Banned books. There is so much wrong with that phrase. “Banned” is not a word that I like to see being used. On the other hand, I love the word “books” and everything it represents (well, almost everything). Those two just don’t go together. And when they are grouped together to form that dreadful phrase “banned books”, I am often filled with horror and anger that I simply cannot describe with words.
Why someone would want to ban a book is beyond me. Scratch that. I know why someone would want to ban books, but why they would want to keep an entire community from reading it – THAT is what puzzles me. I mean, I get that if the book goes against their viewpoints, but what gives them the right to prevent other people from reading it. It is one thing to tell someone they have authority over (like their children) what they can and cannot do along with what they can and cannot read. But what gives those people the right to dictate what other people read are allowed to read. They can’t tell other people what to do, so why can they tell other people what books they can and cannot read?
Still, I understand why parents would want to ban certain books from schools (example: Fifty Shades of Grey just doesn’t belong in a middle school library). BUT FROM THE WHOLE COMMUNITY?!?!?!? WTF? Who the
bleep heck do they think they are? (I just want to point out I only curse when I’m extremely pissed off…). It’s one thing to tell your own kid if they can’t read a certain book, but it’s an entirely thing to tell other parents what their kids can and cannot read.
But I still don’t get it. If a book on a required summer reading list bothers them, why don’t they just complain to the school and get it off the list? Wouldn’t that solve their problems? After all, if the book is off the list, then their kid won’t be forced to read it. Right? Isn’t that the point? To prevent their kid from reading a certain book? Why do they insist on banning it entirely? Banning a book that millions of other people enjoyed reading? Banning it from the school, from libraries, from bookstores. In America, we often proud to be able to boast about our certain “unalienable rights” that some other people in other countries aren’t fortunate enough to have. And yet, it is still legal to ban books. Isn’t “freedom of speech” one of those rights we are proud to say we have? Wouldn’t banning a book, banning an author’s voice, go against their freedom of speech? I’m no legal expert, but that just doesn’t seem right to me.
Want to know another thing that infuriates me about banned books? The reason why a book was banned. They usually make me want to bang my head on something. Repeatedly. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher was banned in some communities because it mentions drugs, alcohol, and suicide, and for being unsuitable for the targeted age group. Ummm, can I just say I read Thirteen Reasons Why when I was still in middle school (I think 6 grade?). I didn’t think anything was wrong about it. There was nothing in that book I wouldn’t have found out about in a year or two. Preventing me (or anyone else) from reading that book would only delay the inevitable. By the time I read it, I already knew about most of the “touchy” subjects it touches upon. Five years later, I’m still okay. Needless to say, I’m lucky enough to have parents that don’t really care what I read. And for that, I will always be thankful.
Another example about reasons that aren’t really good reasons is… just kidding.
Congratulations on making it this far in one the longest posts I have ever posted. (But if you do want to
hear read the rest of the rant, come back tomorrow. It will be continued.)