Open letter to The Bookseller says 'transphobia acceptable in British book industry'

(63 Posts)
Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Tue 04-May-21 13:49:17

'signed anonymously from a number of trade figures, including publishers, writers, illustrators and booksellers' - no editors, though, judging by the rambling, over-long text. It seems to be in part a response to the evidence given to Parliament last week by the CEO of Hachette, who are JKR's publishers, about cancel culture. JKR not namechecked but I bet they had her in mind.

Some fairly robust responses on Twitter, I see.

OP’s posts: |
TheHandmadeTail Tue 04-May-21 13:58:04

To quote Douglas Adams: “All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.

Oh the irony of them using this quote...

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Tue 04-May-21 14:00:44

I know!

OP’s posts: |
Helmetbymidnight Tue 04-May-21 14:05:46

Our industry excuses it, says that to view transgender individuals as having less than full human rights is OK

such fucking liars.

highame Tue 04-May-21 14:08:21

Phew! Gave up

allmywhat Tue 04-May-21 14:12:13

That’s SO BADLY WRITTEN. How on earth could a professional writer put their name to that garbage... oh, wait, they didn’t. Never mind.

Reading TRA writing always makes me feel like the dissatisfied customer at the Argument Clinic. This isn’t an argument!

SemiColonoscopy Tue 04-May-21 14:12:47

'Signed anonymously'. confused

BraveBananaBadge Tue 04-May-21 14:19:38

"^The Bookseller^ has been passed some details of signatories but has been unable to independently verify these for reasons of confidentiality."

Well maybe that should have made them think twice about publishing such a load of misleading, histrionic old bollocks!

AvocadoBathroom Tue 04-May-21 14:21:35

“quiet statements of acceptance from companies and organisations within our industry”.

Shut up and comply basically. Freedom dies quietly, under a rainbow flag.

nauticant Tue 04-May-21 14:22:33

the dissatisfied customer at the Argument Clinic

Made me think of this Blue Jam sketch

AbsintheFriends Tue 04-May-21 14:25:57

The Overton Window is in the process of being moved to the far end of the fucking building.

Too much is happening. Too much sunlight is being brought to this and too much sense is being talked in courts of law. They need to drag out the weary old trojan horses of genuine historic oppression. 'But don't forget the segregated drinking fountains! Exactly the same thing is happening now!' Yeah. Except it isn't. And the only people who are afraid to speak out because they'll lose their livelihoods are those upholding women's rights.

Justhadathought Tue 04-May-21 14:31:07

*The letter reads: “The hardest thing to say here is that the deepest damage is being done unwittingly, by those who don't understand, or who want to try and take no side. It is easy to express abhorrence of discrimination in literature, but we all need to express it in our own day to day lives too.” It calls on organisations to make specific statements of acceptance and discusses previous forms of discrimination in regards to “homosexuals, Jews, disabled people, people of colour, Muslims, suffragettes, even left-handed people in our past”>

No unqualified mention of women there.....Mention of women and women's rights is reduced to the 'suffragettes'; who I take it must have been 'proper' feminists?

Justhadathought Tue 04-May-21 14:33:27

If you re-read many of the speeches and comments from the those who seek to tell us that speaking about transgender people this way is a valid opinion, and in your mind replace the word transgender with 'Jews' or 'Refugees' or 'Gay Men', you'll see how unpleasantly familiar it becomes

Again, no mention of lesbians.....

ArabellaScott Tue 04-May-21 14:34:04

This is an edited version of the letter passed to The Bookseller:

Good God! There's writing on both sides of that paper!

Justhadathought Tue 04-May-21 14:35:19

No Blacks, No Irish’ or drinking fountains labelled ‘Whites Only

Women's single sex spaces are being compared to acts of bigotry and prejudice,

Justhadathought Tue 04-May-21 14:37:25

We need to start to understand and talk about gender as a spectrum, a whole colour wheel, rather than just pink and blue

Oh, for goodness sake!

Who on earth is talking about 'pink and blue'?

allmywhat Tue 04-May-21 14:47:27

have been through more uncertainties and self-exploration than most cis men and women can imagine

Ye gods, the narcissism. How do “cis” people put up with this 💩 ?

NoSquirrels Tue 04-May-21 14:50:38

signed anonymously from a number of trade figures, including publishers, writers, illustrators and booksellers' - no editors, though, judging by the rambling, over-long text.

It’s a shit letter. I reckon I could have a good stab at naming some of the people involved. You can just look at the quote tweets on Twitter and draw your own conclusions.

I really don’t understand why they made it anonymous, though. That’s weird. It’s not like falling over yourself to say “publishing is not diverse or inclusive to trans people” is a controversial or minority opinion at the moment!

The worst thing about it is its ‘be nice’ message and all the annoying false equivalence drawn - and the “those of us familiar with history” patronising tone.

allmywhat Tue 04-May-21 14:58:21

I really don’t understand why they made it anonymous, though. That’s weird.

For DARVO purposes, I’m assuming. So they can pretend to believe their careers are at risk or maybe someone will threaten their families for this letter full of TRA boilerplate. It’s a bit of victimhood posturing.

NoSquirrels Tue 04-May-21 15:09:59

An anonymous open letter is just... not a thing?

Actually, the more I think about it the more I love it. The Bookseller “edited it” - so it was even longer, good lord! - and it’s been written by a group of anonymous writers etc. They all just couldn’t bear to disappoint or disagree with each other (‘be nice’) in order to get a coherent argument or through-line structured together. I’d have loved to see the shared Google doc.

lookingatwoodseeingtrees Tue 04-May-21 15:50:31

Hang on a minute. I thought all the TRas were up in arms about the letter from the Women's Writing Club to the Women's Prize being signed by anonymous and pseudonyms. But this one is fine? What a bunch of hypocrites.

Melroses Tue 04-May-21 15:58:06

Well, anonymity is for the oppressed. No one else should need, or indeed be allowed, anonymity. Or something.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Tue 04-May-21 15:58:54

Well, Hachette was oppressive last year when they told some of their junior staff they had to work on The Ickabog and if they didn't want to the door was >>>>>>>>>>>>>. That must have come as a nasty shock to some.

How it's reached a point where staff early in their careers feel they can say they don't want to do any work for their employer's biggest client is beyond me.

OP’s posts: |
JulesJules Tue 04-May-21 16:54:45

It's so badly written, reads like some teenager wrote it. (Apologies to teenagers)

StandUpStraight Tue 04-May-21 17:40:46

How absolutely ridiculous. The usual non-arguments in the usual turgid prose. It just makes them look silly.

But can I just thank nauticant for bringing that video into my life? Brilliant.

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