A Barcelona school has removed 200 children's books it considers sexist including Little Red Riding Hood and the story of the legend of Saint George, from its library.
The TÓber school's infant library of around 600 children's books was reviewed by the Associaciˇ Espai i Lleure as part of a project that aims to highlight hidden sexist content . The group reviewed the characters in each book, whether or not they
speak and what roles they perform, finding that 30% of the books were highly sexist, had strong stereotypes and were, in its opinion, of no pedagogical value.
According to Associaciˇ Espai i Lleure, if young children see "strongly stereotypical" depictions of relationships and behaviours in what they read, they will consider them normal. Anna Tutzˇ, a parent who is on the commission that
reviewed the books, told El PaÝs that "society is changing and is more aware of the issue of gender, but this is not being reflected in stories". Masculinity is associated with competitiveness and courage, and "in violent
situations, even though they are just small pranks, it is the boy who acts against the girl", which "sends a message about who can be violent and against whom".
The American Library Association (ALA) has released its annual list of most challenged books.
The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom chose the 11 most challenged works among 483 books that were either banned or restricted from public access in 2018.
Here is the complete list for 2018 and the reasons why the works were challenged --
George by Alex Gino -- The book, which was written for elementary-age children in 2015, was found offensive as its protagonist was a transgender child. Most recently, the Wichita, Kansas, school system decided to ban the book from the
district libraries citing that the work had references and language that wasn't appropriate for schoolchildren. The book also made it to ALA's list in 2016 and '17. The work is also believed to "encourage children to clear browser history
and change their bodies using hormones."
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller -- The best-selling parody by John Oliver, which was written by "Last Week Tonight" staffer Jill Twiss, was in response to the book "Marlon Bundo's
Day in the Life of the Vice President" by Charlotte Pence, Vice President Mike Pence's daughter. The work pictured Pence's pet rabbit as gay and also criticized the family's conservative social viewpoint.
Captain Underpants series, written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey -- The 10-part series revolves around two young boys creating a superhero. A complaint was filed against the book with the Office for Intellectual Freedom stating that the
language used in it was not appropriate for the targeted age group. The book also allegedly promoted "disruptive behavior.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas -- The novel, which revolves around the life of a young girl who became an activist after her unarmed friend was killed by a police officer, was deemed "anti-cop." A complaint was filed against
the book for explicit language and featuring drug use.
Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier -- The 2012 graphic novel was banned in school libraries for featuring LGBTQ characters and themes. The work featured in ALA's previous lists for having offensive political viewpoints and
for being sexually explicit.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher -- The work, which was originally published in 2007, came under the scanner after Netflix aired a series with the same name in 2017. The book's depiction of suicide was the primary reason for it being
banned. The book was deemed unsuited for children and teens as it featured drug and alcohol use. It was also challenged for its sexual content.
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki -- The work, which topped ALA's list in 2016, was banned for featuring LGBTQ characters. The book revolves around the life of a teen girl who navigates the start of
adolescence with the help of a female friend. The book was also challenged for drug use, profanity and having sexually explicit themes.
Skippyjon Jones series written and illustrated by Judy Schachner -- The series, which features a Siamese cat that assumes to be a Chihuahua, was criticized for depicting Mexican stereotypes.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie -- The work has featured in ALA's list six times since its publication in 2007 for its sexual references, depiction of alcoholism, bullying and poverty. It was also deemed
sexually explicit and challenged in school curriculums.
This Day In June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten -- The children's picture book about a gay pride parade was challenged for including LGBTQ content.
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan -- The book, which was about two teen boys participating in a 32-hour marathon of kissing in order to set a new Guinness World Record, was considered sexually explicit as the book's cover page has an
image of two boys kissing. It was also banned for the LGBTQ content.
Amazon has banned a book by Tommy Robinson. Mohammed's Koran: Why Muslims kill for Islam which he co-authored with Peter McLoughlin has now been removed from the store. According to McLoughlin the book was removed from the Amazon
database last month, and even second hand versions cannot now be sold. Despite scathing reviews the author said it was the No.1 best-selling exegesis of the Koran.
Amazon joins a long list of internet giants that have banned Tommy Robinson with only YouTube currently giving him a platform.
Robinson has accused major companies and media outlets, including the BBC , of censorship for removing his content which he claims should be protected under freedom of speech. He wrote:
This is the twenty-first century equivalent of the Nazis taking out the books from university libraries and burning them.
A spokesman for Amazon said:
As a bookseller, we provide our customers with access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable. That said, we reserve the right not to sell certain inappropriate content.
It is difficult to see how such censorship will soothe a divided society. Surely it will mean that people leaning towards progressive politics will see less that opposes their viewpoint. But on the other side of the coin decisions like this will
add to the anger of substantial numbers of people sympathetic to Tommy Robinson's views. They will likely feel that the silencing of Tommy Robinson is equivalent to the silencing of his supporters.
Chinese government censors are reading Australian publishers' books and, in some cases, refusing to allow them to be printed in China if they fail to comply with a long list of restrictions.
Publishing industry figures have confirmed that the censors from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People's Republic of China are vetting books sent by Australian publishers to Chinese printing
presses, even though they are written by Australian authors and intended for Australian readers.
Any mention of a list of political dissidents, protests or political figures in China, is entirely prohibited, according to a list circulated to publishers and obtained by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
The list of prohibitions mentions key political incidents, including the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, the pro-democracy protests in 2011 and the 2014 umbrella revolution in Hong Kong. The Tibetan independence movement, Uighur nationalism and
Falun Gong are also taboo subjects.
Mention of all major Chinese political figures, including Mao Zedong and the current president, Mr Xi, and all current members of the Politburo Standing Committee is ruled out, as is a long list of 118 dissidents who are not allowed to be
Most major religions are also on the sensitive list, as well as a long list of Chinese, or former Chinese locations, most relating to current or former border disputes. The printer's guidance says these things can be published after vetting by
Pornography was ruled out entirely, but artistic nudity or sexual acts could be censored in 10 working days.
Printing books, particularly those with colour illustrations, is significantly cheaper in China, so some publishers have little choice but to put them through the government censorship process.
Sandy Grant, of publisher Hardie Grant, said he had scrapped a proposed children's atlas last year because the censors ruled out a map showing the wrong borders.(probably to do with Chinese claims about Taiwan or Tibet). European alternatives
were considered economically unviable.
A printing industry source who works with Chinese presses confirmed that the rules, in theory, had been in place for a long time, but that, all of a sudden they've decided to up the ante. They're checking every book; they're very, very strict at
the moment. I don't know how they're reading every book, but they definitely are, the printer said. The change had happened in the past few months.
Buckling under pressure from enraged Christians, DC Comics has announced that it's pulled the plug on a planned series called Second Coming , in which Jesus returns as a superhero.
About 233,000 people signed a petition saying:
Can you imagine the media and political uproar if DC Comics was altering and poking fun at the story of Muhammad -- or Buddha?
This blasphemous content should not be tolerated. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. His story should not be ridiculed for the sake of selling comic books.
The plot summary for the first issue, previously sated for March, said:
Witness the return of Jesus Christ, as He is sent on a most holy mission by God to learn what it takes to be the true messiah of mankind by becoming roommates with the world's favorite savior: the all-powerful superhero Sun-Man, the Last Son of
Krispex!. But when Christ returns to Earth, he's shocked to discover what has become of his gospel 203 and now, he aims to set the record straight.
The writers will now offer the series to other publishers.