Is Speak Pornographic?

*EDIT* This is Scroggin’s full presentation to the school board. Skip to page 16 for highlighted passages of SPEAK and TWENTY BOY SUMMER.

Sarah Ockler chimes in on her book being targeted as well.

You can get a Twibbon for your Twitter by clicking here.

Link to your SPEAK LOUDLY post by scrolling down.

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth.

Speak is a book that I will always champion for. I think it gives a true look at rape, and is a fantastical learning tool for teenage girls who may find themselves in hard situations. Sexuality is a beast of burden when you are a teen, the pressure from peers and your own hormones make it tough to decide what the right thing is. We know that abstinence training doesn’t work and the only thing that will is for us to educate our teens.

Education always breeds better decisions and Laurie Halse Anderson has always tackled the tough issues. I applaud her and hope that you do as well.

Wesley Scroggins thinks SPEAK is filthy and pornographic. He is calling for this book to be taken out of the curriculum. Slaughterhouse Five has been removed and Twenty Boy Summer is being reviewed by the board. Now SPEAK is the next on the chopping block.

I think what bothers me most is that Scroggins sees rape as pornographic. What part of rape is sensual? What part of rape is fun? Who wants to read about rape to get excited? This man obviously has some sexuality issues to work out and our schools and teachers do not need to suffer for it.

Check out Laurie’s post to see what you can do to help. Give your thoughts on SPEAK on your blog or use the #SpeakLoudly hash tag on Twitter. I leave you with my letter to the editor of the news publication.

Dear Editor,

I read your opinion piece featuring a call to ban Speak by acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson. As a book blogger and a book seller I was appalled to see that you had no second opinion available for people. Banning books no matter what the subject matter is risky business. When we have no freedoms left to read, to watch, to SPEAK then where are we left? It is up to you as an unbiased news source to solicit a second opinion on this subject.

Halse Anderson is a young adult author that tackles many of the hard issues. The fact that the author of the opinion piece saw the horrifying rape of a teenage girl and her struggle to come to terms with it as “pornographic” is a bit unsettling to me. Since when is rape a porn? Is our society so filthy minded that we cannot see the difference? If our children are not exposed to any truth what will become of them when we are gone?

We need to censor in our own homes, we each know what is appropriate for our own families. By printing a call to ban books you are taking away freedoms of many of your own readers. I for one would be ashamed to print a call to ban any piece of literature.

Pam van Hylckama Vlieg

Link up your Speak Loudly post here:

19 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    Pam,
    That’s a great letter. I totally agree with you. And your tweet was the first I heard about the banning debacle. You speak loudly and I hear you.
    Helen Ellis

  2. Gravatar

    Kudos Pam on a job well done. It is horrible that anyone would think that Rape is pornographic. Rape is a violent and subjugate act and that man has some serious sexual issues if he think otherwise.

  3. Gravatar

    Excellent letter, Pam! I have sold SPEAK to so many teachers and parents who are looking to help their students understand the aftermath of a sexual assault.

    Books can save lives.

  4. Gravatar

    Wonderful, letter Pam! Very well put.

  5. Gravatar

    Pam, you’re doing an awesome job! Thank you for writing the letter which says everything that needs to be said. Banning books is a sin against humanity and any democratic society. Books are the tool to help children think for themselves. If a teenager in high school cannot tell the difference between a rape and an intimate, consensual sexual act between the two people, then there’s something seriously wrong with that person and not with the choice of books presented to them.

  6. Gravatar

    Love the post! Very well said.

  7. Gravatar

    What this guy said is really bothering me! He shouldn’t have said it because it’s not true! It’s only his thoughts about it making everyone sound like we’re insensitive.

  8. Gravatar

    Thanks for this thoughtful post, and for printing your excellent, concise letter to the editor. It said everything that needs to be said in this case.

  9. Gravatar

    Thanks so much for your eloquent post and for sharing your letter, Pam!

  10. Gravatar

    Thank you for sharing your letter Pam and for creating the link list. I’ll be writing my letter shortly and I only hope that I can put it as well as you.

  11. Gravatar

    I haven’t read Speak, but this is censorship, which is frustrating, and makes me so angry. I’m going to get the book out of the library today, and will try and make a post regardless, because this is not okay.

  12. Gravatar

    Thank you for this and other people and bloggers speaking out against a small minded person who through his ignorance has enabled so many to rise up, speak up and support against banned books and censorship.

  13. Gravatar

    I am so fired up right now that I don’t know where to start. I will be around again when I can put coherent thoughts together.

  14. Gravatar

    Pam, your post and your letter are so well written. I wish I could have said it all half as well on my post, but thank you for allowing me to link up with you!

  15. Gravatar

    While for the most part I COMPLETELY disagree with this guy, I have to say I do not think Slaughterhouse 5 should be required reading to pass a class. Why? Because as a highschooler there is NO WAY in hell I could have emotionally handled that book, and probably would have taken a failing grade over reading it – and to me forcing a child or teen who is not emotionally mature enough or ready for a certain book to read it, is just as bad as telling a teen they can’t read the book they want to read. In the school library? Sure. As an option on a list where you have to pick a couple of books? Sure. But as required reading to pass English I? I am going to have to disagree with that because there are teens who just aren’t ready for a book that graphic, I know, I was one of them, and I still have to avoid books like that because of how upsetting I find them (to the point I have nightmares if I read something very disturbing).

  16. Gravatar

    Thank you for putting this together Pam. So important.

  17. Gravatar

    [...] I want to thank her for being strong enough to share her experience so others can learn from it. This post on Bookalicio.us is awesome, not only for its analysis but also for the very helpful list of blog [...]

  18. Gravatar

    [...] I’m not treading new ground here. Many, many readers have spoken up in support of survivors of sexual abuse and the right to read freely using the #speakloudly hashtag on Twitter. Laurie Halse Anderson has expressed her concern and offered a list of ways to speak up in response to Scroggins’ article. Throughout the day, numerous bloggers have taken the time to address this letter and issues of censorship. If you’ve posted about this issue, you’re encouraged to link to your post here and here. [...]

  19. Gravatar

    [...] Saying (Much more eloquently than me, I might add): Veronica Roth Books Myra McEntire C.J. Redwine Pam from Bookalicio.us Mundie Moms Share this:ShareFacebookEmailRedditStumbleUpon Categories : Ramblings Tags : [...]

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