Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rape is Not Pornography: Speak Loudly About Book Banning and Censorship

As Banned Books Week approaches, the book banners and censorship hounds all seem to be coming out of hiding. The YA community is used to them by now, but we still don’t like what they’re trying to do or the ways they go about doing it.
Let’s take this lovely man named Wesley Scroggins. Mr. Scroggins wrote this article for a Missouri newspaper that equates the RAPE in Laurie Halse Anderson’s book Speak with pornography. Pornography is meant to titillate and arouse right? How can rape ever be considered arousing?


Mr. Scroggins goes on to say that the schools in the MO area should consider removing Speak from the curriculum, where English classes read the book and watch the movie. At this point, book banning is nothing new. Mr. Scroggins could easily be just another concerned member of society who wants to ensure that teenagers are not being exposed to real life situations through books. I can deal with that. I don’t agree with it, but I can deal with it.

But Mr. Scroggins vilifies the book and does so with lies and misleading statements. It seems to me like he never even read the book or the meaning behind it.

When I was in high school, I wrote my junior year English essay on Speak. The book is inspiring and should be read by both girls and boys. Mr. Scroggins is asking the school district to remove a book that tells girls that they can stand up and SPEAK about rape. Essentially, he’s telling young women that are raped, to SHUT UP AND KEEP QUIET.

Laurie Halse Anderson is doing the opposite. Speak is about empowering young women and letting them know that rape is not their fault.

Mr. Scroggins also specifically targets Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler as books that parents should fight to get removed from their children’s schools. An editor’s note on the articles states that Slaughterhouse-Five was indeed removed and Twenty Boy Summer is being reviewed.

So please don’t let the opinions of one man force the removal of a book that could inspire and help so many others.

Laurie Halse Anderson has also written about this on her website.

If you’re against this, you can do something.

The school district in question has already removed Slaughterhouse-Five and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and could very well remove both Twenty Boy Summer and Speak if something isn't done.

Show your support. Write some letters and visit Twitter and send a message with the hashtag #SpeakLoudly

This happens to all coincide with ALA's Banned Books Week. Book banning and censorship is wrong. If parents don't want their children to read certain books, then don't allow it, but don't tell others that their children can't read it either. 

Visit Ban This! 2010 over at Bites for a list of other blogs participating in the freedom to read

1 comments:

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

Great post, Nikki! I was so completely shocked this morning when I got on the computer and saw this article. Ridiculous.

If you're interested, I wrote about my thoughts here. I also have a Mr. Linky at the the end if you'd like to link up your post!

Post a Comment

Comments are love and I love you for leaving one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...