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October 7, 2002


by Feòrag

Canadian authorities have seized copies of a novel by British lesbian author Charlotte Cooper because they find a consensual fisting scene between two women to be obscene. Even though the law allows material of artistic merit, and the novel has received critical acclaim, the publishers face a long legal battle to get the work released for sale.

Canada has an allegedly feminist definition of obscenity, but so far, the law has been applied mainly against feminist and lgbt bookshops and small publishers:

You might be surprised to find that a lot of literary fiction depicting peculiar sex acts and/or violence is allowed into Canada, including novels such as 'American Psycho' and 'Porno,' by Irvine Welsh. Moreover, books that have the protection of large corporate publishers and their lawyers also manage to sneak in. Canada Customs just seems to have a problem with the smaller scale stuff that deals with queer sex, and because independent gay and lesbian bookshops sell a lot of sex-related matter, they get picked on the most. For example, for a long time every shipment of books Little Sister's bookshop in Vancouver ordered was scrutinised by the authorities and material seized - including safe sex information. The shop is now involved in a long-running legal battle to overturn Canada Customs' censorship policies.

Cherry Seized in Canada - Press release from Charlotte Cooper, September 2002.

Posted in Hypocrisy at 22:24. Last modified on March 11 2009 at 12:12.
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