Banned!


Our girl loves her high school English and Literature classes almost as much as she loves driving her teachers to distraction with her smarts. By thirteen, our daughter is qualified to teach literature classes. Between her daddy being the best liar and teller of wild tales ever, and my being an English professor, our young teen girl is a veritable Ursula Le Guin with a certain and wicked Mark Twain twist. She gives us laughs and drives us crazy with her creative story telling.

Her English teacher assigns Romeo and Juliet for reading and is discussing this Shakespearean play. This ornery girl of ours raises her hand, she just has to flap her jaws and showoff, "In Act 1, Scene 3, Shakespeare writes, I'll lay fourteen of my teeth, and yet, to my teeth be it spoken, I have but four, She is not fourteen.' " Our girl recites this from memory and continues, " Juliet is thirteen years old when she and Romeo go to bed to," Her teacher abruptly cuts her off. Wham! Taboo topic. Banned.

Our cowboy and I sign a permission form for our daughter to attend a "girls only" sex education class at high school. She could also teach this class. We are Choctaw, we are not Christians, we do not suffer this idiocy of Christian guilt and sin. Like her daddy and I growing up, since her birth the three of us share a bedroom and bed. This is our tepee way, our traditional way; she is more than privy to our intimate times. Upon enjoying her Choctaw rite of passage to womanhood, now officially a full grown woman, our girl becomes more aggressively assertive, "Do it this way, do it that way, no, do it like this!" Her daddy finally snaps, he laughs, slaps a hand over her mouth, "Your momma is teaching you too much, just shut your pie-hole and be quiet for a change!" She doesn't.

Raising and waving her hand, our girl stirs up another ruckus during sex-ed class, "When we are in bed my momma and daddy sometimes play mare and stallion. My momma moves around," Wham! Taboo topic. Banned.

"Momma, I need a new swimsuit for swim practice." She joins their school swim team and is anxious about her looks. I understand this, teenage girls are psychotically obsessed with peer group acceptance, she simply must look her best. We enjoy clothes shopping, we love shopping for clothes and shoes! My daughter selects a modest two piece swimsuit, maybe a tad bit cheeky on the backside but this doesn't matter, just her butt. When we spend a weekend at our favorite nudist resort a lot more than just her butt shows. We are not concerned, we are not uptight Christians. Besides her one piece for swim meets shows a lot more than just her cheeks.

She comes home from school mad. Over supper she explains to our cowboy and me, "Our swim coach says I have to wear a one piece swimsuit for practice." We are somewhat surprised and we are always supportive of our daughter when she is right. I tell her, "Set up an appointment with your coach, you and I will meet with her to find out what is going on."

During our meeting her coach advises us, "Girls on our swim team are not allowed to display their bellybuttons, your girl must wear a one piece for practice." Our girl and I look at each other then look at her coach. We are stunned to silence for a few moments. I launch into a tirade, "Those tissue thin spandex swimsuits they wear for swim meets show everything. With just a glance people around instantly know if our daughter shaves or not, and you are worried some boy will think lurid thoughts upon seeing her bellybutton." Her swim coach holds up a hand, a "stop talking" gesture. Wham! Taboo topic. Banned.

Few months she enjoys another tale to tell over supper and wine. Her science teacher gets to going on about bovines and equines, "Cows are not as smart as horses," our girl's hand flashes up and waves, "I taught my mare a lot of tricks! We are at a nudist club riding event and my mare," Wham! Taboo topic. Banned.

Each fall the American Library Association, yes, school librarians and public librarians, host a "Banned Books Week" celebration. This ALA publishes a list of books banned from school libraries and public libraries. Those banned books are celebrated and readers of all ages are encouraged to read those banned books to display protest of censorship. Click here to learn about Banned Books Week.

For the past twenty years a sex education book for children and young adults almost always makes the top ten list of banned books. This book is "It's Perfectly Normal" written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Michael Emberley. Their book is worldwide acclaimed, wins many literary awards and critics write, "Superb!", "Excellent literary art!" and "A must read for all ages of readers!"

Contrasting, Christians are so incensed by this book, raging protest is nationwide. Objections registered by the ALA include, "Inappropriate", "Sex", "Masturbation", "Homosexuality" and, of course, "Blasphemy!" Christians are demanding this book be banned everywhere then pulled off shelves and burned.

"It's Perfectly Normal" is a lightweight sex education book. Readers learn the bare basics of our instinctive natural behaviors. Discussions are simple, no deep details nor excessively explicit details. Robie Harris writes from a "Birds and Bees" perspective; easy to understand. Intent of his book is for kids to learn those feelings, behaviors, stuff of puberty, all and more are natural and perfectly normal.

Sample topics are what makes for a girl, what makes for a boy and making babies.

Some topics are changes in our bodies as we age and ways people display affection.

Other topics include sexual intercourse and what happens. There is discussion on how to say "No" to sex along with contraception methods and disease prevention measures. There is a good section on responsibilities, consequences and moral values. All topics are lightly touched and well illustrated for comfort of children and young adults. This book is designed to help the young decide what questions they should ask parents and teachers. This is a great book for learning.

There are many illustrated stories coming out of the Bible such as God sending a couple of angry she-bears to rip apart and kill scores of misbehaving children.