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#445690 - 08/28/13 09:19 AM Politics and CHILD Porn
Still Offline
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The very liberal Department of Education, as well as poli-influenced unions throughout the nation, have devised a schematic for a base-line of educational expectations. It effectively is an attempt to pander to the Least-Common Denominator of the nation's students by pulling the minimum performance expectations down into sub-terrain levels.

The Common Core Curriculum is here and expanding. I will be working to kill it at every possible opportunity. <edit>

EXAMPLE: Though she is very racist, Toni Morrison has ALWAYS been one of my favorite poets and authors. No longer! If it were up to me, I'd burn her books in every town square!

[size:14pt](WARNING: Grap...icks


Edited by Still (08/28/13 12:44 PM)
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#445702 - 08/28/13 10:56 AM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
Jacob S Offline
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From a teacher who has taught the book:

"what most affected me that first semester of teaching this novel was when a student came up to me after class towards the end of the unit and said, “Miss, thank you. My father did that to me.” She was thanking me for not pinning shame and blame on the girl who was abused and raped. She’d never heard the topic discussed openly and honestly before. She’d always blamed herself. From then on, I knew I’d fight to keep teaching The Bluest Eye. From then on, I knew it deserved, needed, must be taught."

http://mutterschwester.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/in-defense-of-the-bluest-eye/
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#445703 - 08/28/13 11:05 AM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
SoccerStar Offline
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Even if it was consenting adult behavior, those descriptions are far too graphic and prurient for high school curriculum. The psychology experiment of having kids feel like accomplices will not work; didn't this lady ever see "The Wave," about the successful experimental Nazification of a high school?

I'm used to sneering at people who protest school assignments like "One Fat Summer" (one short and metaphorical masturbation scene in a book about teenaged male loneliness and body image issues) or "Bastard out of Carolina" (a horror show meant to introduce kids to what incest is really like and why the secret is kept).... but even "Bastard" isn't as biologically graphic as "Bluest Eye," and it always spotlights how evil the perps are.

This is a mistake and should be removed from the curriculum.
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#445705 - 08/28/13 11:18 AM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: SoccerStar]
Jacob S Offline
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Well I think we can at least agree that well-meaning people can come to different opinions on this book. The implication that the book should be burned and that the real motive behind teaching it is to promote perversion are conclusions that need not be drawn.


Edited by Jacob S (08/28/13 11:19 AM)
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#445710 - 08/28/13 12:07 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
SoccerStar Offline
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I would also point out that it is unfair to ascribe malicious motive to those behind this, let alone to expand that malicious motive out to include many users here ("left-wingers"). Everyone here wants what is best for kids, and it creates an atmosphere better for sustaining trust and safety by granting other users the benefit of the doubt regardless of their political or religious affiliations.

Having been a teacher and curriculum designer, I am comfortable in concluding that the Dept. of Education and school officials at all levels are legitimately trying to help kids, albeit in this case with perhaps not the best tool. You will find nearly identical objections to "Bastard out of Carolina," and since the author was a rape survivor she of all people wasn't trying to "have her way with sick sexual stuff."


Matt
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#445711 - 08/28/13 12:16 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
Magellan Offline
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Yes, it IS graphic, and I am also a little bit shocked by the words.

I remember reading Ragtime (an American classic) in high school; and there's a scene where the character is hiding in a woman's closet, unbeknownst to her, and he starts jacking off when she undresses. I won't go any further in describing the scene other than to say it had a remarkable and measurable effect on me. I'd never forgotten how surprised I was to read those words and imagine what I imagined while reading. I was shocked, and a little bit embarrassed while reading it.

In hindsight, I'm very very glad that I did. Reading that was the first ever description of another guy jerking off I ever came across. I had no one else to talk to about my emerging sexuality; I was scared, lonely, frightened and horrendously ashamed of myself.

Reading that felt like it unlocked something in me, released me from an isolated prison of fear because of ignorance and shame. Reading that did make me lose my innocence a bit - but in a good way. They were just words and it was only my own imagination.

When I realized that OTHERS were reading the same words in class and having their own experiences and reactions, I realized that I shared a sexuality with the human race. I wasn't alone, and I didn't have to be ashamed and feeling like the devil's poop.

So yeah, I agree with both sides. I'm also shocked by the words, but I'm reminded by my own reaction when I came across something like that in my naivete. And am immensely glad that I was exposed to it. It released me from my own occluded thinking.

As a 41 year old man, I acknowledge that times have changed, culture has changed. I'm of the age where I think the kids music stinks these days. But every generation goes through this distaste and disgust. Remember when rock and roll was of the devil? Or when the blues represented the decay of civilization?

We'll be shocked. But our kids live in a very different world than we lived in. The human species is evolving blisteringly fast - its a cultural and conscious evolution. And its unstoppable.

I just hope that more people like myself, gain insight about their own emerging sexuality by reading books like this (and Ragtime -an American classic). because it was a VERY good thing for me.



Edited by Magellan (08/28/13 12:35 PM)
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#445717 - 08/28/13 01:04 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
Still Offline
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I worry greatly about content like this being twisted and leveraged into an example of normalcy and license in order to groom a child.

I'll be interested to see how the parents of the nation and teachers react. But I'm more interested in teachers et al who leverage the content for their CSA goals.
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#445719 - 08/28/13 01:10 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
Magellan Offline
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I'd be interested in finding out the context of the book (the story), rather than focusing sharply on some of the graphic text. The book isn't ONLY that graphic language. I'm assuming that it is also a book about self discovery, expression, relating to others, and it sounds like it contains portrayals of abuse as well.

In *that* context, I think it would make it rather difficult for a perpetrator to use the book as a potential leverage to get at one of their students (if that's what you're concerned about). The very fact that the book so openly describes abusive patterns and describes some of the thoughts of perpetrators in the book is rather empowering for the reader - they are taught how to recognize grooming patterns by reading it.

Did you read the linked article that contained all the graphic language? There's mention of a conversation in the book where a perp describes why they're drawn to little girls.

Shocking, but educational. And hence, why it is recommended reading curric. They might be trying to do the very same thing you are. Teaching the younger ones how to identify perpetrators before they become victims.
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#445727 - 08/28/13 01:36 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
Still Offline
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Right. But let me clarify some of the red-lines in the sand:

If I were King for a Day, after eating all the chocolate and lobster in the world, I would not bar Toni M from publishing the book. Her First Amendment rights are without qualifiers!

But for a government and labor union to push this as a "book of focus" for MINOR children, is wrong, wrong, wrong! I cannot find ANY literary or educational reason for an officially and publicly endorsed work like this for school-children under public purview and charge.

I offer public burning of such books as a demonstration of complete rejection of the book's role in children's lives.

The culture that affords pedos-n-perps power to more-easily claim their prey is ever shifting in their favor. Seriously here people! I don't see ANY cultural shifts in telling perps "NO FKG WAY PAL" or telling parents to "get your head outta yer ass and pay attention" or hey children....watch-out for these turds."

All I see is incrementalism in accommodating the perps' path. Show me ONE book of Common Core blessing that sends the perps to an eternity in Hell, or children how fkd-up some adults are, or "What's Wrong With Jimmy," or "Mr Jones Sure Like Me!"
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#445728 - 08/28/13 01:41 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
Magellan Offline
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We'll just have to agree to disagree.

I think its a GREAT thing. As I said before - the book contains what seems to be markers of perpetrators, so that youngsters can identify them before becoming victims. I value the context of the story above the snippets of graphic writing.

This is based on my personal experience reading an American classic novel which also contains VERY graphic language. That was a good thing for me to experience.

And likewise, I think its a great thing for youngsters to read as well. 11th grade is about 16-18 years old - hardly "children". They're teenagers, horny, insecure teenagers.

So, I disagree with your stance, and I invite you to actually read the book yourself to find out the context and context of the writing. You might be surprised.
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#445729 - 08/28/13 01:43 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Magellan]
Still Offline
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Originally Posted By: Magellan
I'd be interested in finding out the context of the book (the story), rather than focusing sharply on some of the graphic text. The book isn't ONLY that graphic language. I'm assuming that it is also a book about self discovery, expression, relating to others, and it sounds like it contains portrayals of abuse as well.

In *that* context, I think it would make it rather difficult for a perpetrator to use the book as a potential leverage to get at one of their students (if that's what you're concerned about). The very fact that the book so openly describes abusive patterns and describes some of the thoughts of perpetrators in the book is rather empowering for the reader - they are taught how to recognize grooming patterns by reading it.

Did you read the linked article that contained all the graphic language? There's mention of a conversation in the book where a perp describes why they're drawn to little girls.

Shocking, but educational. And hence, why it is recommended reading curric. They might be trying to do the very same thing you are. Teaching the younger ones how to identify perpetrators before they become victims.





Here's Amazon's description: Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.

____________________________________

Here's a POOR (one-star) review from an Amazon reader:

Where to start? This book is just plain vile.
I am pretty broad minded but when I heard that a friend's daughter was being given this book as a compulsory reader in her 11th grade, through the appalling Common Core Curriculum, and having read some of this author's short stories, I thought I would read it to see if it was as trash laden as those short stories. Sadly Toni Morrison has kept to her very low standards and insists that we all live in the gutter and mix with the dregs of society. I have to note here, that the reason I read her short stories was because my daughter had been given them to read in college, and when my very well read and well travelled daughter said she was shocked by these stories I felt compelled to read them to find out it they really were as low-life and unpleasant as she was describing. They were!
This book only carried on her theme and I felt dirty after reading it and certainly cannot recommend it too anyone but particularly not to impressionable 11th Graders.
I am left asking this one question - What are our schools administrators thinking about forcing this garbage on to our kids.
Surely we want our young people to be lifted up by what we expose them to. Toni Morrison has once again succeeded in wallowing in the garbage of humanity.
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#445731 - 08/28/13 01:55 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
Magellan Offline
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As a person who has taught teenagers, myself, I think the book reveals the more sinister sides of humanity. It's necessary to teach our kids "who we are" as a species; what we've done, what we're capable of, and the horrors of sexual abuse.

Sounds like this book nails that in spades (and offended a few people in the process). 291 5 star ratings vs. 57 1 star ratings. 5 stars describing how powerful and revealing the book is, and the 1 star ratings describing how the readers were personally offended.
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#445732 - 08/28/13 02:00 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Magellan]
Still Offline
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Originally Posted By: Magellan
I invite you to actually read the book yourself to find out the context and context of the writing. You might be surprised.


I recall staring it and then tossing it by the spine. It "lost me" when it described the little girl's botched management of her menstruation.

Exposure of children to sexually explicit material (by any mode) is generally considered "Sexual Abuse." Its sad (to some) that we won't even see an "Inherit The Wind" play on even this.

Not all children are emotionally equipped for this material and becomes forced poisoning of their mind.

Quote:
11th grade is about 16-18 years old - hardly "children". They're teenagers, horny, insecure teenagers.


So there's no concern regarding these "horny, insecure teens" and reading something hyper-sexualized and may be interpreted as permission to abuse a little girl? EDIT: And when the permissive material comes from the State...permission is assumed to be complete.

This is why we have child protection laws and Sex Abuse laws. Because age and horniness is justification o NOTHING!

"Gee wizz your honor. Billy was oh so very horny and just HAD to git some."

Children are too young to consent and children DO perpetrate!


Edited by Still (08/28/13 02:01 PM)
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#445733 - 08/28/13 02:05 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
Magellan Offline
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I've made my point, and it is clear we don't see eye to eye on it.

I'm glad its in the curric. Just like I'm glad that 'Ragtimes' was in my curric.
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#445736 - 08/28/13 02:25 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
SoccerStar Offline
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I would not be concerned about the grooming potential of material like this. The full class discussion setting is much too public and group-based - there's no chance to pick out a special secret "friend."

Quote:
Exposure of children to sexually explicit material (by any mode) is generally considered "Sexual Abuse."


Only if it is meant to provoke arousal. My middle school health class featured that "Miracle of Birth" tape, featuring the super-duper close-up interior shot of an ejaculating glans and ending with a real kid being born from a real naked hairy vagina. Everybody giggled but it wasn't inappropriate. "Bastard out of Carolina" was clear on what went where, though less detailed, and the point was to evoke horror, not horniness. It's impossible to warn kids about perps if kids don't know who perps can be and don't at least have close to as much knowledge of what the perp is trying to accomplish (ie, that they understand their own bodies enough to know that if s/he/they say(s) "look what your body is doing, you like it, TRUST ME" - that the perp is actually lying.)


During one of my final years as a teacher I chaperoned a weekend religious school retreat for high school students. Wealthy, well-fed, tough-talking New York City high school students. Among the topics we scheduled for conversation included how to know the difference between infatuation and love; sexual orientation; and social views towards virginity, especially in their age demographic. We also had the old "anonymous question drop" tactic. Looking at these anonymous questions... these kids were CLUELESS about how contraceptives worked, thought ALL contraceptives were effective against STDs, and had little to no idea what really could or could not spread AIDS in particular.

They need unflinching and up-front education.

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#445757 - 08/28/13 05:21 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
Chase Eric Offline
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Originally Posted By: Rob
If it were up to me, I'd burn her books in every town square!

I read The Bluest Eye, and it is a frank, brutal and honest book. I think it is important to understand that Toni Morrison likely did not promote this book specifically for use in a high school curriculum. So if you feel it lacks proper pertinence, then instead of burning the book - which would deprive it from everyone - I'd be challenging the school district about it. It sounds like a discussion worth having, a discussion that would yield far more intellectual dividends. I could be mistaken, but it seems to me that book burners have invariably always ended up on the wrong side of history in democratic societies.

Frankly, at the 11th grade level, I cannot see how discussing the topic of CSA in such blunt and sensory terms could be anything worse than an offensive aesthetic, and I would argue that it could actually be helpful. I can only speak the truth of my own perspective, but I was still dealing with a long, difficult history of continuous abuse when I was in eleventh grade. I had not yet developed the vocabulary to define what I had been going through. I felt isolated, dirty, shamed. I was weighed down by a heavy baggage of secrets. And I thought I was the only person in the universe who had such an unspeakable experience.

And while clueless adults all too often talk around the subject of CSA in delicate and sanitized abstracts, so few speak beyond those emotional aesthetics to the victim's experience, to the sensory truth the victim knows and remembers, to the obscenity of the experience that defines the essence of the crime. All I was told - once my molester was caught - was that he did it because "he wasn't getting enough love at home." I tried to relate to those words - to understand them. But I could not - they did not speak to my experience at all. And those words ultimately kept me in his lair - trying to give him that "love" he needed so he wouldn't try to steal it from my sister. No one spoke honestly to me until I opened up books like The Bluest Eye and others, books which spoke bluntly to my experience, books that told me I was not alone with this, books that eventually gave me my voice. The paradox of the argument against Morrison's book is that these books deliver precisely what MaleSurvivor delivers - the assurance we are truly NOT alone - a site of shared stories as difficult to emotionally navigate as The Bluest Eye, perhaps - a site not closed to young people just emerging from the same darkness most of us know with such unfortunate intimacy.

I applaud Toni Morrison's courage and honesty to speak from the heart. Frankly, I believe that amputating these selections from the book, as self-described "conservatarian PolitiChick" Macey France has done, extracts them from the context of deeper meaning. It's a book, a train of thought that serves a more synergistic message than can be derived from merely reading it as a collection of parts. It would be as if someone took a picture of my genitals and extrapolated a conclusion of me, with similar judgments of my propriety.
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#445792 - 08/28/13 10:17 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
CruxFidelis Offline


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Posts: 486
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I worked in a high school english department that made us use The Bluest Eye in our curriculum. The really sad thing is that in the school system where I taught, by senior year (which is when I taught it, within a larger unit on race & literature) most of my students had already been exposed to that subject matter in real life. As a Christian and as a man of good will, I try to avert my eyes from such stuff and think it is not right to force students to read it. However, since i couldn't get out of it I tried to use this as a way of bringing up the subject of abuse narratives and the importance of speaking out against it.

I think there are other ways to educate students about abuse, and I'd prefer those avenues instead, personally.
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#445858 - 08/29/13 10:33 AM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Chase Eric]
Still Offline
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LOVE the new avatar BTW!!!!

Originally Posted By: Chase Eric
...I'd be challenging the school district about it...


This is being rammed into the throat of every NH school by the statehouse. No choice! A decade ago, the state structured a "fair-money-distribution" law and edu environ that now compels every town to give-up its local money (by accounting) and receive from the statehouse.

THAT force just pisses me off into a dimension of rage that has yet to be measured (as I'm sure you find hard to believe).

But now...our private High Skool Academy (multi-town, very old and VERY academically-oriented) is being told by the statehouse that "since you recv tuition from area towns, you gotta do what WE say, and fully adopt the Common Core Curriculum plan, content, blah blah blah."

Fortunately, I'm not the one who will call the Gov's office and say "yeah....well fuk you!!!"

But we have a battle on our hands, and it SUCKS!


Edited by Still (08/29/13 10:49 AM)
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#446531 - 09/05/13 10:23 PM Re: Politics and CHILD Porn [Re: Still]
toddop Offline
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I stumbled upon this thread because it came up when I was looking for posts on child pornography, to help with my own struggles because it was a key component of my CSA. I have hesitated commenting, but I feel compelled to share.

First let me say that I try my best to respect everyone’s opinions. I think every adult should have a say in what their own children, and just children in general, should be reading and have access to.

For my part, I don’t see an issue with this book being in a HS curriculum at all. I have read this book, and several of Toni Morrison’s other books. I do not find her to be racist at all, nor indecent. I find her writing very beautiful, thought-provoking, and ultimately compassionate. In this book, she takes tough subjects like incest and racism and talks about them bluntly and honestly. There is no dilution, but it is not written at all in what might be considered an inappropriate or titillating manner.

For better or worse, we live in a technologically advanced and highly sexualized culture. These high school kids can get on a laptop and in three clicks be surfing in the most graphic pornographic content you can find. These kids have grown up with that kind of access. They are way more advanced around some of these topics than we may know. Yes, some parents can curtail that kind of access and should. But, others do not. So there is always the chance that anyone’s kids can get access by going to such and such’s house, just like all the guys when I grew up used to go to Tommy’s house to borrow copies of his Dad’s Penthouse magazines. That kid had access.

Heck, I even remember back in my day in high school, all of the girls in my school were toting around copies of VC Andrews’ "Flowers in the Attic” series. This New York Times bestselling series was a romanticized story of kids being locked up in an attic and having incestuous affairs and children with each other. While that was never on any school curriculum, it just goes to show you that kids have access to that kind of stuff all the time. Those books could certainly be construed as romanticizing child abuse.

Kids today have access to much more. They can access graphic pornography. They can even access child pornography. And just looking at the headlines, some of them make pornographic videos of sex and even rape, and will even post it to Facebook. Others are victims of this abuse themselves. It is really frightening when you really think about it. The point is that there is nothing in this book that teens these days have never heard about, just scanning the headlines on the internet.

The antidote to that in my opinion, since nobody is lining up to remove the VC Andrews types of books from stores, nor able to do anything about the onslaught of illegal porn and underage access to porn is to balance what kids are already exposed to with a more compassionate and nuanced look at the realities of life and the experience of living a life touched by incest and molestation.

I think books like The Bluest Eyes are that antidote. They should neither be condemned, lobotomized, nor burned. Burning books is just wrong, particularly books by celebrated authors that have touched so many people. I wish I had read this book when I was in HS. It was a powerful read. It might have jolted me out of the CSA induced coma I had been in that would last until my late 20s. I think I would have felt that as a CSA survivor that this book spoke to me.

Instead, I suffered in silence having been exploited cruelly and horrifically in front of a camera during my CSA for perps to enjoy even to this day. That is child porn. This book is not.

Again, I respect anyone’s right to complain about the book, and it’s inclusion in the school curriculum. I even respect anyone taking steps to address it through their legislative process. But, I whole-heartedly disagree with the conclusion about the book.
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