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CanadaFeminist speaker deemed ‘anti-trans’ by critics to speak at Vancouver Public Library Thursday

11:41  11 january  2019
11:41  11 january  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Feminist views on transgender topics range from accepting to critical . Some feminists such as Judith Butler and Jack Halberstam believe that transgender and transsexual people challenge repressive

One day after a controversial feminist is set to speak at an event at the Vancouver Public Library , a local feminist organization will hold an LGBT–inclusive event to discuss how groups disguise hate speech within seemingly progressive language.

Feminist speaker deemed ‘anti-trans’ by critics to speak at Vancouver Public Library Thursday© Global News Meghan Murphy.

Protesters gathered outside the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) central branch on Thursday in opposition to a controversial speaker that critics say is "anti-trans."

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Self-described radical feminist Meghan Murphy, founder of the online publication Feminist Current, is holding a talk billed as a discussion on "Gender identity ideology and women's rights."

Murphy has been permanently banned from Twitter, allegedly for questioning whether people can change their biological sex, and has argued that "men aren't women."

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VANCOUVER —The Vancouver Public Library (VPL) is facing public criticism from trans -rights advocates for booking an event featuring a writer known for questioning trans identities. Meghan Murphy, founder of the website Feminist Current, will give a talk on “gender identity

Vancouver Public Library (VPL) spokesperson Carol Nelson said she had not yet checked the VPL’s booking records, but that if Murphy said the event “I think what they’re really doing is drumming up more public support for me and for other women who are trying to speak about this issue,” she said

READ MORE: Trans advocates want VPL to scrap event featuring controversial feminist

Those positions have drawn condemnation from LGBTQ groups and supporters who have labelled her a TERF (trans-exclusive radical feminist), and who argue her views have no place in a public library.

Demonstrators with the group Coalition Against Trans Antagonism say the content of the event "promotes fear, discrimination, and hatred toward trans people and sex workers."

The Library's refusal to cancel the event, they argue, "demonstrates [its] complicity with those espousing hate speech — under the guise of feminism — and specifically, hatred towards trans people and sex workers."

Murphy, for her part, says the event is sold out, indicating public interest in her opinions.

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Numerous feminist movements and ideologies have developed over the years and represent different viewpoints and aims. Some forms of feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white, middle class, and college-educated perspectives.

Allen had contacted over 20 trans activists to speak at the event, including Paris Lees and CN Lester. By painting feminist speech as dangerous and bigoted, trans activists have set up a political defense of male A century after women fought for their right to participate in public life, they are

"Despite bullying from trans activists who tried very hard to have the event cancelled and who have engaged in abhorrent and astonishing libel against the speakers as well as attendees, this event is still going on," she posted on her Facebook page Thursday.

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"What is clear is that people want to have this conversation, and are not going to be intimidated into silence."

The VPL's chief librarian, Christina de Castell, did initially agree to an on-camera interview, but cancelled when Global News refused to provide questions in advance — a violation of its journalistic principles and practices.

The VPL instead issued a statement, writing, "This is an incredibly difficult situation and one that public libraries struggle with every day."

In a previous statement, de Castell said the VPL has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not agree with Feminist Current's views, but is committed to free speech and intellectual freedom, and that the library had no standing to cancel the event.

It's a stance backed by the BC Civil Liberties Association, which argued that libraries should not be moderating political opinions.

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"The library is doing the right thing here," said BCCLA policy director Michael Vonn.

"Their mandate is intellectual freedom and that includes very controversial topics."

Opponents of the event scheduled their protest for 8:30 p.m. Murphy's talk is scheduled for 9:30 p.m.

— With files from Robin Gill

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