Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Censorship. What does it really achieve?

I was an avid reader when I was a child, and I was twelve when I discovered Judy Blume. I read many of her books, but when it came to Forever, my mother forbid me to read it. Guess what? I read it anyway. I was completely unmoved. I was too young to understand the sexual dynamics and therefore, didn’t much care. I remember when I read the book, I pictured the characters as old. Like, in their late twenties. Because when I was twelve, that’s what all older people resembled.

I read the book and couldn't understand what all the fuss about.

My point here is not that I was a disobedient child who did whatever the hell I pleased (even though sort of I was) It is that my mother’s choice to ban the book only made it more intriguing to me. To me, being censored by my parents was -at the time- as bad as being censored by others as an adult is to me now.

There will always be people who want censorship. The question to ask them is not “why?” or “how can you presume to know what’s best for others?” but, “do you think censorship really helps anything?” Or does it just hurt?


Paris said...

When I was about twelve I started reading my father's copy of "Hawaii" by James Michener. My grandmother had a fit because there was sex in the book. Never mind the appalling way minorities were treated or the leper colony that broke my twelve-year old heart. She was worried about me reading about sex.

The sad part was, I don't think she ever read the book. Someone told her about it. Censorship by proxy. It makes me crazy, and to answer your question, no, I don't think it helps anything. m

Savanna Kougar said...

Censorship, of course, helps nothing... in the end.
My parents, especially my Dad, were liberal about letting me read most any book. At twelve, I began reading the James Bond novels... then red-faced my teacher by doing a book report on one.
The only thing I'd say is, if censorship gets a big fat foot in the door, as it has in a way because some authors are censored by the big publishing companies, themselves,like one book authored by Jim Marrs was, at one time... now, he's finally gotten it published.
That's one of the good things about the digital age of publishing, you can get your book out there, despite being blackballed... even if the readership may not be as big. However, that is changing, especially, if you're already an established author, as Jim is.

Serena Shay said...

~shakes head~ Censorship never works. Like with anything, if you tell someone, especially a child, that they can not do something, read something, watch something...yep they are going to go right out and find it.

I remember reading Forever, I loved it. The sex was intriging to my post pubescent mind. ;) It wasn't until a few years later, when my best friend introduced me to romance novels at a barely in my teens age that I realized how kind of tame Forever was.