I am a bit late when it comes to the whole Wesley Scroggins controversy that took place sometime last week. I first heard about it on Twitter from some of my fellow bloggers and it was somewhere around 1:00AM and I was so tired, but after I read the article I was completely awake and angry, but mostly empowered.
First let me say how proud I am of the book blogging community and how amazing so many of you out there are. I've read many blogs responding to the remarks that Wesley Scroggins made and everyone has remained so positive and uplifting when faced with someone who is ignorant and made false comments against Laurie Anderson. You are a graceful community that held your held up high with poise and you deserve recognition.
I have not personally read Speak, but after everything I have read about it and this situation I can say that the book is about teaching girls (or anyone) to stand up for their right to speak up. Many people can relate to having been molested, raped, or sexually harassed and having to hold that burdensome secret deep within. As I look back in my childhood I wish I had been taught about molestation and rape. Instead it was something swept under the rug and brushed to the side.
I remember a kid in my P.E. class that would grab me in inappropriate places during activities such as swimming and would sometimes make appearances in the girl's locker room. When I told my P.E. teacher about it, it was brushed aside, when I told my mom about it and she raised hell at the principle, he was pulled into a room with me and I was forced to sit beside of the guy and talk about it. It was as if I was being interrogated. Instead of this guy getting moved to another class or yet, punished, I was made to be humiliated. After the session, the guy got his friend's on it and I was made to be a laughing stock and even called names such as "whore" and "slut", etc. It took an extreme amount of hell raising on my mom's part for the school to really listen and only when the police became involved did the principle actually take action. (I am not comparing this to rape. I only mean to state that I personally have gone through similar situations that would have been easier if I were empowered to speak up and those in authority would have listened.)
Our children need to know what can happen to them and what they need to do if something DOES happen to them and it WILL happen if we do not educate. So many women that I have met have gone through similar situations and some still struggle to this day. Why wouldn't we want to protect our youth from the pain that the rest of us have gone through? As adults we need to LISTEN and watch for the signs of molestation, rape, and harassment.
I am empowered to stand up against so many things now, so thank you for that Mr. Scroggins, You have showed me that I need to stand up and fight the banning of books and censorship, and most importantly teach our youth to SPEAK UP.