Saturday, September 25, 2010

Speak Loudly


Recently, Laurie Halse Anderson's book,
Speak has aroused controversy when Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University posted his thoughts of this book here. He deems that this book is a pornography and students should not be allowed to read it. Speak is facing the possibility of being banned by ALA, and bloggers everywhere are participating in the #speakloudly campaign to voice out their dissent towards the banning.

In my opinion, books like Speak should not be banned, because it tells us the tale of a rape victim, about the terrifying thing that happened to her and its aftermath. Now, my friends, rape cases do occur in our current society, and many girls/women are suffering from it every moment. Many of them are abused by strangers, friends or even relatives. The hurt that is inflicted upon the them are indescribably torturing. Some of them even tried to commit suicide because the black spot will always remain in their lives and the memory of the pain will never be destroyed.

The reason why Speak should not be banned is that it reminds us of a serious social issue that lies unexposed under the society's norms. There are many rape cases, but we have only heard of some, because many girls are afraid of what might happen to them if the case is brought to light. The matter is a lot worse in Asian countries, where a girl's chastity and virtues are highly regarded. If a girl is sexually abused, there's 90 percent that she won't speak up for herself. Nor will she do anything to make sure the perpetrator is prosecuted under the law. Why? Because people will start to look down upon her and see her as a walking disease. They will spread rumours about her, accuse her and tell their children to stay away from her instead of blaming the rapist for what he has done. There are even cases where the girl's parents ask her to shut up and pretend everything is all right, or else they might "lose face" if others know that their daughter is "unclean". This type of thinking is very unfair for the victim. They won't dare to lodge a police report under the immense pressure. Why can't people be more supportive of the girl and inculpate the rapist? It's NOT the girl's fault that she is raped. Think about it, if the victim is your wife, daughter, or even you, what would you feel?

In a nutshell, banning SPEAK is a wrong thing to do. We are not living in a fantastical utopia, and there's no use in sheltering youngsters in a cocoon of goodness and forbiding them to learn the fact that bad things do happen. Learning about social issues like this will allow them to learn how to protect themselves no matter what happens in the future.


Candace said...

Well said!

Holly said...

I LOVED this book! I think the message is important, and there's nothing about it that seemed inappropriate other than the aspects that were MEANT to shock readers to get the point across. Some people just like to get themselves all worked up unnecessarily.