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to think that DD1 should be allowed to read whatever book she likes while on her break at work?

(230 Posts)
wongadotmom Wed 19-Feb-14 19:47:58

DD1 (21) has just told me she was asked into the office at work today as a complaint had been made against her.

She initially assumed that it had been to do with her work but learned that two women had actually complained that they were offended by the book she had been seen reading while on her lunch break.

The book was 'Porno' by Irvine Welsh - I have not read the book myself therefore cannot judge whether it is offensive or not.

DD said that she was really into the book at the moment and offered to put a cover over the book so that no one could see what she was reading.

She was told no and must show more sensitivity to the womens' religion and must not bring the book into work again.

She is a little shaken up by this incident as nothing like this has ever happened to anyone else and people actually read The Sun and The Mail during their breaks with no problem.

I have told her that she should be allowed to read whatever she wants on her unpaid break but AIBU?

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 22-Feb-14 10:25:41

I'm Muslim, I've read Porno, it's crap.

As for the tedious comments on here suggesting books that would really "upset" Muslims (how pleasant), I cannot speak for all of Muslimdom, but my only concern if I saw a co-worker reading such a book, is that they would want to have some sort of discussion at me afterwards, little realising that I have no interests in their thoughts on religion whatsoever.

AngelaDaviesHair - Now that does sound an interesting book, was it any good?

JeanSeberg Sat 22-Feb-14 10:46:19

Irvine Welsh - basically only had one good story in him. Everything else is just about his overwhelming desire to shock.

tobiasfunke Sat 22-Feb-14 11:06:59

JeanSeberg speaks the truth.

Overly sexualised images such as the one on the front of porno are not apprpriate in the workplace whether you are shocked by them or not. The manager should've said it was fine to cover it up but then maybe it's just easier to tell her to bring in a different book- there are millions of them.

I used to work in a pub when I was a student where the pyschotic assistant manager used to have a subscription to 'True Crime ' magazine and used to show us pictures of the gory crime scenes. I often wonder if he ever ended up in jail.

ComposHat Sat 22-Feb-14 12:48:19

Jean I agree but that one book was the maribou stalk nightmares not trainspotting.

JeanSeberg Sat 22-Feb-14 12:52:58

I've not read that one but let me take a wild stab in the dark that it contains a council estate, paedophilia, fucked up parents, drugs, sexual violence, someone trying to better himself that gets sucked back in etc etc....

Like I said, one story in him.

AngelaDaviesHair Sat 22-Feb-14 14:34:19

GoshAnne, it's a fascinating insight into the Loyalist mindset. I recommend it.

LaGuardia Sat 22-Feb-14 14:46:24

The Muslim lady I work with has told me that she would not be offended in the least by someone reading that book in her company. But then, she is never one to use the religion card to bully a younger member of staff.

OwlCapone Sat 22-Feb-14 16:20:27

No one is being "bullied"

limitedperiodonly Sat 22-Feb-14 17:58:37

I wonder whether the line manager accurately conveyed the complaint or used the catch-all 'they're muslims' to shut down all argument and debate and so has contributed to another festering sore.

Or is it true at all?

I still think the women should have raised it with OP's daughter first.

I hate the cover of Porno too but I've never complained about it. I find images of sex dolls annoying to enraging, depending on my mood. But I'm prepared to see the argument for using the image.

Now I've heard that the book is poor I think it, plus the title and the plot, is a cynical marketing exercise. That would spark an earnest debate with the reader about all the issues which may have left her wishing she'd stuck to an iPod. Because that's the kind of person I am grin

Incidentally, copies of Nuts, Zoo, Front etc left on my shared desk which were images of women offering their arses and casting moronic open-gobbed glances over their shoulders, used to annoy me too.

Images of women who look like they're going to enjoy sex don't upset me at all. But maybe they upset inadequate men.

I'm sure it wasn't to provoke me. Perhaps my job-share partner thought I might like a read or a wank because girl-on-girl action is quite a big feature in those magazines, but only featuring big-titty, spready-cheeky vacantly pretty girls who are just marking time until they can have a big cock up them.

Or maybe he thought I liked tidying up. I am a woman, after all, and I did always put them in the recycling bin.

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 22-Feb-14 19:59:31

Limited - Indeed we don't what was said or if religion was directly stated or not.

Some thoughts:

Contrary to popular myth, many Muslims feel extremely uncomfortable about bringing up their religion for fear of being seen as one "Those Muslims". We know lots of people don't like Islam and/or Muslims and don't want to give them the opportunity for further grievances. The pressure to "walk small" is real.

On the other hand, as has already been stated, many people would find the cover of Porno inappropriate for the workplace for numerous reasons.

I am wondering if the boss in question would have ignored objections on taste/sexism grounds and it's only when/if religious reasons enter the picture that the objections are taken seriously. Far too often people objecting to sexualized images are waved away and accused of being prudish or "humourless feminists".

Jean - All those things do indeed appear in Marabou Stork Nightmares.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Sat 22-Feb-14 20:16:01

From my experience of hr the offer of a plain book jacket is sufficient. I'd def second a kindle. Far easier.

The religion aspect is a smoke screen. Anyone can be insulted at work by something they see on a screen. (Including instant msging say in a gossipy fashion) Discipline can result from this but this is entirely dependant on the IT policy, which must be clear and freely available. I would expect no more than a friendly non recorded chat not more as a first thing.

An apology should be the end of it. It should never be re brought up. Tbh I would have angled the conversation around is it professional to have this in a professional office rather than "religion". An office is starkly sterile. I'd say it isn't professional because it leads others to suppose your attitudes, stereotype you and limit you. Yes that's about them not you but this is an office. Image I'm afraid is key. (A bland image.....I didn't fit in that well)

Haggischucker Sat 22-Feb-14 20:36:26

I can't read Irvine welsh, far too vivid and shocking for me but husband likes his books. If I didn't know of him and saw someone reading a book called porno with the cover I would raise concerns with manager and this is why kindles are great! People are free to do whatever they want but in a public/ work place you need to consider effect on others, religion or not. I remember when I read shades of grey on kindle, was sooo glad it was secret, partly because of the lady porn aspect but mainly as I was so embarrassed to be reading such pap!! ;)

Ollycat Mon 23-Jan-17 10:21:42

It's a book you can walk into any bookshop and buy. If we work on that principle then of course she should read it. I would check that the manager is aware of what the book actually is.

I am all for being sensitive to people's opinions but not for censorship of reading books. If I were a Muslim I would be far more offended by the Fails headlines declaring all muslims terrorists etc.

Why doesn't she just chat to these women about it?

ErrolTheDragon Mon 23-Jan-17 10:27:26

Unless she's a phenomenally slow reader she presumably finished it some years ago...check the date.grin

EveOnline2016 Mon 23-Jan-17 10:28:13


VeryBitchyRestingFace Mon 23-Jan-17 10:34:26

I can only assume Ollycat is very, very excited about Trainspotting 2 hitting the cinemas.


MarmiteDoesYouGood Mon 23-Jan-17 10:46:02

I would accept that I have been told not to read that book at work, but yes I would begin complaining about other offensive material such as tabloid newspapers. I would also begin looking for a new job so I could promptly tell my employer what a dick he/she is.

MarmiteDoesYouGood Mon 23-Jan-17 10:46:38

Oh shit, zombie thread. Goddamnit.

TheSmurfsAreHere Mon 23-Jan-17 10:57:34


MycatsaPirate Mon 23-Jan-17 11:04:54

I was going to suggest put the Oxford English Dictionary cover over the book.

And then she could do a head tilt and say she's looking up the words 'offended, special, snowflake and pathetic' if she's asked what she's reading.

BadKnee Mon 23-Jan-17 11:20:29

It really concerns me that we are going backwards in terms of the whole thought police thing. Fair enough to cover the book as some images are not appropriate for some situations, (eg. workplace, primary school, place of worship), but never, ever stop someone from reading what they choose.

BadKnee Mon 23-Jan-17 11:23:22

Just seen the Zombie alert. Please MNHQ can we put the zombie alert at the head of the thread!!

I think that old threads are valuable and can be resurrected especially if it is an issue that doesn't get a lot of coverage or if updates would be interesting. Life doesn't all unfold in 24-48 hours. However please give us the chance to see it before we read and post!

Onthecouchagain Mon 23-Jan-17 11:34:46

I would sack any of my staff who brought the Sun into work.

Proudmummytodc2 Mon 23-Jan-17 11:58:18

I haven't RTFT but I think she should be allowed to read what she wants some people too sensitive these days.

Can I suggest if you have the available funds to get her a kindle, I got a kindle paper white for my Christmas and I love it I even get through my books faster too.

everythingis Mon 23-Jan-17 12:02:29

Makes me want to read the da Vinci code at work on purpose now. Even though I've no interest in at al all.

Porno wacquite good I can see why the girl in the op would read it before transporting 2 comes out

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