The Censoring of Comics

While not every book is for everyone, I don’t believe anyone has the right to spoil other people’s fun. If a person thinks a book is pornographic and refuses to read it that’s their personal choice but why do so many feel compelled to try and force everyone to see it like that? Why should everyone be forced to stop reading something because one person has an issue with it?

Like Fun Home for instance. I’ve read a good chunk of the book so far and flipped through the pages many times. I’ve seen the nudity and not to sound like a creep or anything but I’ve seen and read way worse. Even when reading/seeing something that handles nudity at this point in my own reading life it doesn’t shock or freak me out anymore.┬áBut I know many people who are indeed uncomfortable with this type of material. So my advice to them is to avoid what makes them uncomfortable. I am a fairly open reader and I’m willing to at least give thing a try. If it doesn’t suit my fancy I’m happy to stop reading and move on.

Now that advice gets a little trickier to give when in a school environment and something is required reading for a class. I’ve been trying to think of what advice I give to someone who is uncomfortable with homosexuality and nudity, especially in a graphic format, who is assigned such a book and say has to write a paper on it. It sounds mean to say, “well you have to read it so just do it.” “Read it with an open mind” sounds even worse because that sounds like I’m criticizing someone’s beliefs. So while I don’t agree that the appropriate response is to force a school system to get rid of the book entirely I still don’t know what is considered the “right answer.” Everyone isn’t going to be happy with a reading selection, even if it’s a common reading program designed to give people something to discuss on a deeper level then “hey that book was funny.” I honestly can’t really come up with a solution. Dang.

  1 comment for “The Censoring of Comics

  1. alainazitzmann
    November 10, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    The real problem is that all forms of speech can be controversial, and there is no way to communicate without giving offense to some one, some where. Most often literature is written with the purpose to make the reader think and challenge concepts often accepted by society, and sometimes this can cause the reader to be uncomfortable. This cognitive dissidence isn’t always a bad thing, and the ability to question our beliefs and the way things are is a fundamental part of the human psyche. There are general subjects that should be avoided in the teaching of minors, such as explicit nudity and sexual violence, but that does not mean these subjects will not and cannot come up in discussion. Sometimes what can be more harmful than dealing with these subjects up front is the blatant ignoring done by educational institutions. Ignoring a problem will not make it go away, and the absence of education does not allow for students to grow into well rounded and understanding adults. What needs to happen is that educators and the students have to have open dialogue and a fuller understanding of what is being truly discussed in the books, and why these topics can cause discomfort.

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