Now, more than ever, it is vitally important to arm ourselves with knowledge against those wishing to keep us in ignorance. As the Hungarian state issues increasingly more restrictive orders to prevent the formal study of gender in educational institutions and even simple lectures including mention of gender roles, we step up our efforts to bring attention to this essential social fact.
This library and the organizations and community it is home to recognize the vital importance of the study of gender. Erasing facts, dismissing science as ideology, ignoring any perspective which does not support your own- these are desperate and despotic actions. Gender studies threatens Fidesz’ Christian-value-based vision for the future- a future that returns us right back to the past!
Although many see gender as a study of how people are different, this science is also a celebration of the basic humanity that we all share. It gives us insight into our own collective and personal identities and capacities, as well as freeing us from the forced binary which is the root of so much oppression and violence.
We are working hard to make this library a functional and open space for gathering knowledge and people together in solidarity in the pursuit of a society based on self-knowledge, liberty and humanity. In this climate of repression, where the government doesn’t want people to even think about gender and the order it imposes on society, the library is home to programs aiming to keep the flame of critical thinking and community education alight. The books show alternative, critical views on social structures including gender, race and class. The point of the library is to stimulate thought, ideas and action to further the progress of society. We will continue to play host to individuals and groups who want to know the facts and theories about gender and social structures despite the intimidation tactics of the state, we will not self-sensor, we will keep the conversation going.
Books are weapons of knowledge, come arm yourself!
*This segment presents the point of view of a foreigner living in Budapest and as such will mainly be of interest to those not already familiar with the current state of intellectual and political activity in Hungary.