Hobart City councillor accused of signalling to Nazis in latest attempt to silence her

Hobart City councillor accused of signalling to Nazis in latest attempt to silence her

Just when you thought things couldn't get any more absurd.

A couple of days ago, Hobart City councillor Louise Elliot tweeted that it was day 88 of her being investigated by the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner for ‘inciting hatred’ for stating the truth – that transwomen remain biological men.

She made the statement at Hobart's 'Let Women Speak' event earlier in the year, and has consistently been an advocate for women's sex-based rights, particularly the right of women and girls to single-sex spaces.

As if the investigation wasn’t ridiculous enough, Louise is now being accused of signalling to Nazis because apparently 88 is a neo-Nazi signal.  

Former Tasmanian Greens leader Cassy O’Connor has joined the mud-slinging, accusing Elliot of potentially “dog-whistling to fascists”.

Speaking to The Mercury, Louise said she had no idea of any significance of the number 88, let alone a Nazi association. “I was categorically not signalling to Nazis and it's ludicrous for anyone to think so," she said.

"I received the complaint on 5 May and recently heard that there's no clear timeframe for the matter to be dismissed or escalated," Louise tweeted. "This state of limbo prompted me to share that it had been 88 days so far, with no clear end in sight. 88 is a number, that's all."

"If people have issues with a number and are seeing things that aren't there, then that's more about them than me. The number can also be a symbol of good fortune. Their triggering highlights the bias filter that people look at things with where they're wanting, desperately, to see something they don't like."

"I don't regret posting the number 88. Do we tell 87 year olds that they'll need to skip to 89 in fear of some association? Do we tell people born in 1988 to lie about their birth year? How ridiculous."

UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls Reem Alsalem has condemned the frequent tactic of smearing women who speak out about women’s sex-based rights as ‘Nazis’ and ‘extremists’, in order to intimidate them and shame them into silence.  

Victorian MP Moira Deeming, Victorian women's advocate Angie Jones, Save Women's Sport Australasia co-founder Katherine Deves, and UK women's advocate Kellie-Jay Keen are but a few further examples of women who have experienced this.  

Worse than instilling fear, we saw during the 'Let Women Speak' events in Australia and New Zealand this year, that such slurs lead to real world violence against women.

Women's Forum Australia condemns not only the witch hunt being waged against Louise, but the absurd and dangerous trend of smearing women who defend biological reality and women’s sex-based rights. 

Women’s Forum Australia is an independent think tank that undertakes research, education and public policy advocacy on issues affecting women and girls, with a particular focus on addressing behaviours and practices that are harmful and abusive to them. We are a non-partisan, non-religious, tax-deductible charity. We do not receive any government funding and rely solely on donations to make an impact. Support our work today.

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