balmofgilead: (Default)
Sept. 23-30 is Banned Books Week.

My feelings are pretty much the same as they were two years ago: censorship is bad, 'kay?

But something a little beyond that, something I'm working on keeping in mind lately, is that it's a two-way street. Most of the books on the banned books list were challenged for things I have no problem with: mention of sexuality, abortion, offensive language, etc. Fighting censorship with regards to things I disagree with doesn't come as naturally, but it's probably just as important.The ALA gives a nice little quote:
But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”

--JS Mill (who seems to have had a comma fetish)

So, um, go read a banned book? I liked I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings much more than I'd expected, so try reading that, maybe. I'm gonna stick to the book I've been reading about the history of homosexuality and American psychiatry, which I'm sure plenty of censor-happy people would object to if they'd ever encountered it.
balmofgilead: (Default)
Anastasia Krupnik? the What’s Happening to my Body Book for Girls?

What the hell?

I can at least understand banning The Anarchist Cookbook or American Psycho (although I still don't agree with the idea of banning books), but what's wrong with these? It specifically scares me that books about puberty and health are on that list. Since when did people not have the right to accurate and unbiased information about their bodies?

And I'm just going to assume that having Where's Waldo? on there is an accident.


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