A Note To Concerned Parents: Literature Promotes Brains, Not BonersOctober 18, 2011 6 Comments
Parents in PEI are attempting to ban a book that they think is too sexual for their teenagers. But is it that bad?
Subversive. Indecent. Sexually explicit. These are just a few terms attempting to justify banning books.
Although I am one among many supporters of Freedom to Read Week, I can accept that educators don’t choose Harlequin novels for the high school curriculum (because it’s better to save those juicy tales for a hot bubble bath!). These passion-filled romances, overflowing with titillating descriptions of sex in all its obscene glory, are far from enlightening stories about “life choices and finding your own path.”
It may not come close to Harlequin-esque erotic fiction, but after receiving two phone calls from parents determined to protect the decency of their children, the PEI French Language School Board is reviewing the allegedly “immoral” book on the grade 11 reading list at École Francois Buote: 178 Secondes.
Apparently, “the book contains descriptions of sex, including a scene in which a character describes girls putting on different colour lipsticks to perform fellatio on boys.” My word!
Frankly, your teen is probably light years ahead of this language already. “Fellatio” is giving head or sucking cock. So what’s banning a book with a little oral sex going to achieve? Perhaps these concerned parents believe sex as it exists in their child’s imagination is worse than the abundance of sexual images they see on a daily basis.
Despite living in a sex-soaked bubble, teens realize there’s much more to life. “I know the younger reader (16-18 years-old) is intelligent enough not to focus on the sexual content of the book, but rather on the story being told, on the lessons being learned,” said Katia Canciani, the book’s author. Clearly, we need to give youth more credit.
Before censorship efforts are made we must remember that we can’t escape sex and, more importantly, a story’s overarching message is more powerful than a couple non-gratuitous sex scenes.
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