J. Huffman, Editrix
 
So while getting my morningly rounds of the internet finished, I see a whole slew of #speakloudly hashtags on Twitter (you can follow me there, I am @purplesmudge) that lead me to this:

http://madwomanintheforest.com/this-guy-thinks-speak-is-pornography/

I, admittedly, have issues with the idea of banning books for what someone else deems offensive content - being who I am, I dislike the idea of censorship in any form, and most especially when it's thinly veiled behind religion.  There are a few unpleasant sex scenes in the bible...shall we remove that from public schools, too?   I realize that statement is going to raise a few eyebrows.  Good.  I want someone to think about the intimation that the gentleman who originally wrote the op-ed piece is stating that removal of books from public consumption is one of his hobbies.  Because he's forcing his religious opinion upon other people.  Even people that might agree with him.  What differs in this is that everyone involved, at least right now, HAS THE CHOICE.  What he's pushing for is the removal of that choice because his puritanical sensibilities have been forced to confront an ugly truth.  What he calls pornographic I call rape.  The definition of pornography, to illustrate:


Definition of PORNOGRAPHY
1: the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
2: material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
The book in question, "Speak", depicts a young girl's struggle with telling the ugly truth about sexual assault.  What the op-ed author calls pornographic is the character's reliving of the rape - if he finds that exciting, he's got some more serious issues than can be covered today.   

This is dangerous in so many ways for us as a society.  There is an entire week devoted to banned books (hey, it ends on my birthday this year!  September 25 - October 2)...do you not find it sad that other people's sensibilities make it so that there needs to be a "week" at all?

http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/bannedbooksweek/index.cfm

You know I love to read.  What I love even more?  The freedom to choose to read whatever I want, whenever I want.  

This is not about religion or lack thereof.  This is not really about a book.  This is, ultimately, about someone believing that they are morally superior and are thusly entitled to take away a choice from someone.  From anyone.  I am very lucky in that my mom encouraged me to read - pretty much anything, from the time that I was able to read.  In looking over one of the many banned books lists on the internet, I am guessing that I had read most of what was listed by the time I graduated from high school, whether it was assigned or not.  (I personally find it hysterical that Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary is on one such list - really, you want to ban a DICTIONARY?)  But I had the choice, always.  


Don't like it?  Don't think it's appropriate?  Find it offensive or morally corrupt?  Easy:  don't read it.
 


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    About Jenna:

    I love books.  Deeply, passionately, and above almost all else.  Let me help you by editing your book!  jjh.edits@gmail.com