Six feminists who have clashed with transgender activists were slated to appear at the New York Public Library for "An Evening With Cancelled Women"—a name alluding to the fate some of them say they've suffered on social media and in public life.
But the library has cancelled the event on cancelling, according to organizer Natasha Chart.
"We had an uncontested hold on the room, the rental fee was ready, it seemed like it would be fine," she wrote on Twitter. "The day before the deposit was due, and after about a week of very slow responses assuring me that the contract was in process, the New York Public Library rejected our booking."
The library gave no reason for the cancelation, and it did not respond to Reason's request for comment.
The speakers—Chart, Dominique Christina, Libby Emmons, Linda Bellos, Meghan Murphy, and Posie Parker—were eventually able to secure an alternative location. But the library is public property, and should generally be open for rental to all. Librarians may place certain restrictions on use of the location, but they cannot discriminate against viewpoints they find problematic or obnoxious. To do otherwise is to violate the First Amendment.
Indeed, the very point of a library is to be a gathering space for people who wish to read, learn, and to discuss.
The alternative event is tonight. "We are now living in a time of vicious backlash against feminism," writes the organizer. "A growing wave of misogyny from the Left is celebrating prostitution, normalizing sexual sadism, re-stigmatizing lesbians, and gleefully erasing women in language and law. The consequences to anyone who speaks out are swift and severe, from deplatforming to death threats. Canceled Women will feature an evening of women who have refused to be silenced by the authoritarian Left."
I'm sure that many libertarians will disagree with many things the speakers have to say. But they have the right to say it—even in the library.