A sold-out Toronto speech featuring renowned feminist speaker Meghan Murphy was targeted by a mob of LGBT protestors who hurled insults at event-goers and barred them from leaving the venue on October 29.
The subject of Murphy’s talk centred around women’s rights in relation to transgender activism which she states ignore the biological reality of sex.
“I will not stand by and allow people to claim that protecting women’s rights is bigotry,” said Murphy during the talk.
“None of this is about transphobia … it’s about women’s rights to say no to (biological) men.”
Murphy and other women have been the target of threats and intimidation for simply stating that they don’t believe biological males can be females.
Earlier this year, the Vancouver Rape Relief centre was vandalized with the message “KILL TERFS” and had dead rats nailed to its doors in a prior incident over their “woman-only” policy. A “TERF” or “trans exclusionary radical feminist” is a derogatory slang word detractors use to label feminists who don’t prescribe to gender identity ideology.
Meghan, who is a Vancouver resident, has had a past event in her hometown similarly protested when the public library there also stood by its decision to host her. She has also had her account suspended from Twitter for tweeting “men aren’t women”.
Several attempts were made to have the Toronto speech cancelled, including condemnations from the city’s mayor, John Tory, who requested that the Toronto Public Library would reconsider the booking.
Despite the intimidation, the public library stood by their decision to rent the room out to Murphy citing a need to uphold “the principles of intellectual freedom”.
“As a public library and public institution, we have an obligation to protect free speech. When Toronto Public Library (TPL) makes meeting rooms available to the public we serve, we need to make them available to all on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use,” said City Librarian, Vickery Bowles.
Murphy will be speaking again on Saturday, November 2nd at Simon Fraser University, where protests are also being planned ahead of her appearance.