This Is How You Respond to a Call to Ban a Book

Comments

1
HAHAHAHAHAHA "racy"?!? Wow.
2
...masturbation — which is not appropriate for my child to learn at 11


Could anything be more untrue?
3
My 9 year old is reading that book right now.
4
the people who want to ban books - always with the sour faces
5
She looks like a real winner.
6
If removing a title from a school's mandatory reading list (With book report!? Ugh, dude there goes my suuuuuuumer!) is "banning" what's the word for when somebody, like, actually bans a book? (OED: ban, v. To interdict, proscribe, prohibit) Because normally people who care about books also care about what words mean.
7
Yeah, this one's clearly in the running for Parent of the Year.
From her FB page:
"I am so sick of being a parent 24/7!!!!"
"Beach with 3 kids-I'm taking a Xanax now!"
https://www.facebook.com/kmcmullanpreiss…
8
Can somebody more educated than I on the subject explain why petitioning to have a book removed from a required reading list is the same as banning it? While the validity of her complaints is certainly questionable, I don't see those as identical.
9
@6 - You get the same thing when an ad is rejected for the Superbowl. It goes up on youtube as a "banned" commercial, presumably to add to the titillation of seeing something you shouldn't.
10
@2

Exactly. That kid already knows everything he needs to by this point. It's all a matter of technique now.
11
I'm rubbing one out to Miz McMullen-Preis right now. Specifically those secksie starfish earrings, POW.

Dear eleven-year-old Master McMullen-Preis: it gets better.
12
@2
According to certain prudish people, masturbation is inappropriate at 11, 21 or 51. In other words, it's never appropriate. No wonder they have such sour faces.
13
If they want to prevent teenage boys from jackin it then they should just show that picture of the lady to the boys every waking hour. I just looked at it and I am sure it is going to take several hours before I'm able to get erect.
14
The only fallout from my son reading this book is that I can no longer say "happy, happy, joy, joy" when he's around.
15
Fahrenheit 451 - it's what's for paranoia.
16
"Three boys! They *are* cute, but when they reach that age... they're disgusting. They smell, they're sticky, they say things that are horrible & there is semen all over everything. OK? Disgusting. I cracked a blanket in half. Do you get where I'm going w/ that? I. Cracked. It. In. Half."
17
If all she got from that book was "it's about masturbation," then she didn't read it very well.

And having taught 6th grade (and in Catholic school!), I can promise you that 6th grade boys know all they need to know about masturbation...except not to do it in public.

(Seriously. I mean, I know things are happening down there with adolescent boys, but I had a few - more so in 7th and 8th grade admittedly - who just couldn't keep their hands off their privates.)
18
Strange. Half the fun about being a kid is knowing that you and your buddies do it but its your fun little secret. Now it's classroom reading, kind of ruins the mystique of sex and sharpens jadedness, and obliterates innocence. It is not about book banning, it's about the proper perspective.
19
Good god, seriously? She was planning to talk to her son about this? From the link:

McMullan-Preiss said she didn’t want a school assignment to dictate when she had the awkward conversation about masturbation with her son.

@6

In what way is this book not being interdicted or proscribed?
20
Nothing sells a book like the attempt to ban one.
21
It's true, my kid knows Alexie but that acquaintance doesn't interest him in the Diary... book a third as much as knowing it's banned in some places.

He's at the right age to read it now, but if we push Diary... at him he won't be much for reading it.

22
While we are quoting this person,
"It really should be a parent’s decision how much information is given to their children."
If that were true, we would all be ignorant...

oh.

23
The most inappropriate possible masturbation-related thing for an 11-year-old boy* would be HAVING TO DISCUSS IT WITH HIS MOTHER.

With any luck, he will read the book anyway, and reading the book will make him become gay.

(*yeah yeah, other than child molesters & shit like that)
24
Anyone who hyphenates both their first and last names is immediately suspect in my book. Then again, this lady would probably try to ban my book, too.
25
@19

What way? In the way that words mean one thing and not another?

proscribed: forbidden
interdicted: Prohibit or forbid (something).

The book is not banned, forbidden, or prohibited. The book is no longer required reading. That doesn't mean the kids aren't allowed to read it. This is still America, more or less.

There are 50 million other books that are also not on this junior high school required reading list. Does that mean that all 50 million books are "banned"? Derp, no.

There are places in this world that ban books. There are authors who live in countries where the public cannot buy their books. It is serious repression. These authors are the victims of grave injustice and they and the public are having their human rights trampled.

Sherman Alexie, bless his heart, is not one of these repressed authors. Drama queen.
26
@23: Indeed. In fact, a son should never have have such a stupid discussion with his mother, period. I'm sure that suits most mother just fine.
27
Not two days ago, I was in a Spokane-area public library when a very unhappy woman complained to staff that her 10-year-old child's innocence had been permanently corrupted because the child had seen the ads in the back of a copy of The Stranger. Said copy was in a magazine rack in the lobby of the library and though her child is still a boy "of good moral character and integrity", she, the mom, was heartbroken to think of his poor devastated innocence. She has asked the library to remove The Stranger from the rack permanently.
28
I typed this post with my penis.
29
@27: Hopefully, the library will heed that woman's pleadings and come to their senses.
30
Seriously, this book was not banned. And people using that word are disingenuously trying to manufacture outrage by using it.
31
This woman sounds like an idiot, but she wasn't pushing for the book to be removed the library, only from the *required* reading list. That's not the same as trying to get a book banned.
32
Things a mom can talk to her son about on the topic of masturbation:

Everyone does it, just close the door and keep it private

Here's how to do your own laundry

Stop using my expensive hand cream, here's some plain lotion

While removing it from the required reading list is not banning, her reasons are silly. Kids know about masturbation by sixth grade. If they don't, reading a book is as good a way as any to learn about it. One assumes that the essay/book report they must complete doesn't have to address the 'racy' parts.