A ‘Gay Book Ban’ Own Goal

A plague on both your houses. Shakespeare’s famous line about two equally intransigent sides in a dispute could have been written about the imbroglio surrounding Cumberland Council’s recent decision to ban, through its library department, books intended for children about same-sex relationships and practices. Requiring that a title such as This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson, which features an explanation of ‘scat’ (being sexually aroused by faeces), to be physically moved from the Junior Non-Fiction or Young Adult sections to the Adult Non-Fiction section makes perfect sense. Censoring same-sex books intended for adults, though, is discrimination. Gay people are everyday people with a different sexuality. Let them be. And, unlike, transgender ideologues, gay rights campaigners do not ask society to reject biology while advocating the surgical mutilation of  kids.

Need it be said that we live in a liberal democracy, where free speech is the foundation of every good we enjoy. What fevered idiocy entered the heads of the two councillors, and their supporters, who thought that banning books was a good idea? And why did the other councillors support the motion? Did the council not understand that the ban would be – as fast as one can enunciate the word ‘censorship’ – overturned? And did the two councillors not understand that they were giving their purported enemies an open door of such magnitude that a proper scrutiny of transgender ideology in institutions, especially in libraries, can now be defined as bigotry? Tactics and and strategy were obviously entirely absent from their deliberations. With friends like these, as the saying goes.

LGBTQ+ activists, though, in this dispute were not stupid. They espied an opportunity to further entrench their ideology, and they used the primary weapons of transgender ideology: the abuse of language (euphemism and equivocation, in particular) and emotionalism to muddy the waters about what constitutes and defines genuine censorship. There must have been much whooping and hollering among transgender activists at the own goal gifted to them by Cumberland Council.

In reply to the book ban, a number of speakers at a council meeting, including Councillor Linda Scott, who also happens to be the president of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), invoked the expertise and professionalism of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), which issued a statement denouncing the book ban, as a non-partisan arbiter in the culture wars. Citing ALIA as a neutral observer about politics or LGBTQ+ rights, especially transgenderism, is tantamount to asking the Politburo to speak, without fear or favour, about Marxism-Leninism. It’s an utterly captured organisation that is run by people who think the Teals care about the price of electricity, the ABC is apolitical, and the male vagina actually exists. There are more rainbow and trans flags, per capita, in libraries than at the Sydney Gay Pride Mardi Gras.

On any contentious issue, you can guess, without asking, where ALIA stands – just think of the latest left-wing cause de jour, and bingo, there’s your answer. But on the serious issue of censorship, libraries are not the bastions of free speech that ALIA, with a heavy heart and a plaintive look, would like to portray. I should know, I’ve worked in libraries for over twenty years, and I’ve witnessed, with my own eyes, censorship being practised by library staff – censorship which was condoned, or, at the very least, covered up by library management (the majority of whom are members of ALIA), because they empathised with the jejune enthusiasm and ethical reasoning of the staff involved in banning books critical of woke politics and especially of transgender ideology.

That’s the only rational explanation for the librarians’ response to staff cancelling reservations, deliberately mis-shelving books, hiding books, physically removing books from the library, and ultimately, deleting books from the library catalogue. (I suspect that titles which don’t meet the dictates of Woke ideology are being shadow banned by IT staff in libraries all over Australia). The censored books were Trans: When Ideology meets Reality by Helen Joyce and Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing our Daughters by Abigail Shrier. No stern emails explaining that free speech is the foundational principle of the public library service were sent to staff. The miscreants were not hauled before the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion commissars of the Human Resources Department. The mal-educated, censorious authoritarians were not sanctioned in any way. Each of them, mirabile dictu, are studying to become library technicians and librarians. Their upwardly mobile professional careers continues apace, in other words.

As to the Cumberland Council meeting about the book ban, which can be accessed on the council’s website, it’s a farrago of transgender logical fallacies, circular reasoning, the abuse of language, hyperbolic emotions and name calling. One speaker complains about being misgendered, as if identity politics wasn’t central to the controversy, then invokes freedom, while being oblivious to people’s right to follow their conscience, including the freedom to not believe in transgender ideology.

Another speaker claims that early childhood educators, through their training, which has been captured, like much of psychology, by social justice ideology, (and hence is as unreliable a source as it is possible to cite), know how to educate children. You’d get vertigo while attempting to eat your own head trying to rationalise that logic.

As to the neutrality of ALIA’s statement and it’s commitment to free speech, either the leadership of ALIA is ignorant about politics or they’re playing the public. In their statement, ALIA claims to ‘stand with Equality Australia’, which is another circular argument, because Equality Australia is a political lobby group that advocates for transgender ideology, which is the philosophy at the core of the current controversies. ‘Properly counting’, (as Equality Australia states as one of its goals), LGBTQ+ people in the census, means the institutional embedding of gender ideology in Australia, including the use of pronouns, which, as the UK’s Cass Review states, leads vulnerable children on a pathway to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and life-altering surgery. Once again, we have a circular argument. (We’ll reference you, you’ll reference us, and we’ll both reference them).

Incidentally, the UK government has recently banned civil servants from wearing rainbow lanyards; and is removing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion philosophy from public sector bodies because the UK government claims, correctly, that DEI is politics being introduced ‘by the back door’.

Nobody, apart from an infinitesimally small number of cranks, wants to ban books. All critics of transgender ideology desire is that books are classified as age appropriate. Pretending otherwise is a lie.

18 thoughts on “A ‘Gay Book Ban’ Own Goal

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    The influence of the transgender ideologues is IMHO like unto nothing so much as the noise generated by galahs and white cockatoos, whose screeching is well above their weight division..

    • Patrick McCauley says:

      Black Cockatoos are bigger than the white noisy buggers – who have always reminded me of Minister Bowen. The black cockies with the yellow dot ask a question with their call somehow, though its difficult to decipher the actual question itself.

  • David Isaac says:

    Preventing libraries from stocking smut, whether it’s natural or unnatural, does not amount to banning books. There’s barely a volume which can’t be readily purchased online. The average parent frequenting a library wants to know that it’s safe to let the child browse the shelves without being confronted with some post-modern horror. Of course this is not in accord with the wishes of those who have captured the state, the lords of liberalism. At the very least ‘challenging’ books should be in an AO section.

  • Greg Welsby says:

    Wonderful article. Thanks Declan for deftly charting a principled course through this controversial topic. Wisdom is such a difficult concept for many people to grasp but you exhibit that in spades.

  • ianl says:

    This is a good example of a serious book banned by staff from public libraries:

    The Bell Curve (pb. 1994) – Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, Richard J Herrnstein & Charles Murray

    One should try finding that, or worse, asking for a copy to read, in any public library.

    It’s irrefutable data underscore the reasons that woke circular illogic as outlined in the article here spreads so easily. Kommissar Grant must have read it, surely.

  • kh says:

    You say, “Gay people are everyday people with a different sexuality. Let them be.” I think the issues go much deeper than this and are far more nuanced. We are talking of conduct that until recent decades was widely regarded with revulsion, had been for centuries, and still is in much of the world. Those who advocate for its acceptance have still been unable to establish a durable canon of ethics consistent with that. Our own time may well be looked back on in much the same way that Restoration England was regarded – as a moral low point in public life. I recall after getting lost bushwalking, someone pointed out that, looking back, we had chosen at some point to take what seemed at the time to be the easier path. Sexual propriety has always required a difficult self-control. Perhaps only a few attain that. That would be good reason to not be too condemnatory of those who do not achieve it, but I am not sure that it is sufficient reason to abandon the ideal nor to lower the general tone of public life and so make what is wrong seem less so. We may all have unwholesome impulses at times, but a good person does not roll temptation around in their mouth like a dainty morsel.

    • David Isaac says:

      Well-said.‘ Privacy of the bedroom’ That might be a fair level of tolerance, and was I believe the first claim of the homosexual rights movement some fifty or more years ago. But really, we’re settling in for another whole month of the preposterous pride flags. Crazy.

      • kh says:

        I think we often confuse to separate but related issues. The first is what conduct is wrong and so should be discouraged. The second is how best to discourage it. Today it is regarded as oppressive of practicing homosexuals to express disapproval of their conduct. But that goes to the first question, and we should be free to debate questions of right and wrong without being vilified for holding a different opinion. Whether, how, and to what extent, the criminal process should be used to sanction disapproved conduct is a very different question. We may disapprove of adultery but judge it unwise to criminalise it. One thing it is fair to say however – if homosexual practices are accepted as morally wrong, the state should not be promoting them and at present it does.

    • whitelaughter says:

      Yes. Gay rights is a social *experiment*. And it is an experiment that isn’t working. What are the benefits? None. Costs? Well, the insane rise in STDs is the obvious one. The technocrats forced us to stay 2 metres apart to try and defeat the wuflu. Imagine the outcry if they tried to force gays to stay 2 metres apart to end the spread of HIV!

      • john mac says:

        Exactly , whitelaughter , and the irony is , that Fauxi was the man behind the whole AIDS campaign to legitimize and not stigmatize their behaviour – “AIDS doesn’t discriminate , people do ” Yet the plandemic altered the West egregiously !

  • Jack Brown says:

    “Gay people are everyday people with a different sexuality.”
    As to gay males every one has a mother who dominates his father and the father defers to the mother.
    Every child starts life attached to Mum for survival but by the time they are weaned from her breast a boy needs to detach from her psychologically and align with his father. Nascent straight male infants siblings see no significance in the relationship between Mum and Dad in detaching from Mum but their gay brother does.
    He clings to Mum and on the way to puberty absorbs her disappointment in her choice of partner and her unmet desire for a strong man to come into her and now his life. His straight brothers accept Dad as he is and accept Mum’s love as it is too ie unconditional.
    The gay brother’s need for a strong man in his life comes from his mother and it attracts predatory homosexuals towards him like moths to a flame. This fascination with power underlies the manifestation of BDSM in gay lifestyles and Pride events, almost mainstream there whereas it is only a marginal fetish or fantasy in heterosexual activity as per Fifty Shades of Grey and other female pornographic literature, as per Jordan Peterson’s discussion of this feature
    Everyday people do not engage in public exhibitionism of sexualized power dynamics nor insist books about their sexual behaviours be held by public libraries.
    Lesbians have a more variable story with two main paths. One is an unsatisfactory experience with men and the other main route is via tomboyish. The latter is due to Asperger’s Syndrome which means the girl has an Extreme Male Brain.

    • Patrick McCauley says:

      Apparently the Ancient Greek Gods sentenced the ‘sexually diverse’ people to ‘Eternal Orgasm’ – they were strapped to the cliffs of Lesbos and were heard singing with the whale and the dolphin during full moon nights.

  • William says:

    The comments on this article are interesting and an example that people still (thank God) think.
    I do not completely agree with the premise that banning a gay book about same sex parents is an own goal-so what if the gay activists use it for publicly claiming victimhood? It is about time that ordinary people with standards started to be proud of those standards and develop a spine by saying – no!

    The use of censorship to engage publicity might have worked in the days of Lady Chatterly’s Lover, but there is no disguising the political indoctrination that is going on with the current push – it cannot even be disguised (unlike DH Lawrence) as good literature.

    Why should everybody be confronted with this constant insufferable indoctrination by people pretending that it is normal for two men to have children and that somehow, the interests of the child are not irreparably compromised? (I will not even start on the exploitation of women -often third world-who are rented for the purchase of the child).

    And to distinguish between same sex propaganda and transgender erosion of our culture is to miss the point:the inroads of homosexuality into our culture are part of the same push – transgender ‘rights’ appeared 5 minutes after same sex marriage was ushered in. Both are implementing activism under the guise of ‘rights’ but, in reality, these groups simply serve the purpose of hooks by which the institutions which support our culture can be attacked. Anybody who does not see this has not studied totalitarian governments. The issue is not the issue – it is the attack on our institutions-religion and the family.

    • Max Rawnsley says:

      You said “Both are implementing activism under the guise of ‘rights’ but, in reality, these groups simply serve the purpose of hooks by which the institutions which support our culture can be attacked. Anybody who does not see this has not studied totalitarian governments. The issue is not the issue – it is the attack on our institutions-religion and the family.”

      And I agree, its that simple aka ‘progressivism’ and ‘populism’ nothing live and let live about it. Another victimhood carefully used by political activists.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    My concern with gay ‘marriage’ has always been that it permits the legitimation of two men raising a child who may or may not be the biological offspring of one of them, and the removal of the mother from the familial equation. Similarly with two lesbian women and the denial of the child’s father. Children need to know that they come from two biologically different parents – a man and a woman. The traditional biological family, when it is stable, is the most psychologically sound environment in which to raise a child.

    As for the books – keep ‘woke’ out of the children’s section. Books about gay and trans issues, if they are in the library at all, should be in the adult section. The wider issue to address is that political censorship of books by the ALIA should also be raised regarding the use of taxpayers money for such purposes. Similar to the rorting at the ABC and in other organs of public culture, such as the Australia Council.

    • john mac says:

      I go to whatever library is closest to me in my daily travels in Adelaide and notice a few things ; 1 Libraries are almost 100% female staff , 2, the new books sections are dominated by female authors , and the ones tagged by the staff are almost entirely female writers also , and 3 , the political sections are 90% left leaning . Not to mention that the walls and entrances are full of indigenous/lgbtq/domestic violence posters . Same for any education facility of course , and the correlation between this and the explosion of feminised boys is too obvious . Last weeks Oz in the arts lift-out of the Eight new books reviewed , six were by women . Your present company here appreciated BTW .

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    Thanks too, Declan, for your lively writing. A pleasure to read it.

  • Katzenjammer says:

    “And, unlike, transgender ideologues, gay rights campaigners do not ask society to reject biology while advocating the surgical mutilation of kids.”
    They demand rejection of the biological complementarity of marriage as the keystone of family, With that, they belittle and restructure the foundation of society, equating non-generative mutual masturbation with the single act that perpetuates our species. Gays are perpetual winners of the Darwin award. They claim the goverernment has no right to enter their bedroom, then demand the government enter their bedroom with a marriage certificate. Every child one of them breeds lives in an environment stamped with the subtle influence of foreign adult hormones, and usually required third party intervention to become a human. Gays are an anomoly – their demands should never be permitted to warp the essential threads of civilisation. Aside from that – “Gay people are everyday people with a different sexuality.” if you squint with one eye shut tight.

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