according to an article in today's Times on Banned Books week.
I think that's a neat idea for a weeklong theme. So that's the official theme for the week, folks. Unfortunately I can't write much more than a brief preamble right now, because if I don't finish this mémoire I will be banned from books in France.
The article in the Times talks about how parents get really sensitive about what "young people" are exposed to, and that the first place they turn to in order to control the material their children have access to is public and school libraries. One mother in Arkansas, for example, successfully managed to have the "Harry Potter" books banned from their town's library because the books "promote witchcraft."
That kind of parent makes me so angry. Are parents like that in France? that's something worth looking into. In any case, that's typical of American culture today. Rather than being good parents and paying attention to the way these books are taught or discussed, rather than being careful about instilling the right values in the child, they just want to eliminate the perceived threat altogether. It's easier for the child never to hear about sex than to have them read about it in a Judy Blume book and then have to explain to them what it is and what it means. Just make sure they can't get hold of a Judy Blume book and they'll be safe from the nefarious influence of teenage sexual activities, right?
Ha. And what happens when they're in school and rumors are going around that so-and-so gave head to so-and-so over the weekend? That's the kind of thind I heard at my school when I was 12. But through a combination of good parenting, good young adult literature, and a lot of discussion with my girlfriends, I managed to come up with my own set of sexual values despite the adolescent experimentation happening around me.
Of course, I tend to think the sexual values I came up with would not be compatible with those of that mother from Arkansas. But whatever. I bet her kids grow up to be either sexually repressed automatons or sex fiends with whips.
Next time I post, look forward to a brief commentary on "Pity, Fear, and Getting My Period: Aristotle's Poetics and the YA Novel."