Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tiara Talk: Banned Books Week

Let's talk about banned books.

I know you guys have probably been hearing a lot about this particular topic a lot considering it's Banned Book weeks but I wanted a chance to throw my two cents out there since it's something near and dear to my heart. And you haven't heard my opinion yet, so that makes it kind of new, right?

My first brush with a book banning occurred at my high school where I believe it was a parent wanted to ban the dictionary for inappropriate dictionary. That's right...THE DICTIONARY. Those handy little books that were stored under the desks in every English class I had ever been on campus. Parents were up in arms about these handy little resources because they believed that their children were learning about oral sex from them. Of course the fact that this was a public issue and all of the students knew about it just led more people to look up this specific definition more then ever. In all honesty I think that was the most use by the masses these dictionaries ever received. One of my teachers even joked about it being a good thing that the issue was raised because that was probably the first time any of the students had even picked one of them up, much less looked a word up.

I didn’t get involved that time. I found out too late and felt insignificant. Why would these adults listen to me? What could I possibly do?

My next brush came in my Adolescent Literature class in college, possibly the most epic and amazing class I had ever taken with a professor to match. We read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and she did a brief segment on all of the issues that this particular gem of a book had faced. So it was on my radar when the issue arose again with a vengence, this time someone seeking to ban the book on the basis of it being “soft pornography”. I was pissed. I love this book. I felt that it could do a lot of good. And how dare someone refer to rape as any type of pornography?

By this time I had a twitter account and followed my favorite authors actively, including Laurie Halse Anderson who introduced a twitter protest that I promptly joined in. It was called #SpeakLoudly and from this author and her support group I learned how very possible it is for an individual to make a difference. I lost count of how many tweets I made about the issue. How many blog posts I linked to [I didn’t have my own blog at the time]. This was an issue I could get behind and did, wholeheartedly.

From that moment on I have been against the banning of books. No one should be able to take away your right to read what you want. No one should be able to infringe on your liberty like that. You should have a right to do what you want as long as it doesn’t infringe on anyone elses’ right to do whatever they want or hurt someone else. Books don’t hurt people, ignorance does. I believe wholeheartedly that everyone has a right to read what they want. Books shouldn’t be banned based on their contents.

A lot of people bring up the notion that certain books are inapprorpiate for certain ages, okay. I don’t believe elementary school kids should be reading erotica or anything. There should be some minor restrictions perhaps but books should not be BANNED, just place out of reach until a more appropriate age has been met.

But I can’t say too much on this issue because my amazing Mom always left this decision up to me. She trusted me for the most part to pick what I felt was appropriate and was ALWAYS available if I had questions about something that happened in a book. Of coursed I did sneak a few in under her radar, most notably Forever by Judy Blume [which I only just confessed to if you’re curious] but for the most part our open relationship continued to that. I could talk to her about these things. This is key. Parents shouldn’t shield their children from these issues, they should read along with them. Be open to questions. Educate. I believe because my Mom did this I grew up more open-minded and not quite so naive about the world around me.

Thank you, Mom. [Why yes, she does read this. :D]

So, what do you guys think? Should books be banned?

[I know this is a controversial topic, but please respect one another’s opinions. Debate is fine, being close-minded and fighting is not. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.]


  1. Wow. Dictionary.. Interesting...

    I haven't actually heard banned books. I only found out about it when I saw the Banned Books giveaways... It's interesting how some books could be banned.. Guess some people/country are just way too sheltered.

  2. Yeah, pretty crazy.

    Wow, really? I'm loving the giveaways. So many amazing books being offered.

    And I agree about some people being way too sheltered. :/