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Banned Books
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ArabellaScott · 22/09/2022 09:26

It's 'banned books' week. Which sounds good.

www.bbc.com/culture/article/20220921-the-dangerous-books-too-powerful-to-read

bannedbooksweek.org/about/

Reading further, all of the books on the list on the second link - bar one - were restricted or banned for sexually explicit content. In books aimed at children/young people.

Stopping children from reading explicit or upsetting texts isn't quite 'banning' them, is it? I think this is a disingenuous message being pushed, here.

Are the authors of the article saying all ages should have access to all books, with no exception? Or do they think that perhaps some books are not suitable for children?

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ArabellaScott · 22/09/2022 09:26

(the list is 'The Top 10 Challenged Books of 2021')

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Ereshkigalangcleg · 22/09/2022 09:49

What do they mean by "relocated"? Put in the adult section?

This Book is Gay by Juno DawsonReasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sex education and LGBTQIA+ content

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ArabellaScott · 22/09/2022 09:51

Could well be, Eresh. Outrage! IIRC Dawson's books contained various porn, drugs and rape references? Maybe not this one, I can't really remember.

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NotBadConsidering · 22/09/2022 09:56

That’s the 2nd article I’ve read on this subject. Neither mentioned people like Chase Strangio and Grace Lavery wanting to ban and burn Abigail Shrier’s book, funnily enough.

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ArabellaScott · 22/09/2022 10:02

Yes, it's only certain kinds of books that are being presented as brave and worthy of defence.

Noticed this morning the NEU recanting after calling a Transgender Trend book 'a fantastic resource'. Of course this was a mistake, they've withdrawn their review and apologised for wrongthink.

twitter.com/Transgendertrd/status/1572662664354045952?cxt=HHwWgIC9xYyXnNMrAAAA

But that's not censorship.

Nor is firing Gillian Phillip,

www.heraldscotland.com/news/18564550.scots-author-gillian-philip-dumped-backing-jk-rowling-transgender-row/

or Rachel Rooney's cancellation,

www.thetimes.co.uk/article/rachel-rooneys-childrens-book-my-body-is-me-labelled-anti-trans-extremism-szrr6gsxr?region=global

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ArabellaScott · 22/09/2022 10:03

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Imnobody4 · 22/09/2022 10:07

This is from the American Library Assoc. They've always had a battle against organised campaigns against books. I do feel it's dishonest to include schools, universities, and libraries together. Schools are very different to the other 2. Not considering a book appropriate for children isn't banning, that's more like ratings on films.

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NotBadConsidering · 22/09/2022 10:09

Dawson has always had a healthy interest in the writing of sex in YA books:

https://amp.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2015/sep/06/judy-blume-forever-teen-sex-james-dawson

I can’t remember which book it is that has child sex abuse discussed - a child of around 9 and oral sex - and normalised.

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ArabellaScott · 22/09/2022 10:10

I think that was the 'Magenta' one, NotBad - 10 on the list.

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Ereshkigalangcleg · 22/09/2022 10:12

I can’t remember which book it is that has child sex abuse discussed - a child of around 9 and oral sex

I think they were six, not that it is particularly any worse!

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Imnobody4 · 22/09/2022 10:12

There's an online conference held by Cilip tomorrow which is open to all. Would be useful if anyone could attend - I can't.

www.mumsnet.com/talk/womens_rights/4638574-cilip-banned-books-week-event

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ArabellaScott · 22/09/2022 10:13

'Beyond Magenta'

'A book targeted at transgender teens featuring descriptions of sex acts carried out by children as young as six has sparked outrage'

www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/news/antitransgender-activist-slams-library-book-describing-sex-act-by-sixyearold/news-story/081170749739074579c3a31261719592

It was rec'd to Scottish schools:

dr-bruce-scott.com/2021/09/06/querying-the-queering-of-scottish-schools/

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RhubarbCrumbled · 22/09/2022 10:30

Imnobody4 · 22/09/2022 10:12

There's an online conference held by Cilip tomorrow which is open to all. Would be useful if anyone could attend - I can't.

www.mumsnet.com/talk/womens_rights/4638574-cilip-banned-books-week-event

I'll be attending (it's my thread) and will also be asking about the Fingal Libraries fiasco. Libraries 'don't censor or ban books' is becoming a ridiculous thing to say with the current tide of opinion!

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NotBadConsidering · 22/09/2022 10:31

The other thing to note is that it seems those books made the list based on the volume of news articles and people sending in evidence of complaints about them.

But books challenging gender ideology can seemingly be banned with little volume of complaint overall, probably never enough to make that list. It says here, on which the list was based, that:

The Top 10 lists are only a snapshot of book challenges. Surveys indicate that 82-97% of book challenges – documented requests to remove materials from schools or libraries – remain unreported and receive no media.

I think GC Americans need to get a bit more active reporting the shutting down of challenges to gender ideology through their reporting system.

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SerendipityJane · 22/09/2022 13:54

"People were buying Rutles records, just to burn them ..."

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MangyInseam · 22/09/2022 14:04

Yeah, I am involved in this at work, and I tend to agree - it's a problem to treat assessments of suitability for children's sections or schools in the same way as other books.

There has to be space to consider whether stuff is appropriate for kids in a way that is different from what is looked at for adults. There are absolutely still people who will challenge things that are fine in the kids section, but it's also quite possible for the complaints to be legitimate. There was a time many libraries kept all their graphic novels together, for example, most don't now because they realized some have really adult content. That's not censorship.

I find freedom to read orgs, rather like libraries in general, are heavily dominated by people who think of themselves as politically progressive.

The area where you see progressives challenge books, apart from things like Shrier's book, is content they think is racist.

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NitroNine · 22/09/2022 17:01

To be - because I think it’s important, & because it is legitimate for others to complain if we are not:
• 7 out of the 10 books banned included sexually explicit material
• 1 contained sexual references
• 1 provided sex education
• 4 of the 7 with sexually explicit material also had LGBTQIA+ content (as did the book that provided sex education)

These are all books for adolescents & young adults - so being banned from High School age(+) institutions.

It’s important for young people to have access to books about people like them, which includes books about people who share their sexuality. These books wouldn’t be appropriate for Elementary Schools & most wouldn’t be ok for Middle Schools either.

TBH my big concern with banned books just now is the number of Texas schools refusing to stock the amazing Carole Boston Weatherford’s award-winning Unspeakable, about the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. It’s nominated for the Texas Library Association’s Bluebonnet Award (designed to encourage reading for fun in Grades 3-6 [age 8-12]) but there are schools who have left it off the copy of the list of nominees they gave to students & who refused to accept a donation of copies from a bookshop when they claimed they’d done so because they didn’t have it in their library. According to her tweet about it, the book has won over 40 awards. Absolutely horrific racism.

Selecting books for schools does need to be done carefully; & individual children may need more support when they use the library. But children would be safer with those banned books than on much of the internet. What exactly did “sexually explicit” mean in each case? Presumably they don’t study Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales at any point - those are, after all, pretty much obscene. Lots of Shakespeare is positively filthy, too.

I can’t imagine they’d go a bundle on Melvin Burgess’ Junk (apparently they changed the title to “Smack” in the States) but I somehow managed to read my copy to pieces without feeling inspired to start a recreational drug habit. I got my school librarian to buy a copy, too, & it was so popular a second had to be purchased. Despite it being sexually explicit & full of drugs & violence, the school did not descend into anarchy.

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MangyInseam · 22/09/2022 17:19

I read the Canterbury Tales in middle school. It's not comparable.

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MangyInseam · 22/09/2022 17:22

And I would also say that for some of these books, "educational" is doing some heavy lifting.

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KatVonlabonk · 22/09/2022 17:42

Beyond Magenta, describing "sexually mature six year olds" and not framing it as the child sexual abuse it clearly was.

But hey, don't ban the nonce book......

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MangyInseam · 22/09/2022 17:56

The thing is that lots of libraries that will decide a book isn't right in the children's section will still have plenty of explicit sexual content in the adult section. And children are pretty much never banned from taking adult books out of the public library.

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ArabellaScott · 22/09/2022 18:16

Yes. This issue is really critical. Conflating actually banning books with restricting books available by age appropriacy are two completely different things.

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