Speaking up for “Speak”

Speaking up for “Speak”

Author Laurie Halse Anderson wrote about a sensitive subject and her book is now under fire from a man spouting ridiculous nonsense.  Books. Should. Not. Be. Banned.   We have the right to read whatever we choose.  We have the right to allow our children to read whatever we choose.


No one (well, no one normal) likes to think about rape. It isn’t a pleasant subject, it isn’t a pleasant thing to think about. It’s vile, dirty, disgusting, and just plain evil.  But the victims are VICTIMS.  No woman (or man, for that matter) should EVER feel ashamed or afraid to SPEAK up about what has happened to him/her.  Rape happens.  Rape happens far more often than any of us want to believe.  It happens at High School parties, it happens everywhere. Ms. Anderson wrote a book about a girl who finds her voice.  It is my belief that if the book helps even ONE victim Speak Out, then it has served an honorable purpose.

Now, as a disclaimer, I have not yet read Speak.  I did, however, buy a copy not 15 minutes ago and I will begin reading it just as soon as it arrives at my door.  I’ve read the reviews of others, though, and the Wiki on it (beware, contains spoilers), and I really am having a hard time grasping how this insane little man (I’m talking about you, Wesley Scroggins) thinks that this book is -bad-.

“Dr.” Scroggins calls this book “filthy” and “demeaning to education” in his article.  He also says,

In high school English classes, children are required to read and view material that should be classified as soft pornography.One such book is called “Speak.”

One can only surmise from that statement, that since the only scene containing intercourse in the book is an act of rape, that Dr. Wesley Scroggins believes that rape is “soft pornography”.  Just so I didn’t confuse myself in the writing of this post, I went to my trusty friend Google and searched for a proper definition of “pornography”.  Here’s what I got (from http://www.merriam-webster.com): 

Now call me an idiot, but doesn’t that say that pornography is meant to excite (sexually, no less) and arouse intense emotion?  It also says that pornography is erotic.

So! Dr. Wesley Scroggins thinks that the rape of a teenage girl is erotic and sexually exciting.  It apparently arouses him to an intense emotional state.

Or maybe I’m just interpreting this article wrong? Who knows. Maybe I am. But luckily, I still have the right to SPEAK, just as he does.

My opinion? SPEAK needs to be left alone.  Mr. Scroggins, however, may need to be “banned”.  Oh, and perhaps he should seek therapy?


If you are a victim of rape, DO NOT BE SILENT.  There is no reason to be ashamed.  There is no reason to hide.  There is no reason, at all, to not get the support, the help, the love that you need.  People care.

Helpful Link:
RAINN – Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network – 1.800.656.HOPE

What Others Are Saying (Much more eloquently than me, I might add):
Veronica Roth Books
Myra McEntire
C.J. Redwine
Pam from Bookalicio.us
Mundie Moms


Excellent post. The banning of books is something I can’t comprehend. That someone would want to make decisions about what I should or should not read implies that I can’t think for myself. Sadly, when you write about something that makes people like this uncomfortable, then you run the risk of having your book touted as disgusting, immoral, a bad influence. However, this Scroggins did SPEAK’s author a favor. Did you not go out and buy the book? So will I. Seems all his bluster made us want to read it for ourselves.

As an added thought; rape is a serious issue that should be addressed and brought out into the open so that it is not a taboo topic and victims can know that they have a voice and that voice needs to be heard. If he indeed does believe that the depiction of rape is akin to soft porn, he needs to have his own head examined.

Thanks for writing your blog. Speak is an important, intelligent and sensitive novel – one of the best YA novels I’ve come across, and it addresses an issue that is tragically a reality for so many people across the world, and even no doubt among those youngsters Scroggins wants to shield from having to think about it, and by extension if it’s too late, to shame them into silence. What an idiot. Thanks again for defying the small-minded and SPEAKING UP.
Katie x

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