November 15, 2016
A clarification from Laurie Stone
by Melville House
Late last month, we wrote about Laurie Stone, a writer who, hours before a scheduled appearance on Columbia University Radio, was told by student producers that she would have to choose between reading a censored version of her work, rescheduling her appearance for a later date (with a different sample of her work to present), and canceling her appearance on the station altogether. The particular sentence from Stone’s fiction that the Columbia students found incendiary (which we considered at length in our original piece) read, “I think women who live in secular countries and conform to religious dress codes make the lives of all women less free and less safe.”
Yesterday, Stone reached out to us again, asking us to share a statement she’s made “given the post-election attacks on women with headscarves.” We’re happy to. Stone’s comment reads:
While I dissent from the practices of all religions, which as an atheist and a feminist I see as ideologies promoting patriarchy, misogyny, sexism, and gynophobia, and while I believe cultural diversity needs to fly under banners that do not cement the gender binary, I will stand shoulder to shoulder with any woman harassed and worse for wearing a headscarf as expressions of anti-immigrant hatred and Islamophobia.