Thanks in part to one of my favorite writers, Yasmine Galenorn, I became aware of Laurie Halse Anderson's recent blog in regard to one man's call to ban Laurie's book SPEAK because it should be considered "soft pornography."
Because of two rape scenes in the story.
Mind you, I have not read this book, being its a young adult novel and I haven't read much in the way of those kinds of books in quite some time, but a couple of days ago after reading Laurie's blog I decided I AM going to. I ordered it and expect to get it sometime next week from Amazon and I'm going to read it during Banned Books Week.
When issues reach the heart of me, it weighs heavily and the idea of a book being banned for such a ludicrous reason blew my mind. And made me toss and turn all night.
My issue with the man's reasons for banning the book bothered me to my core because in NO WAY would I EVER categorize rape as pornography.
Merriam-Webster.com defines pornography as-
INTENDED TO CAUSE SEXUAL EXCITEMENT.
1: the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
I'm sorry, but I don't think writers ever set out to write a rape scene to arouse the reader.....Being raped is NOT sexually exciting or arousing for anyone but the rapist.
The idea that anyone with a good heart and moral fiber would ever consider it pornography is beyond my comprehension and it disgusts me to think they could ever come to that conclusion in regard to it.
I will not get too deep into the details of my past, but I've been there and I am a survivor of such a violation of my physical being. It also violated my mental and emotional being and I know how mortifying it can be when the shock wears off and you are faced with the reality of what has happened and whether it changes the core of who you are.
I didn't "speak" about what happened to me and held the fear and anxiety inside for a long time, blaming myself, feeling as though I somehow "asked" for it, that I had fallen victim to being a statistic because it was someone I knew. Someone I considered a friend.
Time has helped heal it, but it still infuriates me when I see people who don't understand that rape is not a consensual pleasureable activity between two people. It's an invasion on so many levels and in so many ways.
As for someone who speaks now from experience, I have to wonder HOW this man came to the conclusion that he could define rape in the same context as pornography and it begs the question- If you can't tell the difference between the two, who are you to judge?