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Fri Jan 10, 2020, 11:26 PM

Amid outcry, Seattle Public Library weighs decision to provide venue for 'radical feminist' event cr

Community members including transgender locals and trans allies have inundated the Seattle Public Library with calls and emails, asking the library system to cancel an upcoming event hosted by the Women’s Liberation Front— a self-described “radical feminist organization” that has publicly espoused what critics call anti-trans views.

The group’s event, titled “Fighting the New Misogyny: A Feminist Critique of Gender Identity,” is publicized as “a critical analysis of gender identity” that will “make powerful arguments for sex-based women’s rights,” according to the event page. The event, scheduled to be held Feb. 1 in the Microsoft Auditorium at the Seattle Public Library’s Central Library, has placed the library at the center of a firestorm over how it can maintain its commitment to evolving ideas of intellectual freedom, provide access to information for the entire community, and be an inclusive space where all patrons feel safe and welcome.

Marcellus Turner, chief librarian for the Seattle Public Library (SPL), said in a statement that the event request from the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) was initially processed because it was labeled as a women’s-rights talk.

Since then, SPL has heard from patrons insisting the event be canceled due to the speakers’ views, as well as from patrons insisting the library has a duty to protect free speech and should allow the event.

“Controversial groups like these can test our limits as democratic centers of free speech and intellectual freedom, as well as our limits as a united community and organization,” Turner wrote. “I hope you can recognize the difficult situation this has created for us.”

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/amid-outcry-seattle-public-library-weighs-decision-to-provide-venue-for-radical-feminist-event-criticized-as-anti-trans/

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