Close this search box.

Your Hub for NZ News

The Spinoff spins a hit piece against Inflection Point NZ’s Unsilenced

In brief

  • The Spinoff ran a hit piece against Inflection Point NZ’s Unsilenced Conference.
  • The conference’s attendees’ diversity is twisted into a negative.
  • MacManus gives some credit to de-transitioner Mel Jeffries’ deeply personal story, but implies it’s wasted on “angry conspiracy theorists.”
  • MacManus unconvincingly minimises the significance of recent information that argues against children transitioning. 

A weak attempt at shots fired by The Spinoff

The Spinoff attempted to run what can only be described as a hit piece against Inflection Point NZ’s Unsilenced Conference in Joel MacManus’ article: “Fear, hate and a putrid stench: Inside the Unsilenced anti-trans event”.

A putrid stench caused by protesters

To begin with, the “putrid stench” was there because of the protesters. MacManus dedicates the first several paragraphs of the article to describing the stench. 

An odd flex considering it was protesters presumably aligned with MacManus’ critical views, which introduced this particular element to the event. 

MacManus acknowledges the diversity of the conference’s attendees 

“The audience is a motley coalition of different groups. There’s the Destiny Church faithful, white rural conservatives, some highly passionate trans-exclusionary radical feminists (terfs), a hodge-podge of conspiracy theorists, and a couple of young men like Caleb, who would best be described as alt-right. 

“Some attendees are intensely religious, others have taken a more academic approach, reading deeply into fringe reports. Some are homophobic, some are gay,” he writes.

So in other words, attendees to the conference were a cross section of middle New Zealand – exactly as Inflection Point NZ advertised. It may be notable that there were several speakers  representing Māoridom, making it even more of a ‘motley coalition’ than MacManus suggests. 

Why is that a bad thing?

Response to Mel Jeffries

Mel Jeffries is a well known de-transitioner from Australia. MacManus begrudgingly gives Jeffries some credit as having “lived experience of gender struggle.” Jeffries gives a heartfelt account of the pain and suffering she put herself through after transitioning and living as a man for several years. 

Yet, MacManus disregards Jeffries deeply personal story with a flip comment: “It is a genuinely heartwrenching (sic) moment from someone who has been through more turmoil than likely anyone in the room – and she is clearly still experiencing it. I can’t help but wonder if speaking to rooms full of angry conspiracy theorists is helping,” he asks.  

Why disrespect Jeffries for sharing her story? By referring to the audience as “angry conspiracy theorists,” MacManus is implying that Jeffries might not be making a wise decision by addressing the conference. This could be seen to undermine Jeffries’ agency and judgement. So much for “lived experience in the struggle”? 

Minimising and misleading

MacManus attempts to minimise the devastating impact the leaked WPATH files and Cass Review have had on the legitimacy of gender medical services for youth. He writes: 

“Among the leading evidence they offer for this is the UK government’s Cass Review and leaked files from the World Professional Association of Transgender Health, two stories that have taken conservative media by storm, but have been criticised as misleading by some experts.”

If one follows the hyperlinks that McManus provides, the “some experts” mentioned are from Patha themselves – i.e. the group being criticised. 

It would have been a more compelling refutation (and perhaps more intellectually honest) to cite third party sources. Or perhaps at least modify the statement to read that Patha themselves criticise the report against them. 

Also, many establishment leftwing publications have also jumped on board with giving credence to the WPATH revelations and the Cass Review including the Washington Post and The Guardian
The Cass Review has also prompted a major U-turn in how youth gender dysphoria is treated in the UK and elsewhere.

Enjoyed this story? Share it around.​

Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Read More


Sign up for our free newsletter

Receive curated lists of news links and easy-to-digest summaries from independent, alternative and mainstream media about issues affect New Zealanders.