Friday, September 14, 2007

Banned Books

Today, I read this post over at Pharyngula about objections to a book from a 15-year-old student and her grandmother:

Lysa Harding, 15, couldn't believe the sexually charged prose of the novel she checked out from the library at Brookwood High School. Her grandmother was offended, too. Now they're refusing to return the book, "Sandpiper" by Ellen Wittlinger, saying other teens shouldn't be exposed to it.
Yeah, yeah, another load of bullshit. Reading through the comments, though, I happened upon this link to the American Library Association. The news-release has a list of the ten most "challenged" book of 2006:
  • "And Tango Makes Three" by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, for homosexuality, anti-family, and unsuited to age group;

  • "Gossip Girls" series by Cecily Von Ziegesar for homosexuality, sexual content, drugs, unsuited to age group, and offensive language;

  • "Alice" series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for sexual content and offensive language;

  • "The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things" by Carolyn Mackler for sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;

  • "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison for sexual content, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;

  • "Scary Stories" series by Alvin Schwartz for occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group, violence, and insensitivity;

  • "Athletic Shorts" by Chris Crutcher for homosexuality and offensive language.

  • "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky for homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group

  • "Beloved" by Toni Morrison for offensive language, sexual content, and unsuited to age group;

  • "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier for sexual content, offensive language, and violence.
What do you notice? Nine out of the top ten challenged books make reference to sexuality in some form or another, and that's why they're on this list.

Are we still so obsessed with the sexuality of others in this country? Parents, just get over it already. Kids are going to fuck whether or not you shield them from the realities of the world. Instead of forcing them to navigate these waters without a compass, wouldn't you rather it be that your children are informed about sex so that they don't make a stupid decision? Don't you think it would be better that your child knows how to have safe sex (i.e., using a condom) so that you don't have grandchildren before your own kids have graduated high school, or so that your kid doesn't have to experience the unpleasantness of piss that feels like burning, broken glass?

Seriously, get your heads out of your asses.

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