Sunday, September 19, 2010

Speak Loudly

Today, I returned from church to find that Twitter had exploded. I was scared to post this, but this is not the time to fall silent. This is the time to stand up and SPEAK.

SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson, the story of a young girl that is raped and decides to keep quiet, has been challenged by Mr. Scroggins. This is what he had to say:

One such book is called "Speak." They also watch the movie. This is a book about a very dysfunctional family. Schoolteachers are losers, adults are losers and the cheerleading squad scores more than the football team. They have sex on Saturday night and then are goddesses at church on Sunday morning. The cheer squad also gets their group-rate abortions at prom time. As 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. Actually, the book and movie both contain two rape scenes.
Rape is not now, nor will it ever be, soft pornography. Rape is a disgusting and horrifying crime. It also happens every day. Telling kids it doesn't happen isn't going to change that. In fact, it just makes them a bigger target because they're blissfully unaware of the fact that it COULD happen to them.

SPEAK tells the truth about our world. Lots of people are on this journey RIGHT NOW. Taking books like this away is like telling victims that they are alone in this. That it's their fault and they just need to deal with it. Books should reflect the world we live in, a world that's not full of cotton candy clouds and unicorns. Books should make people more aware of this world and what it truly is like, so they don't get caught by surprise.

Being Christian is about helping people. Being Christian is NOT about pretending that sinning never happens. And pretending that sinning never happens and no one is ever hurt by disgusting acts such as these does absolutely nothing.

Scroggin's original article, and the stories and responses from people smarter than me:

Scroggin's article on why SPEAK and two other books should be banned

Laurie Halse Anderson responds

C. J. Redwine's astounding story

Cheryl Rainfield's incredible story

Veronica Roth's (Christian) take

Myra McEntire's take

Jennifer and Espe's response

Tomorrow I'm going to my school library to look for SPEAK (I can't get to the bookstore for two more weeks and I can't wait that long).

Write a letter. Buy the book. Read the book. But don't sit back and let people tell the rest of us what we can and can't read. Stand up and SPEAK LOUDLY.


Anonymous said...

amazing amazing amazing post.
While Scroggins has the right to express his views, it is our DUTY to speak louder for all the victims who are being silenced