoxy could well end their career. I’d be lying if I told them they were wrong.

Activists demanding total subservience to their ideas now have the tools to enforce that compliance as media, government departments and universities sign up to their ideology. They can have you fired, they can stop you getting jobs or appearing at events, they can have you dragged by a left-wing media outlet. Or they can have you hauled before an archaic and draconian anti-discrimination process, as happened to me 18 months ago and which is continuing to happen, in secret, to others around the country.

Unless you’re one of the activists revelling in having this power over your fellow Australians, you should be very concerned about how a small minority has been given the tools to punish Australians for non-compliance with their views.

Three years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine someone losing their job for saying males shouldn’t be in the Girl Guides. If we don’t take a stand for common sense now, nobody can tell you it won’t be you in their sights next.

Claire Chandler is a Liberal Senator for Tasmania.

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