David Seymour set to host controversial Feminism 2020 event

  • 15/11/2019

ACT Party leader David Seymour has confirmed he will host the controversial Feminism 2020 event.

The event was supposed to be hosted by Massey University but was cancelled last month after complaints. 

Now, it is scheduled to be held in the parliamentary banquet hall with Seymour acting as the host. 

The ACT Party leader said it's not right that Massey University pulled the pin. 

"When I saw that Speak up for Women had been pushed out of a university, I thought we can't have a country where you're not even able to have a conference discussing feminism," he told Newshub. 

Seymour said while he doesn't agree with everything the speakers say, they have a right to say it. 

"I don't necessarily agree with everything the speakers say, but what they say is interesting and important. The greater danger is not from these things being said, but from being left unsaid due to censorship."

The event is presented by Speak Up For Women who say they aim to protect and advance the rights and interests of women and girls in New Zealand.

However, the group's views have drawn criticism due to their anti-transgender sentiments. 

Canadian blogger Meghan Murphy has been invited to speak at the event. 

Murphy has been banned from Twitter for violating its "hateful conduct" policy.

However, she claims she is simply trying to protect women. 

"I don't think that if a man identifies as a woman or as a trans woman, he should be given access to women's spaces," she told Newshub. 

The blogger has a problem with women's identities and believes it's a sexist idea. 

"I'm not a woman because I wear makeup and have long hair."

The trans community says the event should focus on celebrating trans people and not giving oxygen to what they claim to be a marginal hate group.

Just over 6000 people signed a petition to cancel the event due to health and safety reasons. 

The event was originally booked for Studio One Toi Tū‪ (previously known as Artstation) but after complaints was moved to the Western Springs Garden Community Hall. It was then moved to Massey University before being cancelled.