I’ve met Moira Deeming. She’s a housewife, a mother, a former teacher, and a Christian. The idea that she somehow has dark ties to neo-Nazis is so hilarious that I can’t even take it seriously.

But that is the story Victorian opposition leader John Pesutto has decided to run with in his bid to expel Moira from the state’s Parliamentary Liberal Party.

For those not yet familiar with the sad, tawdry affair, here’s a quick run-down.

Moira Deeming was recently elected to represent Melbourne’s Western Metropolitan Region in Victoria’s Upper House.

Over the weekend, she attended and spoke at the Let Women Speak event, which featured UK feminist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker.

The rally had broad support from women and men from across politics. It was organised by Angela Jones, a left-wing, pro-gay rights Jewish woman. Muslims, Jews and Christians were in attendance, as were people with no faith commitment. The aim of the event was to give a voice to women who are concerned with preserving women’s rights, public spaces and sporting categories from invasion by biological males.

Unfortunately, the event was hijacked by a small rabble of uninvited guests wearing masks, shouting aggressively, and clad in black. It became clear the gatecrashers were neo-Nazis when they performed a Hitler salute on the steps of Parliament House. According to eyewitness reports, Victoria Police made no initial attempts to remove the group and even appeared to deliberately let them in.

Moira Deeming and Posie Parker both unreservedly denounced the neo-Nazi gatecrashers as soon as they were made aware of the situation.

A former supporter of the UK’s Labour Party, Posie Parker has leftward sympathies but is now deliberately non-partisan in an effort to gain wide support for her single-minded cause for women’s rights in the face of the trans agenda. Sadly, this means her events are sometimes crashed by far-right figures, but there is no indication that Parker has any far-right sympathies.

These are the facts. Now consider the eye-rolling irony in the (mostly male) response to what took place.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews believes that standing for women’s rights is ugly, evil, and harmful. He told Parliament House this week:

I want to make it very clear that that was an ugly, evil, harmful gathering, long before the Nazi salute was used… Fancy a group of people finding one of the most vulnerable cohorts in our community and then setting out with elaborate organisation and planning… to find the most vulnerable and then make their life even harder. As if 15 times the self-harm and suicide rate wasn’t enough. What do you want it to be? 20 times? 30 times? We stand with the trans community, with the LGBTIQ+ community, with every person who represents diversity in our community…

Dan Andrews stands with every person who represents diversity — except women. Especially not Moira Deeming, who also happens to be a Māori woman, but I digress.

The leader of the opposition, John Pesutto, is absolutely certain that the organisers of the Let Women Speak event — including Moira Deeming — have established links to neo-Nazis and white supremacists. He told reporters:

As leader, I will be moving the motion to expel Moira Deeming from the Parliamentary Liberal Party… That rally was organised by people who have known and established links with people who have Nazi sympathies, promote white supremacist views and ethno-fascist views.

Indeed, during an interview with 3AW’s Neil Mitchell, Pesutto claimed that Posie Parker had made videos and shared platforms with known neo-Nazis Jean-Francois Gariepy, Richard Spencer, Mark Collett, and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. It later came to light that Pesutto’s source for this intel was Posie Parker’s Wikipedia page, which was riddled with misinformation thanks to online trolls.

Greens Senator for Tasmania Nick McKim was not to be outdone, declaring to the Australian Senate that Posie Parker and her ilk are not TERFs but TERDs, or Trans-Exclusionary Right-wing Dropkicks.

This is what happens when women speak. Powerful men call them Nazis and TERDs, and dismiss their concerns entirely. The media launders every lie told about them as “news”, ensuring the cheap smears stick.

Meanwhile, Australians never even heard what was said at the rally. What was spoken by the women gathered in Melbourne that day?

As Katherine Deves, who attended the rally, later tweeted, “You’re only allowed to be the right woman with the right opinions, which includes pretending men are women because they feel like it, the state can parent our children better than we can and freedom of speech is only allowed for approved ideas.”

(Psst. If you’d like to know what Moira Deeming said at the Let Women Speak event, watch the video below).

Kurt Mahlburg is a writer and author, and an emerging Australian voice on culture and the Christian faith. He has a passion for both the philosophical and the personal, drawing on his background as a graduate...