Sunday, September 19, 2010

This is me. Speaking Loudly.

I wasn't going to write this post.

I'm sure you've heard about a certain article being published, calling for the ban of Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson. This has caused quite an uproar in the blogging and Twitter community, and the hashtag #SpeakLoudly is going crazy on Twitter.

Wesley Scroggins claims Speak, as well as a few others, are "filthy". He says "In high school English classes, children are required to read and view material that should be classified as soft pornography"

I'm sorry, what?! Did we read the same book? Watch the same movie? How on Earth does one classify a teenage girl being raped, and dealing with subsequent distress, "soft porn"? What is wrong with you?


Wesley Scroggins is from my area. He is speaking for my school district. He's trying to make decisions for MY children, that are not his decisions to make. This is not okay with me.

What did I think of Speak? Powerful. Heart-breaking. Thought-provoking. It is my honest opinion, that something is wrong with you if you perceived the two rape scenes any way, other than horrific.

He goes on to say: "This is unacceptable, considering that most of the school board members and administrators claim to be Christian. How can Christian men and women expose children to such immorality?"

Immorality? Immorality or reality? Who are you to decide what is immoral for MY children?

Speak is about the victim, not the offender. The victim has done nothing wrong. Rape victims often feel ashamed and at fault for their own rapes, and the last thing they need is our public figures agreeing with them.

We should be encouraging rape victims, to Speak. I believe Speak does this effectively. What kind of message do you think banning such a book would send to victims of such horrific offenses? You're encouraging silence.

I have so much, and so little to say about this subject. I feel a bit outraged by it, and I think I know why. Aside from completely disagreeing with Scroggins and his article, I grew up here.

So here's a message for you. While you're writing an article about the "immorality" in a novel about rape, where are the teens in our area? Allow me to reiterate; I grew up here. I was a student here. Guess what, most of the teens here, are having sex. Most of them are partying on the weekends. Many of them have children of their own, or will soon enough. So instead of writing articles that are doing nothing but enraging people all over the country, (not to mention drawing negative attention to an outstanding author), why don't you put forth a little effort into worrying about what teens around here are DOING, and a little less about what they're reading.

What a way to kick off Banned Book Week, eh?

Here's what Laurie Halse Anderson has to say about the subject.

These blogs, the internet, the postal service...these are ways for us to Speak. Don't allow anyone to silence you. Speak! Loudly!