Welfare candidate Harrington accused of using platform “to mock marginalised groups”

Activist group EmpowerTheVoice noted Harrington previously referred to people with disabilities as “disableds”

Welfare and equality candidate Nathan Harrington has been accused of using his platform to “mock marginalised groups” in a stunt by campaign group EmpowerTheVoice.

The accusation was on the blackboard of the Thomas Davis lecture theatre ahead of the sabbatical election media hustings.

“He thinks queer sex ed is a laughing matter,” it read.

The blackboard included Harrington’s original references to students with disabilities as “disableds” in his manifesto and “Per/Ve”, a reference to the pronouns that appear on the candidate’s personal Instagram account.

EmpowerTheVoice told Trinity News it believes Harrington “is using his platform to mock the very voices we hope to empower”.

“His pronouns in his Instagram bio are Per/Ve. [This] acts to mock the very nature of using pronouns and undermines the normalisation of the practice,” it said.

“It also evokes the demonisation of trans people as predators which is a dangerous notion, especially at a time when the very existence of trans people is so threatened.”

EmpowerTheVoice noted everything written on the blackboard was “directly quoted” from Harrington, including that he believes giving out sweets “would go further than a lump sum to food banks”.

If elected, Harrington promises to use 100% of his salary to fund free sweets for all students throughout the academic year.

“This attitude is born out of unchecked privilege; food banks are not a joke and neither are the people that use them,” it said.

EmpowerTheVoice noted other issues it had with Harrington’s campaign, including his “free the nipple” promise.

“He wants to ‘free the nipple’ but also to put up shower curtains in the men’s bathrooms,” it said.

“We feel he is co-opting a feminist movement for his own unsettling male gaze, prioritising the dignity of men, and the objectification of people of marginalised genders,” it concluded.

Harrington did not attend the media hustings this afternoon. He has been contacted for comment.

Gabriela Gazaniga

Gabriela Gazaniga is the Deputy Editor of News Analysis and is currently in her Junior Sophister year earning a degree in Law.