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Group wants to ban feminist books from a women's library - WTF?

(209 Posts)
Bambambini Sun 05-Feb-17 17:54:13

Who on earth would want to ban feminist books from a Women's Library? Hope that the Vancouver Women's Library stands firm and doesn't bow to this women hating group. Hope the library get's lots if support - this attempt to bully and censor seems to be becoming much more common, unfortunately.

https://m.facebook.com/notes/gag-gays-against-gentrification/response-to-vancouver-womens-library/379623995740078

CaoNiMa Sun 05-Feb-17 18:08:33

Jesus. The world gets more Orwellian by the day.

pillypollypandy Sun 05-Feb-17 18:17:56

Hmmm... this is interesting. On the one hand I agree with them that transphobic people, homophobic people, SWERFs, racists are awful people- but I'm not sure that banning books is the thing to do. Banning books won't dispell the rhetoric, and in fact these books could be read by people hoping to educate themselves about the problems minority groups have with people speaking over them etc etc. They could be very useful in the right context, and read with the correct background of knowledge. Books should not be banned just because they contain ideas or scenes which are problematic/the readers find offensive- there are many books in my local library which contain ideas I don't necessarily agree with, but I don't think they should be taken away, because read with the right context they can be useful. (An example of this would be 'Satyricon' by Petronius contains awful scenes of sexual violence and misogyny which I certainly do not endorse, but it's interesting to read it, to see how pervasive sexual violence and misogyny were in Roman times.)
However, I do agree with them that there should be more books available written by minority groups, because it can be painfully hard to find books written by queer women (I'm queer) both in my local and school library.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Sun 05-Feb-17 18:21:06

How do you know the sexual orientation of the authors of the books you read pilly? confused are you talking about text books?

YANBU OP. I feel people want to get rid of feminist books then they clearly don't know what feminism is.

Trills Sun 05-Feb-17 18:22:52

Banning books is rarely a good plan.

Teaching better critical thinking skills is the answer - just because something is in a book does not mean it is good or true.

pillypollypandy Sun 05-Feb-17 18:26:00

@FeliciaJollygoodfellow
No, I'm not talking about textbooks. A few months ago I decided I needed to read more (predominantly fiction) books by queer authors because I loved "Oranges are not the Only Fruit" (by Jeanette Winterson, famously gay author), so I found some specifically queer authors (mostly queer women) but there were barely any copies of any of their books in my school library, which was sad. I think it's good for libraries to diversify the authors they stock so people can read the writings of different people, who will have vastly different experiences. I'm an aspiring gay writer so I thought it would be good to read books written by people who would write about similar issues to me. smile

VirgilsStaff Sun 05-Feb-17 19:22:48

This is the new Dark Ages. These groups are attacking the wrong people. Why attack a Women's Library, when you could mount a powerful campaign against Men's Rights Activist - who hate all women & gay people - or men who use women for sex, often trafficked women, or men who kill their domestic partners, or men who rape.

All of these groups could do with a good activist (metaphoric) kicking.

But no, the cowards go for a women's library. At least they're open now about being anti-feminist, rather than pretending they're just so much more radical than feminists. They're setting themselves against two centuries of progress for 51% of the world. Idiots.

PacificDogwod Sun 05-Feb-17 19:25:08

This is the new Dark Ages.

This.

We can only hope that an Enlightenment will follow a bit sooner than after the Middle Ages hmm

Bambambini Sun 05-Feb-17 19:27:00

Pillypollypandy

"Hmmm... this is interesting. On the one hand I agree with them that transphobic people, homophobic people, SWERFs, racists are awful people- "

Do the authors and feminists in question fall under the descriptions you listed - i'll admit i don't read feminist books though i've heard of some of the names. And what is a Swerf?

I just think it's bizarre that folk are trying to get books from feminists banned from a women's library. I'd like to know who is behind it and if they are male

PencilsInSpace Sun 05-Feb-17 19:30:01

Orwellian is right. It kind of reminds me of things I've read about the Chinese cultural revolution. There's an article here about the opening of the library. It sounds like it's come about through the very hard unpaid work and the donation of personal collections from the three founding women:

The majority of these texts were sourced from the personal collections of Wonders and fellow cofounders em laurent and Andrea Wheeler, as well as local bookstore Pulp Fiction, where the group employed a grant from the Women’s Centre at UBC.

So this group not only want one of the founders to step down but to purge her own books from the collection and get in a load of different books instead - They're not even offering to donate copies!

Where the fuck do these people get off? angry

And all these demands for 'accountability' confused The project appears to have been entirely self-funded. Why on earth do GAG (ha!) think they get to demand accountability to them?

I also don't understand why they're whinging about the library's use of 'self-identified women', I thought that was the current Culturally Correct SJW terminology:

Their use of ‘self-identified women’ as a shallow tactic of distraction. The moniker ‘self-identified’ is used by cis women as a move to innocence from their complicity in violence against trans women. It is used to mark trans women as ‘Other’ and centre themselves again as victims of patriarchy.

No idea what the PoMo queer crowd want any more (beyond shutting women up). They're disappearing up their own arses at such speed they're leaving the rest of us behind. Well they can take their 'whorephobia', their 'transmisogyny' and their 'cisheteropatrarchy' [sic] with them and stick it where the sun don't shine.

Fucking wankers.

pillypollypandy Sun 05-Feb-17 19:35:24

@Bambambini
-I'm sorry to say I've never actually read any of these books so I can't answer your question. I was talking in more general terms rather than accusing any of the specified authors as any of these things.
I completely agree with you, I do think it's strange. I think perhaps it's a group of LGBT people, because that's what the link suggests, although I'm afraid I don't know for sure. smile
Oh, and SWERF stands for Sex-worker exclusionary feminist- ie a feminist who doesn't include sex workers or validate their choice to be a sex worker-(important word being 'choice', obviously non-voluntary sex work should not be condoned in any way.)

pillypollypandy Sun 05-Feb-17 19:40:00

@pencilsinspace
As a queer person, I certainly think that there is such thing as transmisogyny (ie the idea that transgender women face a lot of problems that cis women do not face such as specifically transgender-woman-directed discrimination)- if there's a transgender person do please correct me if I'm wrong about this- and we certainly have a long way to go before LGBT* people no longer need to fight for their rights.
That being said (and I don't want to derail the conversation here) I think that this book banning is frankly a bit ridiculous and short-sighted. Education is the key, not banning books. Not all people who advocate for LGBT* rights, IBPOC rights, or anything else, necessarily agrees with this.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 05-Feb-17 19:43:44

I saw this too, and was horrified by it. It doesn't really matter what minority group is complaining, the point is you just don't ban books which don't support your cause shock

Are they stupid? Surely the best way to further a cause is to understand then arguments against it so that you can intelligently refute them. At the very least if the library has books that oppress you then it shows that you are oppressed.

Of course as white cis women who is privileged due to my whiteness and my cisness I can't possibly understand

PencilsInSpace Sun 05-Feb-17 19:45:43

I'm sorry to say I've never actually read any of these books You really should smile I can definitely recommend Dworkin and Jeffries. There are a few others there that look interesting. So nice of GAG to give us a reading list grin

VirgilsStaff Sun 05-Feb-17 19:47:49

cis women as a move to innocence from their complicity in violence against trans women

I'm coming to think that in some really disturbed & ill people's minds, simply being a woman is doing violence to transwomen.

If they so so want to be women, why do they hate actual biological born-women?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 05-Feb-17 19:51:00

why do they hate actual biological born-women

No such thing as a biological born women, and it's transphobic to suggest that there is. Some males are born with vaginas and some females are born with a penis. Genitals are just a body part and not some sort of indicator of identity. You are what you feel, focusing on genitals is just so shallow.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 05-Feb-17 19:51:48

I suppose I should add a wink to that in case the irony was not clear...

user1471545174 Sun 05-Feb-17 19:53:13

Uhnh?

user1471545174 Sun 05-Feb-17 19:53:58

Phew grin.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 05-Feb-17 19:56:10

You can read the full batshit statement by Gays against Gentrification here (the original is no longer available on Facebook):

archive.is/tepJK

PencilsInSpace Sun 05-Feb-17 19:57:57

the idea that transgender women face a lot of problems that cis women do not face such as specifically transgender-woman-directed discrimination

Well of course they do, and women face a lot of problems that transwomen do not face. This is because women and transwomen are not the same and neither is the oppression they face the same. The threat to transwomen really isn't coming from feminists it's coming from men. Transactivists never seem to have much to say about that though, I guess feminists are an easier target.

we certainly have a long way to go before LGBT* people no longer need to fight for their rights.

Absolutely. Personally I'm horrified at how lesbian rights, identity and wellbeing are diminishing so very fast.

Bambambini Sun 05-Feb-17 19:58:58

"Oh, and SWERF stands for Sex-worker exclusionary feminist- ie a feminist who doesn't include sex workers or validate their choice to be a sex worker-(important word being 'choice', "

Are swerfs considered to be haters or bigots then? Don't think I've ever really seen feminists speak badly of prostitutes or women in porn.

VirgilsStaff Sun 05-Feb-17 19:59:36

Which reminds me ...

I read somewhere a transwoman making an argument that

gender role and gender identity

were different things. I'm not so sure ... but maybe I'm biased because she was trying to justify the use of 'cis'

pillypollypandy Sun 05-Feb-17 20:01:58

@bambam there's certainly some feminists who do exclude SWs. I don't exactly know how prevalent it is.

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Sun 05-Feb-17 20:03:25

I knew this would be about transactivists before I even clicked on the thread. Batshit crazy people who genuinely seem to hate actual biological women.

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