What I wanted to blog about today was this lovely little article traveling around the twitter-sphere called "Filthy books demeaning to Republic education."
The article by a fellow Missourian* named Wesley Scroggins has managed to anger authors and book lovers alike. In his article, Scroggins discusses the need to ban books for being sexually explicit, profane, and immoral. "In high school English classes, children are required to read and view material that should be classified as soft pornography." He then targets the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, who in my opinion is a BRILLIANT writer of a BRILLIANT book. He also mentions the necessity to ban "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut and a book called "Twenty Boy Summer" by Sarah Ockler.
Of course, book fans are usually irritated when people want to prohibit others from reading a book. What would give you the right to restrict peoples' libraries? However Scroggins' main mistake was to classify Speak as "soft pornography". For those unaware, Speak is about a girl who is traumatized after she is raped and she eventually learns to overcome her fear and struggles. I don't know about you, but I really don't classify rape as "soft pornography". I hate to break it to you Scroggins, but rape happens. It really doesn't matter how much you try to cover it up and keep teenagers ignorant, it's really not gonna do much. Teenagers today probably know friends who have had sex, have sex themselves, or plan to have sex very soon in the future. It's really not going to corrupt their "innocent" minds when they read Speak. Today I have read blog posts where rape survivors were actually benefited from reading this book. Speak has won numerous awards and is wonderfully written. I really don't see the benefits of banning this book.
I personally don't think that anyone really has the right to tell others what they can't read. So on September 25 I am participating in Banned Books Week. You can find more info here.
If I am not fired by the end of this week, I WILL post a review of something. Promise.
*Yeah, I'm from Missouri. No, we are not all hypocritical red necks. Thanks for shaming our state and confirming stereotypes Scroggins.