I’m sorry, what?

“…In high school English classes, children are required to read and view material that should be classified as soft pornography. One such book is called ‘Speak’.”

Come again?

This is a quote from an article by one Wesley Scroggins, published recently in the opinion section of the Springfield, Missouri paper The News-Leader. Needless to say, a storm of internet outrage has been launched over his insensitive portrayal of Laurie Halse Anderson’s SPEAK, which tells the story of a teen victim of rape. Now, I’m not sure how Mr. Scroggins feels, but I would certainly hope that most people don’t get off on this book.

I am not a person that believes in many completely objective truths, but one of them is this: rape is not the fault of the victim. Laurie Halse Anderson happens to be in agreement with me. So when I hear “…the main character in the book is alone with a boy who is touching her female parts, she makes the statement that this is what high school is supposed to feel like. The boy then rapes her on the next page,” I think there’s some gross misrepresentation going on there. And furthermore, does that sound like porn to you?

Help get the word out about this– don’t let people like Scroggins keep such a beautiful and important book off the shelves and away from youth whom it can help. Declare your support for SPEAK by Tweeting #SpeakLoudly, and check out these other blog posts on this topic:

Laurie Halse Anderson answers the charges herself.

Cheryl Rainfield writes about how she feels about this affair, as a survivor of sexual and ritual abuse, as does C.J. Redwine.

Myra McEntire gives a laudable Christian perspective.


3 Responses to I’m sorry, what?

  1. Mylo says:

    Really, all book banning does is make people want to read the books even more. So, I can’t really get all worked up about it, though it does piss me off to an extent.
    … Case in point, I now must find and read this book. Good day. :3

    • Ray says:

      Haha. It’s quite good, you should read it.
      Book banning does cause outrage, and boost readership for the books in question, but the real reason people get angry is that sometimes the folks in question do manage to get a book pulled from shelves, which makes it significantly harder for the people who use that library/bookstore/whatever to get their hands on the book.

  2. Bookworm says:

    I just read this, thanks to a trackback in LHA’s blog. I can’t believe *anyone* would be so dense as to call “Speak” soft porn. What is this man thinking?! It doesn’t make any sense. If anything, “Speak” is precisely the kind of book that can alert young people of how bad things can go in just a second. It can help victims of abuse to find their own voice. It may help people, boys especially, understand that rape is a serious issue that could (and actually does) mess up with a person for life. What the heck does that man want? Why would he want a book like that banned from schools? This is nonsensical. I am out of myself with rage. What’s *wrong* with puritains nowadays?! Banning a book is already bad, but banning a good, helpful, well-written book? What’s this world coming to.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: