This article on CNN was recently brought to my attention, and I would like to share my views on the barbarian concepts of book burning and banning. West Bend Wisconsin is in turmoil over books featured in the local library. The main complaint seems to be a homophobic issue of the books feature sex, homosexual sex, or were written by gays or “ex-gays” whatever that term means.
The Maziarkas were still fighting to have books moved, having identified 82 questionable titles — more than double their original list. Then they stopped targeting a list of books and circulated a petition that asked the board to label and move to the adult section any “youth-targeted pornographic books” — including books that describe sex acts in a way unsuitable for minors. The books could still be checked out freely by anyone.
“We’re not talking about educational material. We’re talking raunchy sex acts,” Maziarka said.
One book she objects to is “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” in which a fictional teenage boy tells about his freshman year in high school, including rape and homosexual and heterosexual sex between teens.
Tyree said book excerpts found on Maziarka’s blog had been taken out of context and, in the case of “Wallflower,” the criticism missed some of the book’s points.
The American Library Association reports that in 2008 alone, more than 500 book challenges were issued to local libraries and schools. My question is what are we afraid of? Are we afraid if our child reads about rape, she might be raped or he will become a rapist? If our children read about homosexuality they will become gay? If they were gay would that be a problem?
Banning and burning books is a direct violation of our first amendment rights. It is up to you and your family what books your children read. It is a personal responsibility for you as a parent to make sure the material is suitable for your morals, religion, and other factors. It is not your right or responsibility to decide for others children something is inappropriate for all. I as a parent may not have the same morals or views as you and your family do. So if I want my child to read a book that you feel is pornographic, you have no right to tell me or my child that is wrong.
Fear is a constant motivator in these types of cases, but as an avid reader I do not understand exactly what we are supposed to be afraid of. If we shelter our children completely they are more likely to not understand social situations that are going wrong and get into even more trouble. I commend and applaud our librarians and educators for trying to teach our children to be open minded in times where it seems we are becoming as a nation more closed minded than ever.
So please keep your nose out of my library, me and my children will read what we see fit, and just because the book is banned in the library doesn’t mean your kid can’t borrow it or buy it online. You make these books more sensational to your children by disallowing them. So wise up step into this century and stop trying to ruin literature for the rest of us.