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International Women's Day Event Cancelled After Cancelling Their Invited Speaker

Almost-but-not-quite International Women's Day is 'inclusive' of all but one type of woman in Peterborough, Ontario

Here’s what’s not happening in Peterborough, Ontario today for International Women’s Day 2024.

The INSPIRE International Women’s Day Event, which promised to ‘Inspire Inclusion’, the theme of this year’s global event according to the main IWD website, had been scheduled for today, but was cancelled in February due to—non-inclusion.

Or ‘postponed’ as they put it, which is a bit weird as who the hell is going to come to an International Women’s Day event after the actual commemorative day? By ‘postponed’ I expect they mean ‘cancelled until next year’. Seems some women are less welcome than others.

INSPIRE rescinded the invitation to their scheduled keynote speaker, Leah Goldstein, who, as it turns out, has a ‘problematic’ past. Seems thirty years ago, when she was living in Israel, where she was raised after being born in Vancouver, she spent her military service in the IDF, the Israeli Defense Force.

Goldstein served in training only, not combat. Before she moved back to Canada, she served as a police officer in the late ‘90s. So what does military service during the Yitzhak Rabin years have to do with Goldstein’s Israel-free keynote speech today?

“In recognition of the current situation and the sensitivity of the conflict in the Middle East, the Board of INSPIRE will be changing our keynote speaker,” they told the media.

Although Goldstein’s ethnicity is easy to guess by her name (she’s not married), one wonders if perhaps learning she’d served in the IDF was that left-wing dog whistle calling the anti-Semites to arms.

It was, according to the National Post, “a small but growing and extremely vocal group”, who had a problem with Goldstein’s military service.

It’s always a ‘small and extremely vocal group.’ ‘Social justice’ activists are like chihuahuas: The littlest ones make the most noise.

Goldstein, presumably, was hired to speak at this event because of her accomplishments - she won a 4,800 km bicycle race in 2021, becoming the first woman to win the solo category of Race Across America, one of the longest in the world. She was also going to speak about becoming a 17-year old World Kickboxing Champion, along with “bravery, growth and overcoming sexism.”

She sounds like a perfectly badass powerful motivated feminist chick, exactly the sort of role model one might want to promote on International Women’s Day. It takes some real labia to serve in the military and then move on to police service, and then to bike 3,000 miles across North America - and beat everyone else.

But, the whiniest wokes yapped and scrapped, so INSPIRE caved like wimpy corporate CEOs and did what the chihuahua mob demanded.

Inclusive, indeed.

The festival’s organizer sparkies asked Goldstein to provide a statement about Israel prefacing her speech, although she hadn’t intended to address it at all or make it political. One wonders how much INSPIRE would have liked it if she had.

Now INSPIRE may be investigated by the city’s DEI office, as has been asked by one of Peterborough’s city councillors.

INSPIRE hadn’t asked Goldstein what she planned to speak about at the event, or to see a draft of her speech. But they wanted to make sure she held the woke-approved ‘correct’ irrelevant opinion, whether she intended to bring it up or not.

I could perhaps see some concern about divisiveness if her speech touched upon the war—perhaps organizers might be concerned about a day devoted to inspiring and motivating women devolving into a crazy political free-for-all—but it doesn’t appear they asked to see her speech, or what she intended to speak about.

According to the International Women’s Day website, under its call to commitment to ‘inspire inclusion’, it says,

When women aren't present, we must ask: "If not, why not?" When women are discriminated against, we must call out poor practice. When the treatment of women is not equitable, we must take action. And we must do this each time, every time.

What did INSPIRE do to respond to their failure to meet the standards for International Women’s Day 2024?

They battened down their website and their Facebook page.

I wonder how controversial INSPIRE’s keynote speech might have been had the speaker been a Palestinian woman describing getting bombed and displaced every day by the IDF, with nary a mention of Hamas or Gazan votes for. Would anyone have objected?

At any rate, the Maneschevitz hit the fan once word got out about INSPIRE’s cancellation.

The mass media got involved. Social media got involved. People flooded City Hall and INSPIRE, along with a few beleaguered unrelated women’s groups, with supportive comments, mostly for Goldstein rather than the wokemonsters of INSPIRE.

As always, ‘progressives’ demonstrated their commitment to ‘inclusion’ stops at anyone with the ‘wrong’ political opinions or with ties to a group they don’t like.

Maybe they should have invited instead a less controversial speaker—like a man pretending to be a woman, as the Hershey company did last year.

You know, someone whose major life challenge is deciding which bathroom to pee in.

There will be other rallies and events in Peterborough for International Women’s Day, but not for the Judaeophobic unINSPIREd. I hope they spend the day, rather, reflecting on just what ‘inclusion’ really means, and why ‘diversity’ never seems to include differing political ideas. Or why the hell someone’s military service decades ago matters. Or if it’s only with a military service they don’t like. Or why they felt the need to ask Leah Goldstein about her views on the war. Were they going to dictate the ‘statement’ they wanted her to make first? Would they have approached a Palestinian speaker this way, or, indeed, anyone other than a Jew?

The whole thing just has a highly distasteful odor about it. The stench of antisemitism sandwiched within ‘progressive’ politics.

Don’t judge the City of Peterborough from this sorry affair. It’s a lovely small town in the Kawarthas, a chain of lakes in south central Ontario. Peterborough is rustic and country and drop-dead gorgeous during the fall.

Every town has its bad apples, and obnoxious, snappy little human chihuahuas. Hopefully they’re chastened at the demise of an event they themselves have wrought.

Anyway, I hope you all have an awesome International Women’s Day! Go forth and be a badass, no matter what your politics!

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