Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Banned, Censored, Challenged: Twilight

Yes.
You knew it was only a matter of time, right? I heard about this on Twilighters Anonymous:

A series of fantasy novels about a vampire and his teenage girlfriend were banned Friday from middle school libraries in the Capistrano Unified School District over concerns about age-appropriate content, but reinstated today.

Librarians were instructed to remove all books by Meyer from their collections and send them to the district office, where they were to be redistributed to the district’s high school libraries.

But in a follow-up e-mail sent Tuesday afternoon, Gerfin instructed library staff to “disregard” the initial e-mail. She did not offer an explanation to library staff

So, Twilight was banned and unbanned in a California middle school library for being too "mature". What exactly is "mature"? At 14, a teenage girl should be able to read this book- but then again, doesn't that depend on the 14 year old?

For the record, there is no premarital sex in the series and the author, Stephanie Meyer is a devout member of the Church of Latter Day Saints (probably paying some serious tithes, too, but that's none of my business).

There have also been many complaints about Twilight being "anti-feminist". Twilight hate groups have sprung up all over the Internet in the most colossal waste of energy I have ever seen. With all the words typed up saying how horrible Twilight is, someone could have written a better book by now- but they haven't and I'm guessing they won't .

Despite being a bit of a book snob myself, I am excited about Twilight. Pre-teen girls need to cut off the television and read- if Twilight will make them do that, then what's the big deal?

People might complain that it's anti-feminist, but once they're done devouring these vampire romance stories, they'll turn to other books. I've seen it happen.


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8 comments:

Jenna said...

While I'm not a fan of Twilight (I liked the first book for its easy, quick read, not-a-lot-of-thinking-required status), I don't think it deserves to be banned. There are a lot of people in my town that are reading Twilight that would never read anything else. As long as they're reading, it's good.

ashleyrowell said...

Steph,

Another great post. I personally really liked Twilight. I thought that it was a breath of fresh air from the usual sex, drugs, and rock n roll type books/movies that kids are attracted to. Heck, people should be happy that an author has managed to capture should a large sect of teens by turning a typically dark fantasy into one with moral undertones- like abstinence. I mean Romeo and Juliet, a classic found in every High School library, has more of a "bad influence" on teen behavior than Twilight. I just think that educators need to stop trying to tear apart everything that kids read, and start encouraging them.

jo oliver

Miss_Nobody said...

I can't beleive this,banning twilight?I loved the book,and it definately doesnot contain anything that cannot be read by a 14 year old.Its a refreshing break,and its amazingly written.Stephanie Meyer is an AWESOME writer,all it contains is some hot[HOT] vampires that are oblivious that they are so,easy reading,good story line,light(and dark) humour.I'm sure any teenager can handle that.

Missy said...

There is something for you at my blog.

http://missysbooknook.blogspot.com

Book pusher said...

I suspect Twilight was always going to upset someone. We thought long and hard about getting it for our library and in the end we decided it was a bit old for our kids,(13 being the oldest), first book was fine, the last one kind of ruled out the series for us. I do keep an eye on which stores are offering special prices on Twilight, so when the kids ask I can tell them where they can buy the books cheaply. The kids are buying them and lending them to each other.
They are really good books to read with teenage girls because they raise all sorts of issues about sexuality, the portrayal of female sexuallity and relationships. When parents ask me about them I tell them to read them with their kids and talk about them, they are great way to explore issues, literary symbolism, relationships, etc and critical literacy. And much like JK Rowling, Stephanie Meyers has been an absolute gift to literacy because kids who might not normally want to read are reading her books and sometimes you just have to be greatful that kids are reading. If as a parent your concerned about what your kids are reading then you should be reading the books with them and giving your kids your point of view while letting them give you theirs, encouraging thinking and mutually respectful debate. Twilight certainly generated a lot of discussion in our house.

sharazad said...

Book Pusher- I agree so much with you-- this part in particular:
"If as a parent your concerned about what your kids are reading then you should be reading the books with them and giving your kids your point of view while letting them give you theirs, encouraging thinking and mutually respectful debate."

Come to think of it, this is how my Mom and I always dealt with new books. & now my brother & sisters join in such discussions.

DeSeRt RoSe said...

Ban Twilight?! Now that is a joke!! It's as clean as a whistle!! No sex or hot scenes.. my daughter is 14 and I would love that she would read it!! I would give it to her myself!! It's fun and definitely age appropriate :)

AngieOnTheNYIslesScene said...

Twilight- not my favorite book. Meyer writes like a five-year-old, and I do think there are some anti-feminist elements of Bella, the main character. However, I hardly think this book merits any kind of banning or challenging whatsoever. It doesn't even provoke any kind of thinking; it's not deep enough for that.

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