An American academic has riled social media by urging people to steal and burn copies of a book about gender dysphoria, even while conceding that she’s never actually read the allegedly harmful volume.

Grace Lavery, an associate professor of English at UC Berkeley, encouraged her Twitter followers to torch ‘Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters’ by Abigail Shrier, while reminding people to “be safe when you are burning books.”

Since some ppl have misunderstood my tone, and censorship is an important matter and as a public educator I have a duty to be precise, let me clarify:🚫 I do NOT advocate defacing library books.✅ I DO encourage followers to steal Abigail Shrier’s book and burn it on a pyre.

“All you’re doing is removing a commodity from circulation – much as one might destroy a contaminated crop, or take action if a distributor failed to do so,” Lavery wrote. However, the professor cautioned against “defacing library books.”

The message was a “clarification” of an earlier tweet, in which she floated the idea of taking Shrier’s book from libraries and “ripping out the interiors without consent.” The text could then be replaced with “our own propaganda,” the Berkeley academic mused. 

The incendiary suggestion is all the more peculiar because Lavery has openly acknowledged that she’s never read the book in question, and in at least one instance declined to elaborate on which passages were “harmful” to transgenders. 

(1) No, I’ve only read the cover. Did you read the Republican platforms for government in 2016 or 2020? (2) I can’t answer this until we have a common definition of “harm.” Want to give that a go?

Her tweet sparked outrage, with many Twitter users baffled by the notion that an educator would advocate book burning. 

This you?

Revoke professorship immediately.

One observer noted that people who burn books usually don’t have good arguments, to which Lavery replied that she was “joking” but also didn’t understand the taboo about burning books, which are just “commodities.”

Although claiming she tweeted in jest, the professor appears to have spent a considerable amount of time replying to her critics. 

One comment noted the irony that people who warned about ‘Nazis’ for four years are “advocating what real Nazis actually did… burning books.”

Lavery fired back: “not the… worst thing they did tho.”

not the… worst thing they did tho

Shrier’s book has been targeted by activists who claim it is transphobic. Retail giant Target briefly pulled the book from its website after receiving a single anonymous complaint, but then added the volume back to its catalog following a severe online backlash. 

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