A note on Bob Jensen

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In light of his recent article about trans women, the MonkeyWrench Books collective has decided to cut all ties with Bob Jensen. We are greatly opposed to what Jensen has written, given that he has been a supporter of the Wrench since the store's inception. MonkeyWrench Books wants to communicate loud and clear that we are vehemently opposed to transphobia / transmisogyny in all its forms and strive to be a safe space for all, including the trans community.  
Anti-trans violence is real. While Jensen's article does not specifically advocate for physical violence against trans women, his statement both attempts to erase the experiences of trans folks and contributes to a dangerous culture of transphobia. Trans people of color in particular are on the receiving end of physical violence. People of color, transgender people, and gender non-conforming people experienced the highest rates of homicide in 2012. During June 2014 alone, four trans women of color alone were targeted and murdered in different parts of the U.S. because they were trans.

The MonkeyWrench Books Collective will not contribute to a culture that endangers the lives of trans people, consistently misgenders them, and excludes their participation as full human beings in any and all spaces. Though Jensen has been an active supporter of our store for many years, we do not agree with his perspective regarding the trans community and the transphobia evident in the article he authored. 
Some members of the collective have only know Jensen from a distance, others have had very few interactions with him, while others have a working relationship with him that spans years. A number of current and former collective members who have been involved with the store for several years had some awareness regarding Jensen's analysis on this issue. We regret our inability to look deeper into this matter and be decisive on our relationship with him sooner. We would like to turn a new leaf and move forward with a stronger sense of what we're trying to accomplish as a community space.

The Monkeywrench Books Collective would like to be clear on the following things:

  • The Collective has agreed to end its relationship with Robert Jensen. This means that we will not carry his books and that he will not be invited to speak at our store and/or to partner with us on events.
  • The book, We Are All Apocalyptic Now, mentioned in the "About The Author" section under his recent article, was a collaborative project between Robert Jensen and MonkeyWrench Books. We were approached by Jensen about putting Monkeywrench Books' name on the book and donating the first run for us to sell. We agreed. We now ask that Jensen remove our name from all future copies of the book.
While we acknowledge that it is impossible to create an entirely safe space, we will do what is in our power to create a store environment that mitigates the effects of the intersecting systems of oppression that influence our lives.
the MonkeyWrench Books Collective

Some background:
A critique of Robert Jensen and Lierre Keith in the aftermath of their intervention at Joelle Ruby Ryan's talk on the effects of pornography on the trans community at the Pornography as Sexual Violence conference in 2010. Skip to the end for the bit about Jensen, specifically. 

Outside: An Exodus From Patriarchy On The Backs Of Women


Jensen's recent article:
Some Basic Propositions About Sex, Gender, And Patriarchy

A rebuttal of Jensen's recent article:
Gender and Sexual Diversity - Dexter M. Thomas

Suggested Readings:


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