Queer fascists attempt to ban feminist books from a women’s library

Women in Vancouver have created a women’s library to promote writing by women authors and “continue the legacy of women-run bookstores.” The library is run by women volunteers. Despite the fact that they announce themselves as queer-positive right on their website, with a “queer space” sign and a notice that the library is for “all self-identified women and girls,” a group of “radical queers” have launched an attack against the library.

Guerrilla Feminist Collective reports the following intimidation tactics used at the library:

“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.

Women were shamed and blamed for calling the police, for fearing for theirs and others’ safety. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. All battered women will be familiar with these tactics. When we pointed out how we were physically barred then pushed from entering the space, and how threatening that felt, protesters wanted to know how we’d gender the person, rather than discuss the ethics of violence at hand.

Despite clearly stated goals (creation of women’s space for women’s work and dialogue), inclusion (all women), transparency of funding (self & UBC women’s centre), hard work (unpaid), and initiative (frankly brilliant caring GOODNESS of heart, seeking to create A WOMEN’S LIBRARY) the organizers were demonized, targeted, lied about, and all but burnt at the stake.

Ridiculous demands were made, such as the stepping down of founding member Emily (for having volunteered at and supporting a shelter for women fleeing male violence), creation of a board of directors (must everything be Mc-incorporated?), and the removal of certain books (fascism 101).”

The group Gays Against Gentrification (GAG) released a list of demands for the library on Facebook. I’m not sure if the people who showed up at the library are the same people who wrote this list of demands, but they certainly are using similar intimidation tactics.

The group GAG uses the slurs “TERF” and “SWERF” to intimidate and silence women who speak out about the harms of gender and the sex trade. The function of these words is to shut down conversations about women’s oppression. They can be applied to absolutely anyone who disagrees with the queer/liberal party line. Even women with direct experience in the sex trade can be called “SWERF,” despite the fact that it makes no sense that a woman could be “excluding” herself from her own analysis of the harms of the sex industry that she experienced.

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.

Their wording gets so over-the-top at times it almost looks like a parody:

“TERFs and SWERFs are complicit in violence against sex workers and trans women and it is imperative that we do not let this violence go unnoticed. The same ideology and praxis of hate is present and replicated in right-wing/alt-right/neo-nazi organizing. TERFs and SWERFs organize for the same violent policies and work in partnership with right-wing hate groups to replicate settler-colonial white-supremacist constructions of cisheteropatrarchy that outright reject, erase, and deny IBPOC sovereignty, body sovereignty, and all peoples that do not fit under euro-centric nativism.”

It would seem that GAG believes that women who lend out books written by women are literal Nazis who are enacting white supremacy and patriarchy. It’s very clear that the goal of “radical queers” is to shut down feminism by harassing women and making feminist analysis of women’s oppression impossible to share. “Radical queers” are therefore obviously an anti-feminist hate group. The idea that feminists have the material power in society to inflict violence on large groups of people is completely laughable. There is not a single radical feminist in a position of power in government or the private sector, and there are very few left in the academy. In addition, physical violence is not a tactic that any feminist groups are advocating for. If recent history tells us anything about feminist organizing, we like to knit cute hats and even in crowds of thousands of women there is no violence reported at all.

GAG provided a list of the feminist books they believe should be banned from the women’s library. Here is the list:

-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
This is simply a list of writing by radical feminists who expose the harms of gender and the sex industry. I have read two books from this list: Female Sexual Slavery and Pornography: Men Possessing Women. These are excellent books that I highly recommend. The only people these books could possibly be considered “hateful” towards are the men who abuse women.
It’s really surreal to me that anti-feminists are cloaking themselves in the language of social justice and calling themselves “queer.” Feminism should be a necessary part of anyone’s social justice program, and queer used to mean homosexual but is now a set of extremely anti-feminist politics that is quite hostile toward lesbians. Strange world we’re living in.
I would suggest that my readers put at least one of these books in their 2017 reading list. These are obviously very powerful books that make anti-feminists boiling mad, so they must be good! And of course, if you are in a position to support the Vancouver Women’s Library in any way, please do. Solidarity, sisters!

66 thoughts on “Queer fascists attempt to ban feminist books from a women’s library

  1. Pingback: how do queer fascists exist? | spoondrift

  2. What about Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine? Surely Fine’s solid debunking of the concept of “male” and “female” brains should make her book a must-read for all of us TERFs.

    Liked by 11 people

  3. I find it ironic that people who fight to be accepted AS women (MtFs) are protesting women for being “trans-exclusive.” If MtFs ARE women, then where’s the exclusion?
    I also find it ironic that protesters like these will cry “fascism,” then attempt to physically control and silence dissenting opinions (a hallmark of fascism)!
    I find it even MORE ironic that they’re protesting a BOOKSTORE when they OBVIOUSLY haven’t READ enough to know what wonderful work radical feminists have done to help and protect women by offering them shelter and help out of violent situations, health education and birth control, legal representation, and help in the fight for equal pay!!

    Absolutely maddening but thanks for the post!

    P.S. Congrats on being featured by DGR on FB! Good work!

    Liked by 11 people

  4. Nearly all exited prostituted women who speak out are labelled as serfs. I been accused as exited woman of being a traitor,that my work is killing those in the sex trade – not the sex trade profiteers and punters. This implies exited are self-hating, which is easy to do when we constantly are dealing with extreme trauma. I am so furious but exhausted by this stupidity.

    Liked by 14 people

    • That’s just sad and I’m very sorry that happened to you. I used to read blogs from women and one man who exited the sex trade a few years ago and many of them received similar hatred. When I was an undergrad, some of my friends were socialists who thought that prostitution would be ethical if the prostitutes were unionized. None of them had ever been prostitutes and as far as I know none of them were johns or knew anyone personally who had been a prostitute. Now, looking on social media, they are all on board the SWERF and TERF train and they like to protest or try to ban anyone who is remotely critical of the sex industry. The really weird thing is some of them consider themselves to be asexual, but now they’re going around and calling anyone who doesn’t think the sex industry is a fantastic a “prude”. We’re not friends anymore.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I’m asexual and our community has been badly harmed by sex pozzis unfortunately, leaving people terrified of being called a prude if they say anything sex critical, and of having their sexuality called into question (‘you’re not asexual you’re just uptight about sex’). There is a pushback against the sex pozzis but it’s difficult. I think for us, sex just isn’t charged with the same significance as it seems to be for sexual people either, especially for those not sex repulsed, making it seem more remote and hard to understand, and since we don’t understand it’s hard to know what to do other than take sexual people at their word without question, and if said sexual people are insisting it’s fine… I’m inclined to think in a non-patriachal society without the messed up power dynamics my only thought about sex would be ‘meh, what’s the point?’.

        Liked by 2 people

      • @Cassandra

        I agree; I really think they missed the point of socializism. My ex-friends used to advocate for labor unions and raising the minimum wage, but now it’s all queer cult all the time.


        That’s sad, but I’m not surprised. The sex pozzies do a lot of damage. When I first heard the “sex positive” term, it was from people who were opposed to the ineffective abstinence-only education in the United States and instead thought everyone had a right to know about contraception and real facts about STDs instead of just scare tactics. Now, it’s all about promoting promiscuity, by which I mean brainwashing women into going along with every sick fetish a man can come up with in order to be “cool”. This also includes avoiding using protection.

        Interestingly, I’ve seen a lot of “demisexual” people lately. I do not think they are actually asexual. They do have sex and/or sexual desires but just aren’t into promiscuity or crazy fetishes. I think that the “demisexual” thing is an attempt to avoid being criticized by the sex pozzies.

        Liked by 3 people

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  6. I hope that everyone realizes how queer/transactivists/MRA extremists s have completely jumped the shark with this assault on feminists and especially lesbians and that their ilk will be disavowed by anyone taking to heart liberation from gender strictures and freedom of speech.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. They also should have added Gender Hurts and Unpacking Queer Politics, both by Sheila Jeffreys. These folks didn’t make a very comprehensive list. It’s almost like they aren’t experts on radical feminism or something…

    Liked by 10 people

  8. I read Of Woman Born, Gyn/Ecology, and Against Sado-Masochism a very long time ago and I really liked them. I might wonder if they were a bit dated in their analysis, but apparently not if they’re being banned. I’m intrigued by the Buddhist and Islamic titles and will look into them further. Does this library have a copy of Female Erasure, edited by Ruth Barrett, which came out a few months ago? It might be timely for them to get a copy. Anyone in B.C. done reading it?

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I also find it interesting that the Gag group defined TERF as a group that is exclusionary of “trans women” but not trans men. It seems the acronym needs to be changed to reflect that: Trans Women Exclusive Radical Feminists. I’m kidding, of course, and hate the term. If we’re going for accuracy, maybe Misogynist Exclusive Radical Feminists is more appropriate…but I guess that’s a little redundant. Blah. :/

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m seeing some parallels with the pressure against the Working Class Movement Library because of Julie Bindel’s speaking engagement. Targeting libraries and books is a classic fascist move. Will donate to both come payday.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Thank you so much for this!

    These men and their women collaborators’ hatred of real women and of our international Feminist community and culture could not be clearer. They want us dead and gone, and for them to be the “real women.” They want to destroy our history and for women to be able to learn, share information and organize, and what better way to do this than to try to destroy a women’s library?

    It’s not a coincidence that they are going after classic Lesbian Feminist books, but also the feminist book Against Sado-masochism. There is a deep connection and overlap between genderqueer, the trans cult and sado-masochists.

    We can only hope that this backfires on them all since women on the fence, trying so hard to please the men posing as women, have to get fed up with the obvious female-hating.

    I hope too that feminists realize that trying to placate these men, calling them “transwomen,” trying to include them in women’s events, etc. only makes it worse. Nothing will satisfy them, and trying to only encourages them to be more aggressive. They are men. Saying no is scary, but it’s the only choice we have.

    But why did they leave Dykes-Loving-Dykes off the list when we were among the first to write against the trans cult in 1973?

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Why were you even slightly conciliatory to these pricks in the 1st place? We all know that we can never give them enough; not only do they want our knickers, bras & frocks, but also our spaces as well. And when will they realise that we don’t consider TERF an insult?


  13. It’s really a shame that after all this time some women who consider themselves feminists are just waking up to the interlocking agenda of the Heterosexual Men’s Rights Activists and the Gay Men’s Rights Activists. Where were these “feminists” when these men and their female ancillaries like Barbara Findlay: https://thetyee.ca/News/2007/02/03/Nixon/ tried to destroy feminist initiatives like the Vancouver Rape Relief Shelter and they have long done with growing success across the country. They have since rewritten history portraying themselves the victims – as usual, but this propaganda has been going on for decades, especially around the issues of prostitution and pornography, which the gay patriarchy defends just as much as the het patriarchy. They have long attacked pioneering feminists like MacKinnon, Barry, Dworkin, et al as puritans, homophobes, etc while their female supporters joined the witch-hunt. And now they’re surprised?

    Liked by 2 people

    • For quite a while I have been confused by women (usually heterosexual women, but every once in a while a lesbian) who think that gay men have some magical inability to be misogynistic just because they don’t want to fuck women. The reality is they don’t. Just like the majority of het men, most gay men want to keep women as second-class citizens.

      Good point about how gay patriarchy loves porn just as much a het patriarchy.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. From the Guerrilla Feminist Collective write-up, this jumped out at me:

    “When we pointed out how we were physically barred then pushed from entering the space, and how threatening that felt, protesters wanted to know how we’d gender the person, rather than discuss the ethics of violence at hand.”

    What were you wearing?
    How much did you have to drink?
    Did you misgender the person?

    Liked by 3 people

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