The Free Speech Union says Mighty Ape’s decision to ban books on trans gender issues shows contempt towards New Zealanders and our ability to arrive at informed opinions. It has today written a public letter to the company’s founder calling for the decision to be reversed.
The point of non-fiction is to have an exchange of ideas which can extend our knowledge. The avenue for criticism should not be ignorant calls to ban but thought-provoking reviews and counterarguments. The right to examine ideas and critique them is the bedrock of an open, diverse, and tolerant society.
Allowing veto by threat over which books we may be permitted to read is not acceptable, and is what one expects of an authoritarian anti-democratic regime, not from major booksellers.
We are amazed to see a Waikato University lecturer quoted publicly in support of the ban, despite acknowledging that she hasn’t even read the books. This is literally judging a book by its cover. For an academic to claim a text ‘promotes fear and hatred of transgender people’ (as was quoted by Stuff) when she hasn’t even read the text, is pathetic.