GAG demands Vancouver Women’s Library ban books

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Sineed
GAG demands Vancouver Women’s Library ban books

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In an interesting display of the blooming neoliberal tendency to turn the world into their self-defined “safe space,” an organization ironically named GAG (Gays Against Gentrification) has demanded the new Vancouver Women’s Library (VWL) ban books written by women.

...

The reasoning is presented in their introductory paragraph. The demands are due to  “the ongoing violence against trans women, sex workers, and IBPOC (Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour),” and what they call, “settler-colonial violence”. But what connection a Women’s Library has to the violence anyone anywhere experiences remains to be seen, and is not detailed in their demands. As seasoned feminists know and center in their messaging, violence is perpetrated (in a large majority) by men. Furthermore, violent males aren’t taking their cues from women’s books and libraries.

If you go to the Vancouver Women's Library home page, linked below, you can make a donation.

https://www.vancouverwomenslibrary.ca/

Sineed

Here is the list of books GAG wants banned:

-Admission Accomplished – Jill Johnston

-Against Sadomasochism – Robin R. Linden, Darlene R. Pagano, Diana E. Russell, Susan Leigh Star

-Amazon Odyssey: Collection of Writings – Ti-Grace Atkinson

-Buddhism after Patriarchy – Rita M. Gross

-The Female Man – Joana Russ

-Female Sexual Slavery – Kathleen Barry

-Feminism Unmodified – Catharine A. Mackinnon

-First Buddhist Women: Poems and Stories of Awakening Susan Murcott-Gyn/Ecology – Mary Daly-

The Idea of Prostitution – Sheila Jeffreys

-The Industrial Vagina: The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade – Sheila Jeffreys

-Intercourse – Andrea Dworkin

-The Lesbian Heresy – Sheila Jeffreys

-Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women – Geraldine Brooks

-Not a Choice, Not a Job: Exposing the Myths about Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade – Janice Raymond

-Not for Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography-Of Women Born – Adrienne Rich

-Pornography: Men Possessing Women – Andrea Dworkin

-Radical Acceptance – Tara Brach

-The Sexual Liberals and the Attack on Feminism – Janice Raymond

-Women As Wombs: Reproductive Technologies and the Battle over Women’s Freedom – Janice Raymond

I have a new reading list!

Sineed

Whoops!

Anyway that tiny url link doesn't seem to work. Here is the link:

http://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2017/02/gag-demands-new-womens-library-ban3/

Sineed

Here is a list of GAG's demands:

https://archive.is/9MNCP

And here is how the women at the bookstore were attacked:

http://i.imgur.com/5bYJsy1.png

quizzical

same people who tried to discredit Van's womens march.

banning books written by women ...... a whole new level.

expropriating Indigenous and POC voices is gravey on the whole new level.

 

Sineed

Yes, it is the same people who tried to discredit the Van women's march. And if you read their list of demands, they not only want the women's library to exclude certain books, but also they will be supplying a list of books they expect them to stock. It's male privilege hiding behind post-modernist gender theory.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Yes, it is the same people who tried to discredit the Van women's march.

Are you saying that GAG was behind that?  Not quarrelling here, just curious, because I thought that was BLMV.

ygtbk

I suspect that banning books from public libraries is not something any of us would support. If you don't want to read a book, then don't read it.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

To be fair, it doesn't sound like this is a "public" library the way (say) the Vancouver Public Library is.

But that's all the more reason that they aren't somehow accountable to the taxpayer at large.  Sounds to me like some women said to themselves "we need this" and then went ahead and made it happen.

My guess would be that some, if not most, of the books on the "to be burned" pile are probably available at the Vancouver Public Library.

lagatta4

Well, it was a gag order.

I've read some of those books. Do I agree with every word in all I've read? Nope. But I don't recall any of them being sexist, racist, anti-Indigenous or "whorephobic". Odd, isn't the term "whore" a nasty insult for someone in the sex trade? We had to come up for different expressions to replace "media whore" and "corporate whore", which definitely do NOT refer to sex workers. One can be critical of the petroleum industry or many others without phobia of people involved in those sectors.

The Women's Library should tell GAG to stuff it.

quizzical

Mr. Magoo wrote:
Quote:
Yes, it is the same people who tried to discredit the Van women's march.

Are you saying that GAG was behind that?  Not quarrelling here, just curious, because I thought that was BLMV.

they're all the same people acting between groups of differing names. some exploiting others while claiming to be allies.

they hate the feminists in Van who won't cave to their demands.

this goes back to the women's pharmacy and a long fight with Vancouver Rape Relief and Woman's Shelter.

Sineed called it for what it is.

Sineed

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Sounds to me like some women said to themselves "we need this" and then went ahead and made it happen.

 

Yes and why can't they have that? I personally don't feel a need to attend a woman-only library, but if there are women whose activism runs that way, what's the deal with the guys showing up and demanding to dictate how the library is run and what books it carries?

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My guess would be that some, if not most, of the books on the "to be burned" pile are probably available at the Vancouver Public Library.

You guess correctly; I searched for, and found, many of the books at the VPL. I guess that means GAG will be picketing them next.

Sineed

Purple Sage Feminist provides some of the details of the actions of GAG in addiction to her usual cogent commentary:

https://purplesagefem.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/queer-fascists-attempt-to...

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“Last night we had to push through physical intimidation and lots of verbal nonsense to enter the new Vancouver Women’s Library.

Anti-feminist protesters actually showed up for once! They were welcomed inside (snowing, cold, everyone was welcome), but asked to leave when they tried to tear down feminist posters in the space and continued their physical intimidation inside. Police had to be called for fear of destruction of the space and the safety of library patrons inside. The protesters held signs and shouted at people entering the space. They poured wine over the books. They smoked inside when asked not to. They pulled the fire alarm. Some of them tried to bar then pushed women entering the space. As far as we saw, men were left alone to come and go as they pleased."

GAG erroneously accuses feminists of denying health care and jobs to trans women and of trying to control the bodies of “sex workers” and enacting violence upon them. It is difficult to believe that anyone could be so far removed from reality that they actually think that feminists are the ones harming women in the sex trade rather than the johns and pimps who are actually inflicting the violence. Those people who seek to make male violence invisible and blame women instead for what men do to us can only be called MRAs.

GAG made a list of demands that includes, among other things, that the library must elect a board of directors that GAG members approve of, remove any books from the library that GAG does not approve of, and fire one of the organizers of the library who is specified by name. It’s just astounding that this group feels so entitled to women’s labor that they feel they can dictate to women how to run their own library. This is a vile display of misogyny and anti-feminism.

As Magoo correctly surmised, many of those books are available at the Vancouver Public Library. So why attack and harrass a group of volunteers who want to provide a curated selection of woman-centric books?

GAG may have shot themselves in the foot with this one.

 

6079_Smith_W

Let them start their own library. What someone else wants to make available to the public is none of their business.

Just looking at the titles and authors I expect I might not agree with everything that is in those books. That said, if they were looking to galvanize people on this issue, putting out a call to burn books is a good way to do it.

You'd think they might have remembered the lesson on this from 70 years ago.

 

 

 

 

voice of the damned

Not sure why you didn't post a link to the original article, Sineed, but here it is...

http://tinyurl.com/h3bqmgo

 

voice of the damned

Sineed wrote:

Whoops!

Anyway that tiny url link doesn't seem to work. Here is the link:

http://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2017/02/gag-demands-new-womens-library-ban3/

My turn for the whoops. I think it didn't work because the goddam keyboard I was on was giving unsolicited extra servings of "L". I've changed it, but doesn't seem to have made a difference. Anyway, thanks for posting the original.  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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I've changed it, but doesn't seem to have made a difference.

In the interest of you acheiving some closure on this, the problem is that you removed the extra "l" from the link text (title), not the link URL.  FWIW, you could have left it in the text, or even added some more l's -- the text can be anything you wish, but the URL has to be correct.

If it's any consolation, it must be a common typo.  That's why the link doesn't just return an error ("404 Page Not Found") -- someone bought the domain "tinyurll.com" to catch viewers when it happens.  So you might have helped some guy earn a tenth of a penny.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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they're all the same people acting between groups of differing names. some exploiting others while claiming to be allies.

Do you have anything I could click on here?  Still not quarrelling.

Truth be told, if the original article hadn't mentioned GAG or anyone else, I'd have probably assumed BLM.  Immediately confrontational, an immediate list of non-negotiable demands, focus on "trans-women" rather than "trans-people", claims of "violence" that don't have anything in common with real violence... where have we all heard this before?

quizzical

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Let them start their own library. What someone else wants to make available to the public is none of their business.

rational people know this.

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Just looking at the titles and authors I expect I might not agree with everything that is in those books.

ive never heard of any of them and now i want to read them all.

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That said, if they were looking to galvanize people on this issue, putting out a call to burn books is a good way to do it.

You'd think they might have remembered the lesson on this from 70 years ago.

no ability to reflect into the rational.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
That said, if they were looking to galvanize people on this issue, putting out a call to burn books is a good way to do it.

Conversely, had they said "We're not here to tell you about books already in your holdings; we just think you should also add THESE books, which we will provide to you free of charge to lend to those interested in reading them" then they'd have certainly put the VWL into "check", if not "checkmate".  How could VWL refuse without becoming the new censors?

I'm comfortable giving GAG tips because it's too late for them to try it.  Meanwhile, let the flames dance.  Nobody must ever read certain ideas, I guess.

 

6079_Smith_W

Oh I didn't say that I wouldn't want to read them (I have read several of those authors), nor that I wouldn't agree with some of it.

I just expect I woulnd't agree with all of it. I think it is actually good to read things you disagree with.

lagatta4

That is sad about BLM in certain places, because it started up against the very extreme violence of police shooting Black people, most often unarmed.

There is an odd antifeminist current among some groups of transpeople. Transpeople do often face discrimination and even extreme violence, but I think it is almost always at the hands of homophobic men.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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That is sad about BLM in certain places, because it started up against the very extreme violence of police shooting Black people, most often unarmed.

And now they're about re-funding the "Asian stage" at Toronto Pride, just as "Gays Against Gentrification" is about making sure women don't read books about feminism in Vancouver.

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There is an odd antifeminist current among some groups of transpeople.

I haven't read anything to make me think that trans-men are among that vanguard.  Which is part of why I always find it fascinating when some "trans" issue is solely about "trans-women".  It sometimes seems to me that trans-men are most interested in living their lives without being bashed or evicted, but trans-women desperately need to tell "cis" women how to do their feminism.

But I'm just a white CAMAB, so don't put too much stock in my opinion.  I'm just CAMABsplaining.  :)

 

6079_Smith_W

I think everyone on the spectrum is dealing with political issues. Particularly now, given C-16, and bathroom laws. The most vocal trans activist I can think of off the top of my head is a man - Patrick Califia.

But of course it makes sense that trans women would concern themselves more with feminist issues. If there seems to be more accusations perhaps it is because both are communities dealing with some oppression, and see each other as oppressors.

That is not the case for the society of men.

And not to re-open that can of worms, but it is not just a one-sided fight, even if I have heard the silencing argument more often on the side of trans issues.

I think the more important thing to remember though is that there are plenty (probably a majority) in both these communities who don't engage in this.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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But of course it makes sense that trans women would concern themselves more with feminist issues.

Fair enough.  But I've never heard of trans-men complaining that "cis" men masculinism excludes them, or that cis-men or cis-women won't have sex with them. 

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If there seems to be more accusations perhaps it is because both are communities dealing with some oppression, and see each other as oppressors.

It would seem that the trans-women community feels that the cis-women community is oppressing them by loaning feminist books.  But I'm not aware of the the cis-women community feeling oppressed by all the trans-women who don't choose to borrow and read them

 

6079_Smith_W

No. But I have read critiques of C-16. But again, that is for another thread. My only point is that this is not just one sided, and more importantly, there are many who do not engage in this fight.

Dictating what books people must read and cannot read is messed up.

 

wage zombie

Trans men benefit from some non-zero amount of male privilege.

I think the people who complain most about not getting laid are the MRAs.

quizzical

what's getting laid got to do with this?

wage zombie

Sorry, I was indulging in Magoo's thread drift.  I'll stop.

quizzical

in this context then i would agree with magoo's premise as i ave heard complaints along those lines

but i don't know about whether mras are getting "laid" or not.

Sineed

Here's a video of these entitled dudes.

https://vimeo.com/202847662

"I'M A WOMAN!!"

Um no dude. No you are not.

6079_Smith_W

According to this they came in and trashed the place and the cops had to be called.

https://purplesagefem.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/queer-fascists-attempt-to...

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sineed wrote:

Here's a video of these entitled dudes.

https://vimeo.com/202847662

"I'M A WOMAN!!"

Um no dude. No you are not.

I really don't care what gender that person self identifies as. What they proved is that they are an agressive asshole. 

quizzical

ya. no. and there was a very familiar face there.

it makes me sick literally

quizzical

i see they're are doing a look over here not there bit of actvity now.

the Van police won't have any of it.

voice of the damned

I'm still trying to figure out what "Buddhism After Patriarchy" has to do with gentrification.

"Yeah, you know how it goes. Starts with college kids coming in to hit the dive bars, then a few trendy clubs open up, then Starbucks moves in, then low-cost housing gets cleared away for yuppie condos, and then before you know it, everyone's sitting around reading counter-phallocentric analyses of the Four Noble Truths."

Sineed

I know, right? It's the same here in the trendy neighbourhoods of Toronto: sky-high real estate prices, and those saffron-robed monks EVERYWHERE.

quizzical

lollol you 2.

i did go look for reviews of the book in question and i found this below as probably where they're pissed at the book. though could be more in the book as what i read is only anothers take on it.

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Second, post-patriarchal Buddhism must be founded on an androgynous model of humanity. By androgyny Gross means affirmation of both maleness and femaleness, not sex neutrality. Androgyny is contrasted with androcentrism, in which femaleness is degraded. Androgyny also differs from sex- neutral models in which femaleness is not recognized as a genuine human norm. In short, androgyny is “both male and female,” but never “neither male nor female” (p. 222). This two-sexed model of humanity, which Gross defines as the “co-humanity” of women and men, is necessary in order to institutionalize gender equality in Buddhism (p. 128). For this reason she is skeptical of feminist spirituality movements founded on goddess worship because of their overemphasis on the female principle and downplay of the male principle (p. 202).

 

Sineed

So the GAG people came back last night and vandalized the library. Pictures taken by Meghan Murphy.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154162920212343&set=pcb.101541...

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154162920212343&set=pcb.101541...

 

 

lagatta4

That is horrible.

6079_Smith_W

Class war? Really? Idiots.

 

quizzical

yup.

as a deflection and to support their bad actions imv they tried to make the case the 2 murders on each end of SP sea wall were due to the stroll.

on the 9th Van police stated bluntly not so.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

reddit.com has a sub-reddit (now on its fourth thread) called "Peak Trans", where redditors are free to share and discuss that moment when they'd officially had just about enough of "front holes", "lady sticks", "SWERF and TERF", "female brain", "the cotton ceiling", etc.

Paladin1

Mr. Magoo wrote:

reddit.com has a sub-reddit (now on its fourth thread) called "Peak Trans", where redditors are free to share and discuss that moment when they'd officially had just about enough of "front holes", "lady sticks", "SWERF and TERF", "female brain", "the cotton ceiling", etc.

 

I read this fast and wondered what the hell steak and lobster had to do with books being burned. Followed the link, ended up clicking on a story about a gay man making people angryby recreating the naked pose Beyonce did when pregnant.  I don't even know.

Sineed

Mr. Magoo wrote:

reddit.com has a sub-reddit (now on its fourth thread) called "Peak Trans", where redditors are free to share and discuss that moment when they'd officially had just about enough of "front holes", "lady sticks", "SWERF and TERF", "female brain", "the cotton ceiling", etc.

That same subreddit has a thread where they raised over $5,000 (Canadian) in defense of this library.

https://www.reddit.com/r/GenderCritical/comments/5s8je1/help_protect_van...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Nice to see.  A hundred dollars to scrape off the graffiti, and $4900 to scrape it off the next 49 times GAG repeats it.

quizzical

....got lost in the reddit world...

 

lagatta4

It is very sad, as transpeople face very serious issues of discrimination and horrific levels of violence, but those are not inflicted by lesbians or radical feminists. Usually by homophobic men.

No lesbian (or any woman) is obligated to have sex with someone who is physically male, and hell, nobody is obligated to have sex with anyone of any biological sex or chosen-self-identified gender. I really hope that this situation can be resolved, as it is getting toxic.

6079_Smith_W

lagatta4 wrote:

No lesbian (or any woman) is obligated to have sex with someone who is physically male, and hell, nobody is obligated to have sex with anyone of any biological sex or chosen-self-identified gender.

That accusation came up awhile ago, and I looked to find any evidence of truth to it. There isn't, that I could find. It is a made up story about a workshop attended by six people at which they discussed problems with body image, not how they could badger women into having sex with them.

It is an example of the other side of this bitter divide.

quizzical

try again smith.

6079_Smith_W

I will.

Not to make a big deal about of it (because it is not relevant to this attack), but the bit about transwomen trying to badger women into having sex with them is (as far as I can see) a made up story that many have accepted as true. It certainly doesn't justify the attack on this library, nor any of the other attacks and attempts to silence feminists.

Don't take my word for it; I would advise people to check that story out for themselves. I am just telling you what I found when I started looking. No one's position is helped by false information.

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