Oh. Oh boy.
Initial Reaction: Are you effing kidding me?
Post-initial Reaction: Did he even read the book?
Then: *pissed off*
Speak is one of my all-time favourite books, and for him to demean it in such an ignorant manner just really ticks me off. I hate censorship. I really, really do. I hate how people believe they have the right to restrict Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Thought and I also hate the way people use religion as an excuse for their sad ideals. But I don't think I should be sitting here thinking about the negative. No, I want to write this for something I believe in. And I believe in Speak.
It takes quite a bit for a novel to make it on to my all-time favourites list, but that just goes to show you how special this novel is. It is about a rape survivor who chooses to stay silent as opposed to reporting the crime, the inner turmoil, angst and self-doubt speaking to teens across the world. I truly think this is a novel that can change lives. It deals with a tricky topic with finesse and truth, that's right people: truth. It happens. And I can tell you that anybody who had to go through such a troubling experience will not call it *ahem* "soft porn". Teenage rape is anything but pornography.
And we should speak up about something like this. Traumatized teens should not have to let these things eat them up inside, and it really can only take a single novel to convince us to share something so horrible with someone who can help. Ms Anderson does this; she attacked the topic of rape with pen and paper, turning it into a story that is gritty, honest and capable of changing lives.
Is this wrong?
No. I have nothing but respect for Anderson's bravery for tackling such a prevalent issue, so of couse it leaves me completely confuddled how someone can have such an polar opinion. I fail to see what Scroggins interpreted as "filthy" and "soft porn". Like holy effing shit, did you even read your own summary of the novel?
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.I think you're like.. fail.
And yes, I'm not afraid about speaking out about it. I may not be a 'doctor' or an adult, or be featured as the "voice of the day". I'm just a teen among the masses who feels something is so very wrong about this whole ordeal and is speaking out about it. It is wrong to try and censor a novel that only speaks out about truths, albeit truths that might hurt your ears, but ones we should not be forbidding students from reading about. By doing so, you are only hurting the very people you are trying to help, over-sheltering kids is probably not the smartest idea.
Lastly, I want to say to everyone who has been involved in the Speak Loudly 'campaign': Thank you. Thank you for speaking up, thank you for believing in books, and thank you for believing in education. I'm unbelievably proud to be part of a community that is capable of respectably defending itself against irrational attacks, one made up of people who are never afraid of a little confrontation if it means speaking their beliefs.
People: SPEAK LOUD. Every one of our voices will affect someone.. anyone. We can all make a difference with a little effort. If you're hesitating about speaking out, don't. Sit down, write your honest opinions, and speak.
-hashtag #SpeakLoudly on twitter
-write about the novel, or the issue on your blog
-comment on Scroggins' work directly
-support all the other bloggers and authors speaking out, there have been some really outstanding, powerful posts.
LHA's original post about the topic