This year has just been going by at a crazy pace, hasn’t it? It feels like it was just March a few days ago, and now it’s already September.
Wait, no it’s not September. We’re actually in the darkest timeline, where librarians are receiving death threats for providing books.
Yes, you’ve probably already heard about this. But I’m going to talk about it anyway. All over America, but especially in Florida (which is really earning its nickname as America’s dick right now) books are being banned from schools and public libraries. Books that mostly have LGBTQ+ content. And since they can’t outright say that these books are being banned for being gay-friendly, the argument is that these books are inappropriate and sexual in nature.
Somehow, books about heterosexual love aren’t a concern. Maybe the people who make these decisions see LGBTQ+ love as being just about sex. As a bisexual, I can’t begin to tell you how offensive that is.
I can’t believe we’re still having this fight in 2023. I also can’t believe we’re fighting for abortion rights, and against Nazis. As the popular internet meme says, I’d like some modern problems.
Please understand that this issue is so much worse than limiting access to books. Librarians, who are basically superheroes in my opinion, are getting death threats. They are being harassed, getting terrifying phone calls, having people show up at the library with guns. They’re being accused of child abuse, of being groomers.
Since we’re on the subject, you know what is a real ‘groomer’ issue? The purity culture we force on little girls. If you’re a woman reading this, sound off in the comments how old you were the first time someone told you to cover up your body. I was maybe six and told that my body was inherently a distraction to boys and men.
But sure, let’s ban the books about girls liking other girls. That’s far more traumatizing than being told grown adults might not be able to control themselves around my six-year-old body. I’m sure that picture books of boy bunnies who love each other are triggering to students who have to participate in active shooter drills the same way I used to have fire drills.
Of course, it’s not about protecting children. It’s about controlling what children think about. It’s about controlling what we all think about, and what we consider threatening. Drag queens and queer books are not threatening. Politicians who want to restrict access to books are threatening.
But I’m not done yet.
I am a liberal, and if you haven’t picked that up yet I don’t know how. Banning books like Maus, And Tango Makes Three, The Handmaid’s Tale, and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is going to piss me off, as it should any liberal. Banning almost every book Sarah J Mass has ever written pisses me off as a speculative fiction author. But please understand, that everyone should be angry about this!
If you’re an author, you should be scared. If you’re a lover of literature, you should be scared. If you care even a little bit about our freedoms as American citizens, you should be scared. And you should be saying something.
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