Laurie Halse Anderson posted this article on her blog today about a professor, Wesley Scroggins, in Missouri who is calling her book Speak softcore pornography.
As an English teacher and someone who has read Speak, I am disgusted that someone could reduce this story to mere titillation. And, as Anderson stated, "The fact that he sees rape as sexually exciting (pornographic) is disturbing, if not horrifying." Speak is one of the most well-known, contemporary books taught in high schools today. It deals with a teen girl who used to be social and well-liked but has turned inward due to a violent sexual encounter. The book is in no way graphic. Shielding teens from this topic does nothing to educate them about violence against women. It is meant to spur discussion, not encourage promiscuity!
But once again, we have a book-banner here in America who is choosing to judge the merit of a book based on its parts rather than looking at the big picture. Speak is NOT about glorifying sex or dysfunctional families. It's about finding your voice. It's about how not speaking out can impact your life. It's about giving young girls the power to refuse to let men treat them like objects. And it's about showing young men that you DON'T treat women like objects.
Or is that what REALLY disturbs Professor Scorggins so much about the book?
If you, too, are appalled by this censorship attempt, write about it on your blog, and leave Laurie Halse Anderson a link on her blog. Given that Banned Books Week is coming up soon, this is a great time to SPEAK out about this issue.
Please read author Myra McEntire's blog post about this issue. It brought tears to my eyes. Giving a DIFFERENT Christian perspective, McEntire shows just how misguided, if not downright sinful, Scroggins's logic is.
Something else McEntire proposes is to go out and purchase several copies of Speak to get it back on the bestseller list. Don't let the likes of close-minded censors prevent teens from reading books that deserve to be and SHOULD BE read!