“Transmania” the book whose advertisements are banned by the Paris town hall

18 April 2024 / Radouan Kourak

A recent decision by Paris City Hall to censor a newly published book, entitled Transmania by Magnus Editions, sparked a wave of indignation and criticism. This action raises fundamental questions about freedom of expression and the role of the municipality in the debate of ideas.

This book, co-written by Marguerite Stern and Dora Moutot, analyzes the implications of transgender ideology in contemporary society. However, Paris City Hall reacted vehemently to the promotion of this work, describing its content as “hate speech” against transgender people.

The controversy reached its climax when the Town Hall demanded the immediate withdrawal of the posters advertising the book, distributed by the private poster company JCDecaux, under the pretext that they conveyed a transphobic message. This intervention was seen as a form of censorship, calling into question the right to free expression and criticism of ideas.

At the center of this affair is Emmanuel Grégoire, the first deputy of the Paris City Hall, who played a crucial role in the decision to censor the book. Grégoire publicly condemned the content of the book, declaring that “transphobia is a crime” and demanding the removal of the offending advertising posters.

This incident highlights the transparent commitment of Paris City Hall on the gender issue, illustrated by the action of the same Emmanuel Grégoire. A few months ago, the elected official called for censorship of the cover of the magazine L'incorrect on newsstands in Paris, entitled “Trans: guinea pig children”. This approach highlights a clear bias.

In parallel, Paris City Hall regularly displays family planning advertisements featuring pregnant men, an initiative that reinforces its stated support for gender issues. However, the municipality's refusal to engage in an open debate on these issues and its propensity to systematically censor any dissenting voice call into question its commitment to true freedom of expression and pluralism of opinions in the public space.

The reaction from the Magnus publishing house was not long in coming. Denouncing the pressure exerted by certain activists, she highlighted the dangers of transgender ideology, while defending the rigor of her investigation. For Magnus, the censorship orchestrated by Paris City Hall represents a fundamental attack on freedom of expression and capitulation to the demands of a minority.

This case reveals the growing tensions around issues of gender and freedom of expression in French society. While some applaud City Hall's decision as a necessary step to protect the rights of transgender people, others condemn it as an intrusion into public debate and a form of thought policing.