Thread from March 28th 2024

Senan Molony in his article yesterday doesn't explain the basic difference between the existing 1989 legislation, the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act and the “hate speech” bill now before the Seanad.

Under the current Act the protected characteristics are “race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origins, membership of the travelling community or sexual orientation.”

Prohibition of Incitement To Hatred Act, 1989 (

Under the new bill  [Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill 2022] the protected characteristics are as below:

b105b22d.pdf (

Apart from disability (and who would argue with including that?) the only new one is “gender” with a definition which will apply to this bill alone: “’gender’ means the gender of a person or the gender which a person expresses as the person’s preferred gender or with which the person identifies and includes transgender and a gender other than those of male and female,”.

b105b22d.pdf (

Most of us don’t believe that anyone who “identifies” as the opposite sex should be entitled to use the facilities of that sex. Women are surely entitled to privacy & will be afraid of men in spaces in which we are particularly vulnerable.

Women’s boundaries at risk in definition of “gender” in hate speech Bill before the Seanad
“This linguistic destabilization of the meaning of sex permits males who claim a female identity to make demands on women and girls that were previously unheard of and that undermine women’s dignity and safety.” - Kara Dansky

Our existing 2000 Equal Status Act protects single-sex spaces and we want these protections maintained. We don’t want to be made fearful of calling out any man who seeks to use them by being accused of “hate”.

Women’s boundaries are not “hatred”
It doesn’t matter whether or not a man is innocently seeking to use women’s spaces or services or whether he has an ulterior motive. Women want the norms of privacy, dignity and our need for safety to be respected by Government. It’s not “hatred” for women to assert this.