« | Blog Home | »

Speak Out

I mostly try to keep my blog a positive, controversy free zone where I talk about my books and how cute my kids are, not necessarily in that order. But there are a couple of buttons that can be pushed to make me step outside of that. And unfortunately Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University, jumped on one of those buttons with both feet this past week.

Many may have heard of this already, but Speak is a novel by acclaimed young adult novelist Laurie Halse Anderson. It is the story of a teen girl’s struggle with the aftermath of a brutal rape. Wesley Scroggins is urging that Speak be banned from schools on the grounds that it is ‘soft pornography.’

Now, when I type ‘pornography’ into my computer’s dictionary ap, the definition that pops up is: printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic feelings. In other words, sexy, if you’re into that kind of thing.

One of the themes of Dark Moon of Avalon, my second book, is healing from sexual violence. While I was writing, I spoke with survivors of date rape. I read the accounts of countless others. I have heard rape described as ‘soul murder,’ have heard from women who describe the aftermath as running through the classic five stages of grief over death.

This is not sexy.

To label an account of a brutal rape as ‘pornography’? Good God, this is exactly the kind of attitude that keeps rape victims silent, that causes countless girls and women to spiral into depression and other self-destructive behavior, thinking that it ‘must somehow be my fault.’

Laurie Halse Anderson has blogged eloquently on this topic on her own blog here. And there is also a Twitter feed where people can share opinions.

To close, sexual violence is not pornography. Sexual violence is a crime. To anyone who reads Speak and honestly finds it pornographic, I’d like to offer this quote, from Carlos Ruiz Zafón: Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.

This entry was posted Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 at 11:18 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Speak Out”

  1. Laura Masselos Says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Well said Anna, I’m behind you 100% on this topic. And well ended, very eloquently put and I couldn’t agree more (quote from Carlos Ruiz Zafón). I promise to write over the weekend, lots to tell you (including the purchase of a new Kitten who Maelgwn has insisted on naming Merlin!). Love to you all x

Leave a Reply

Anna Elliott's blog is proudly powered by WordPress.
RSS icon Entries (RSS) and RSS icon Comments (RSS).

"...Anna Elliott has fashioned a worthy addition to the Arthurian and Trystan and Isolde cycles... This Isolde steps out from myth to become a living, breathing woman and one whose journey is heroic." -- Margaret George, author of Helen of Troy

Book cover picture
Book cover picture
Book cover picture
Book cover picture
Book cover picture
Book cover picture
Book cover picture
Book cover picture