Banning books is bad and people should feel bad about doing it.

Oopsy! I forgot to post yesterday. I wish I could say I had some dire reason for missing it, but the truth is; I was watching Cowboy Bebop: The Movie and watching my daughter do silly dances.

So, I was going to post on the Harry Potter books, which have been challenged relentlessly. Then I read this awesome post, which pretty much sums up what I wanted to say.

Validation can be wonderful, yes?

Let’s talk about schools, shall we?
Supposedly, schools are places where you go to learn things, but not the things “they” don’t want you to learn. Who are They. Does it really matter? They can be parents, teachers, and fellow students. They may not even have read the book being discussed, but you see, the book is bad to them, therefore nobody else should read it.

This is dangerous. We’re basically giving people part of the story and an enticing trail crumbs to lead them to a place where they may make bad choices because they lack the correct information.

TMI Alert: I knew a girl whose boyfriend professed to be a virgin. He wasn’t. He also convinced her anal sex wasn’t real sex. Yeah, you can imagine how well that went, right? Another victim of censorship.

Banning books is banning information. I can understand that there is some information that may be unconscionable and/or disturbing to some people and that’s okay. You have a right to be disturbed. Hell, you have a right to protest. What you don’t have a right to do is bar other people from it.

I was once asked how I would feel about my daughter reading The Joy of Sex (This was a few years ago, so it was a totally hypothetical question.) I believe my initial, smart-ass answer was, “I hope it would have better pictures than the one I saw!”

Truthful answer? I would hope that she would talk to an actual human being that she had a relationship of mutual respect and trust before she started hitting the books. Other than that, I’d be proud of the initiative she was taking. Pop culture can be a dangerous thing and wouldn’t it be terrible if your kid decided to try to douche with Diet Coke and Mentos?
Just think about that for a sec? Okay, are you done grabbing your crotch and grimacing? You are?

Excccccellllent.

We have a wealth of information out there in this wild world of ours. Some of it’s good and some it’s bad. To determine this, our kids will need the proper critical thinking skills. Let’s not do them the disservice of blunting them to the point where they can’t be used, okay?

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About tooimpurenangel

Big reader
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3 Responses to Banning books is bad and people should feel bad about doing it.

  1. bookslide says:

    I was involved in a Facebook discussion the other day that primarily dealt with the banning of Twilight in an Australian primary school. I didn’t touch the religion aspect, having no concept of religion and Australian schools, but I said that as someone with a library degree, I wouldn’t order the Twilight books for a primary school (where primary here is Pre-K to 5th). I would for a middle school. But the point isn’t to keep the book from children, but because the series is YA and the school system here struggles enough to keep their children on-level. If you have an exceptional reader, one who is not only capable of reading but capable of understanding Twilight (and there’s a lot to understand, good and bad), it’s your responsibility as a parent to make sure your child is being challenged and to use the local public library system (or, if you can swing it, the middle school) as a way of making sure your child has access to books of higher reading levels. When the budget means you have to order in the best interests of the group, you do it without question, even if that means more chapter books and that kids who read early and often need to find other outlets. (As we both know, kids will read on-level even if they are above-level if they enjoy the book/series–they’ll just read faster and more often.)

    The thing with banning is that one person or group is making a decision for everyone that ultimately comes down to speaking from a very personal place, usually a religious one. Once you’re speaking from your religious convictions, you are no longer speaking for everyone else.

    I’m a little iffy on your anal sex comparison, but I C WHAT U DID THAR. Information IS information, but because banned books have their own forums–libraries, schools–I think it’s best to not widen the spectrum too far. Don’t want to lose perspective.

    • Wow, I hadn’t even taken the budget thing into consideration. That’s an interesting perspective.

      It may be just my horrible school experience that led me to believe this, but it seemed like thay wanted to teach the least amount they could get away with, which is so bizarre and seems so contraryy to my idea of what a “teacher” should be, that the mind just boggles. IT BOGGLES!

      The thing with banning is that one person or group is making a decision for everyone that ultimately comes down to speaking from a very personal place, usually a religious one. Once you’re speaking from your religious convictions, you are no longer speaking for everyone else.

      EXACTLY!

    • I realize that it sounds like I’m totally bashing teachers and not the broken-ass school systems that don’t give them the resources to do their job properly, but while I was in school nobody seemed to want to provide me with other resources.

      It’s one of the reasons I’m seriously thinking about home schooling Lilli.

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