Saturday, September 25, 2010

i read banned books

artwork by hollie chastain

happy banned book week, dear readers, and what great timing. have you been reading the buzz about the book SPEAK by laurie halse anderson being called "soft pornography" by this man?

i rarely rant in public.


does it sicken you as much as me? it's a book about a girl who learns how to speak up for herself. i have to agree with shannon hale on this one:

Let me clarify for those of you who haven't read Speak: it's about rape. A high school girl is raped. Rape, people. Pornography is "designed to stimulate sexual excitement." I am extremely sensitive to depictions of rape. I have turned off movies and put down books that even remotely crossed the line for me. Speak was not one of those. It's not graphic, it is definitely not designed to titillate. It is honest while being respectful. If someone reads that book and is stimulated by it, then they should SEE A THERAPIST.

This might be funny if it weren't so tragic and dangerous. This attitude is precisely what keeps girls silent when they should be speaking up, what makes them afraid of reporting rape, what lets perpetrators get away. Please, please don't confuse the issue. Rape is rape is rape. It is not sex. It is not sexy. It is violence. It is always wrong. Classifying this book as a kind of pornography is so insulting and damaging to survivors of rape. Ee gads. I'm so upset I'm contracting just thinking about it. Deep breaths, Mama.

in celebration of banned book week i would like the world to know how supremely grateful i am to live in a time and a place where i get to decide for myself and my family what content is appropriate (or not) for our house.

also, i think i'll read something on this list. i'm thinking DRACULA (which i've read, but it was a long time ago) or CANDIDE or PILLARS OF THE EARTH (which i haven't read). any suggestions?


  1. Been trying to choose a new banned book to read. So, I just looked at the list again, and Mark Twain is jumping out at me. Maybe it's time to read a banned book with all my kids.

  2. Amen. Amen. Amen.

    And that banned book list has some amazing ones. I just re-read 1984 (which I read in High School) & oh I loved it even more the second time around.

    And have you read Frankenstein. Wow, that book is amazing & written by a woman.

    Let us know what you pick!

  3. I'm glad you posted about this. I did too, even though I haven't read Speak. But, it still sickens me.

    I want to read a banned book too. I think it might be time to go pick up Speak and read it this week. :)

  4. you're such a rebel.

    just kidding. i guess i didn't even realize there were banned books, but now i want to read one.

  5. That makes me so angry. Crazy angry.