Hey everyone. I just hopped on one of the computers they have in my dorm's lobby so I could post about a serious issue going on in the YA book world.
Like I said on my previous post, there are some censorship issues going on with a couple YA books. Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University, has called Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson filthy, immoral and PORNOGRAPHIC. That's right everyone, apparently, according to Scroggins, being raped is pornographic. He wants Speak, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut all banned from local schools and libraries.
First, I would like to talk about Speak and what it's about. Speak is about a realistic teenage girl going through things that EVERY REAL TEENAGE GIRL GOES THROUGH. Then, at a party, she gets raped. Yes, there are rape scenes but it's not overly detailed. And what if it was? What about those real girls who really did get raped? Since, according to Scroggins, these scenes are porographic, does that mean the girls who have been raped in real life are porn stars? Are you going to ban each girl, or guy for that matter, who has gotten raped from public schools and libraries also? Where does the line get drawn?
As many of you readers know, a lot of us turn to books to be comforted, to not feel so alone. There are so many girls out there who have been helped by books like Speak. Maybe they don't have the confidence to come out with what happened to them or don't know how to deal with it. What if they never got to read a book like Speak because it was banned? What if that book could have helped that girl like it helped so many others.
Speak is not about pornographic material and sex scenes. It's about realistic and serious problems that a lot of girls go through. Does Scroggins even know how many girls get raped in a year? Statistically, 1 in 3 girls have been sexually abused. 1 IN 3 PEOPLE. I just don't understand how he can say that this book is immoral and garbage when it has helped SO many girls out there. It's horrible.
Secondly, I want to talk about Twenty Boy Summer. WHAT THE HECK IS SCROGGINS TALKING ABOUT?! He says this about the book:
"This book glorifies drunken teen parties, where teen girls lose their clothes in games of strip beer pong. In this book, drunken teens also end up on the beach, where they use their condoms to have sex."
First of all, this book does not glorify anything. It's about 2 girls who lose a guy they love very deeply. This is just part of the story. And second, Sarah Ockler tells it how it is. That's how a lot of teens act now a days, with or without books being written about it. Is Scroggins blind? My cousin just went into ninth grade this year and barely reads anything at all. She has told me about people in her grade doing hard drugs, drinking, smoking, and having sex. They are not influenced by books like this. They are not going to read about parties and alcohol in a book and automatically just go crazy. Kids are doing things like drinking and having sex at younger and younger ages. Twenty Boy Summer only includes real life actions by teenagers. There is no glorifying in her book at all. Not once does she say it's a good idea or promotes the actions of her characters. And hey, at least her characters are using condoms.
This book is so much more than alcohol and sex. That is one minor detail in the whole entire book. I have reviewed this book in the past and I told you guys how much I loved it. It was about a girl and her best friend who go on vacation to try and heal their broken hearts after a dear friend has died. How many teenagers do you think go through things like this all the time? More than you'd think. So, to me, this book could be another way of feeling less alone and a way to figure out how to deal with your greif. This is another book that Scroggins wants to ban just because it's real. If he bans this book along with Speak, what's next? Banning books because of characters kissing or characters with divorced parents that act badly?
All in all, these books are about real life. That's why they are considered Contemp YA. Scroggins wants to ban these books because of one or two scenes with bad things in them. But like I said, what about those teens who actually have to DEAL with those problems EVERY DAY? Are we going to ban them too? For them, this isn't a story they can just pick up and finish whenever they want. To them, this is life. Very real life that they live through everyday. What about them, Scroggins?
If you guys want to share your thoughts, or learn more about the issue, go to Laurie Halse Anderson's blog, here: http://madwomanintheforest.com/this-guy-thinks-speak-is-pornography/
She needs our help, and so do the other YA authors getting attacked out there. We can all make a difference by showing our YA love. So do what you can and let your voices be heard!