A censorship row has erupted after a public library was accused of treating gender-critical books the same as Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
Calderdale in West Yorkshire has become the focus point of the latest cancel culture debacle after a library service in the Labour-run borough barred certain books from being promoted in displays.
The decision was taken in an attempt to protect the public from offence.
Half a dozen books discussing the dangers of puberty blockers and gender reassignment surgery were hidden from public view by local librarians, The Telegraph has revealed.
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Kathleen Stock’s Material Girls, Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, Helen Joyce’s Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality and Janice Raymond’s Doublethink: A Feminist Challenge to Transgenderism were all blocked from featuring in the display.
Trigger Warning: My Lesbian Feminist Life by Sheila Jeffreys and Transgender Body Politics by Heather Brunskell-Evans make up the other two books censored in Calderdale.
Hitler’s manifesto, penned in 1925 before he later became Germany’s Nazi dictator, is also being hidden from display.
Calderdale Council has not previously taken such measures to conceal books, excluding one occasion when “a copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf was moved to our stores following complaints from some customers some years ago”.
Kathleen Stock's Material Girls was included in the half a dozen books
Joyce, the author of one of the six gender-critical books, told The Telegraph: “I was disgusted, but not surprised, to discover that the only previous example Calderdale Libraries could give of hiding away a ‘toxic’ book concerned Hitler’s manifesto, Mein Kampf.
“Its senior staff have apparently surrendered to the demands of trans ideologues to such an extent that when a crybully threw a strop about a top ten bestseller on the subject of women’s, children’s and gay people’s human rights, they agreed to treat that book as if it was Nazi propaganda.”
It has been reported that Calderdale Council officers have recommended reinstating the six books but continue to suggest that they should not be “promoted” as part of special display.
Libraries have tended to include pro-LGBT+ books on their displays, particularly during Pride month.
A copy of Mein Kampf signed by Adolf Hitler which was sold at Mullock's Specialist Auctioneers at Ludlow
It was understood the local chapter of the Women’s Rights Network will contest a campaign against gender-critical titles “singled out” because of concerns they could be found to be offensive.
The censorship row erupted after staff were left divided on the issue.
An internal HR grievance was lodged in January regarding gender-critical books being on display.
A subsequent complaint by staff put pressure on the council to reinstate the literature.
Trans rights protestors counter-protest a Let Women Speak rally in Belfast
Calderdale Council undertook a review of its policies following the outcry.
The local authority accepted it needed to balance concerns against “acute vulnerability”.
Ian Day, the council’s director for public service, conceded the books are likely “to cause offence to some people” but added that the titles do not reach “the threshold required to interfere with legal rights such as the right of freedom of expression”.
He recommended that the council decide to reinstate books, with the proviso that they are not promoted.