Sunday, September 19, 2010

Okay, Now This Is Disturbing

As a general rule, I don't get my knickers in a twist over school censorship issues because they tend to be a lot of the same old, same old. Parents wanting to monitor their own children's reading, which I personally believe they have a right to do because we live in a free country, think they can only do this if they take it upon themselves to monitor the reading of other parents' children, which they don't have a right to do because, as I just said, we live in a free country. Take care of your kids, I'll take care of mine, thank you very much. It tends to be the same thing over and over again.

The recent attack on Speak in Missouri is more disturbing to me. What I find so ugly about it is the suggestion that sexual violence directed against women is sexually arousing.

Speak is a very well done problem book about a teenage girl so traumatized by rape that she can't speak. The whole point of YA problem books is that they present a problem and a way of dealing with it. They do not encourage or reward the problem. In fact, many of them aren't particularly satisfying as works of fiction because they are so instructive and improving.

In order for Speak to be classified as soft core pornography, as the author of the complaint about the book suggests, readers would have to find the prospect of a man forcing himself sexually upon a woman arousing. In fact, the people classifying Speak as soft core pornography would have to believe that violent sexual acts are arousing.

How dangerous is that?

No comments: