To the Editor:On August 9, 2022, a special school board meeting was held to gather public comment and vote on the inclusion of Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe. This meeting was the culmination of a months-long campaign by community members to have the book removed on the basis that it was filth. Obscene. Depending on who was talking, they’d even say it was pornographic. This is quite an accusation, as it implies that the people in charge of allowing such materials into the library are guilty of exposing children to pornography. But this charge is revealed as a fabrication by the behavior of the very people making it.I ask you: If Gender Queer is truly pornography, and must be removed from the high school library, why should it be allowed in the public library? Why should it be allowed to be stocked and sold in bookstores? If it’s truly as foul and irredeemably obscene as its opponents claim in their heated rhetoric, why should it be allowed in any child’s collection?

The truth is that Gender Queer, though provocative, has as its primary purpose the expression of emotional and aesthetic ideas, not the sexual arousal of its reader. Anybody who has read it with clear eyes can see this to be so. And those who would have it removed have never managed to articulate why precisely they disagree. The identification of their true motives is left as an exercise for the reader.

Benjamin WhitmanCanton

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