Today, I had other plans for posted material; however, due to a post by Janet Reid, a certain disturbing situation has come to my attention. A man named Dr. Wesley Scroggins wrote an editorial for the News-Leader in Springfield, Missouri. I've linked to it, because I'm sure you'll find it enlightening. I did. Until I read it, I hadn't realized that the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is soft porn.
That's right. He called it soft porn.
Now, I've read the book Speak. I've listened to the audiobook. I've watched the movie. And let me tell you this, it is not porn. In no way, shape or form, do I believe these things could be confused.
In case you have not previously read the book or seen the movie, Speak deals with the story of a young woman who is raped and chooses not to speak out about it. It's a rough book to read, as it deals with the challenging topic of rape, elective mutism, and PTSD.
Yes, the book and movie contain rape scenes. They are not pornographic. I can only characterize Mr. Scroggin's assertions that they are as terrifying. If you think I might be wrong, read the book, watch the movie. Double check me. I'm begging you.
I am not a Christian, but I do know many, and I've yet to meet the one who finds these books out of keeping with the tenants of their faith. I've yet to meet any religious person who's said that of Speak.
I am not a parent, but I know that I would not shrink from letting my teenaged daughter or son read this book. I know my parents didn't shrink from letting me see it as a teenager, nor did the parents of my friends.
What I am is a human being, and what I know is that the best way for us to grow and understand ourselves as people is to turn to others and hear their stories, even fictional ones. To find the truths in the stories of others and allow ourselves to be moved by and to learn from them. I know that the book Speak had nothing but a positive impact on my life.
Today, I will begin writing letters to the school district where Mr. Scroggins lives and encourage them not to ban the book. If you would like to do the same, you can get the addresses from a link on Ms. Anderson's response on her website.
To hear another Myra McEntire speak out on this issue, click here. I found her response considered, eloquent, and pointed.
To read one of the most moving pieces I've ever seen on the Internet, click here. C.J. Redwine is one of the most qualified commenter on the subject I could possibly imagine, and her response demonstrates a poise and grace I don't think I could have managed.