‘Gender Queer’ (Still at ImagineIF Library)-To Dismay of Many-Complaints Overlooked by Staff

Portrait of handsome Chinese young man in dark blue leisure suit sitting in armchair and posing against white wall background. Thumbs down to make lose and unacceptable gesture, front view.

Carmen Cuthbertson of Flathead County submitted the following Op-Ed-

I’m beyond frustrated with how the library has handled my book challenge.

The library lays out how a citizen can complain about the material in its collection policy. In October last year, I filled out the required form and handed it in. To this day, nobody at ImagineIf has engaged in a discussion of the issues I raised, among them the concern that Gender Queer is pornographic and not appropriate for the age group the book is officially recommended for, which is grades nine and up.

All I ever hear is once a book is added to the collection, it can’t be removed, except if it is falling apart or nobody has checked it out in a long time.

Why did I fill out the form then? What is the purpose of the complaint form if all library materials, once bought, become unassailable and can’t ever be removed?

The other argument that is used to stop any discussion of Gender Queer is the book’s topic. But the topic alone doesn’t make a book good or bad.

What I’m objecting to is the pornographic nature of the book and the fact that it is in picture form, which makes it accessible to all ages. Whether the image on page 167 shows oral sex between two females and a dildo or oral sex involving a man and a woman is irrelevant. Whether the pedophilic image on page 135 depicts the erotic phantasy of a biological female or a transgender male doesn’t matter.

Let’s stop accusing people of being transphobic, and let’s discuss instead which books are useful and age-appropriate and which ones are inappropriate for the targeted age group and not at all helpful. I maintain that Gender Queer falls in the second category, and that’s why I complained about it.


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