Monday, September 20, 2010

Banning Speak - Really?

I read something today that really disturbed me. Wesley Scroggins of Missouri State University (a speaker at Reclaiming Missouri for Christ) wrote an opinion piece in the News-Leader of Springfield, MO, in which he characterized SPEAK as filthy and immoral. Then he called it “soft pornography” because of two rape scenes.

I simply find it hard to believe that any educator (or anyone at all for that matter) could possibly claim that rape is synonymous with pornography. Makes me shudder just to think about it.

We're talking about Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, a book I think all teenagers should read, a book that has inspired so many, and helped so many more. It's a book that helps students, teachers, and parents discuss a topic like rape and not ignore it - because ignoring it simply will not make it go away. It teaches people to speak out.

Can Mr Scroggins really have read Speak? So many speak out against books they only hear about. Almost worse if he has read it because there is no way you can find those scenes in Speak arousing. But once again someone is putting a fine writer on the defensive (just like Ellen Hopkins last month when she was uninvited to speak to teens).

In this run up to banned book week, we are again reminded why we have to fight censorship and stand up for our intellectual freedoms. So if you haven't already read Speak, do so. It is a wonderful book that should be read by all.

And if you want to read more about this, click here to read Laurie's own account.


La Coccinelle said...

That guy... I just don't know what to say anymore. Censorship is stupid, and will eventually just lead to more ignorance. A vicious cycle.

I do kind of wonder why he thinks he's such an expert on what constitutes pornography, though. Hmmm...

Tere Kirkland said...

The man obviously didn't read the book, which is the M.O. for people like this.

If he's such an expert, someone should make him pass a test on Slaughterhouse Five, just like I had to in A.P. English, before he can criticize it.