Author Topic: So...about the banned book thing  (Read 14330 times)  

Online Becca Mills

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #125 on: August 10, 2017, 10:37:28 AM »
I'm not talking about the fact that readers can distinguish between reality and fiction. I'm talking about the excuses made for the content by writers in this thread. I'm not sure how to say that more clearly. These attitudes are also pervasive in society. Well, of course they are. That's why writers in this thread are espousing them. That's what is disgusting me.

I am honestly not seeing anyone "making excuses" for the behaviors portrayed in the book. I'm seeing people trying to clarify what's actually in the book, which most of us have not read. Does a 10- or 11-year-old actually get touched sexually? Does incest actually take place, or are the characters not biologically related? Is the behavior illegal statutory rape, or is it grossly unethical without being illegal? Is there clear consent, clear refusal, or something ambiguous? Trying to understand whether and how this author may or may not have threaded her way around through the details is not the same as making excuses for her, and having an argument about the book based on a misunderstanding of what's actually in it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Everyone else, let's leave religion out of the picture. I'll need to do some trimming of posts on that front.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 10:39:36 AM by Becca Mills »




Offline Nic

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #126 on: August 10, 2017, 10:38:35 AM »
But I'll defend people's right to write or read it.

There are texts you cannot read or write in the USA, and texts you can't read or write outside the USA. It has been happening all the time. Just the context differs from time to time. However, this is a typical direction of discussion for this topic with American authors and readers, for some reason I have to yet understand. The influence of media, whether audio-visual or written, is an established fact. Why is it so hard to accept that this is so? People have committed suicide and attempted murder after watching movies and reading books.


Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #127 on: August 10, 2017, 10:39:55 AM »
People have pointed out that she was 16. And that yeah, it's statutory rape but it's consensual statutory rape. NO ONE has said that that makes the content completely okay, nor that they would condone it in the real world. They've just corrected misinformation. It's not the same as thinking fathers shagging their teenage daughters IRL is a-okay. It's really, really not.
It is not statutory rape. It is first degree sexual assault and consent is immaterial. It is sexual assault by definition. There is no such thing as consent in these cases. That is why there's a term called "grooming"--the preparation of a child by a predator to be sexually assaulted, to be made to feel that it is romantic and ok.

Offline Huldra

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #128 on: August 10, 2017, 10:51:39 AM »
It is not statutory rape. It is first degree sexual assault and consent is immaterial. It is sexual assault by definition. There is no such thing as consent in these cases. That is why there's a term called "grooming"--the preparation of a child by a predator to be sexually assaulted, to be made to feel that it is romantic and ok.

Is that part of the legislation because he is her father? I admit, I'm not strong in US legal structure.
In either case, my point still stands. No one is saying it's okay to do these things. People are trying to clarify what's actually happening in the book.

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #129 on: August 10, 2017, 10:58:22 AM »
There are texts you cannot read or write in the USA, and texts you can't read or write outside the USA. It has been happening all the time. Just the context differs from time to time. However, this is a typical direction of discussion for this topic with American authors and readers, for some reason I have to yet understand. The influence of media, whether audio-visual or written, is an established fact. Why is it so hard to accept that this is so? People have committed suicide and attempted murder after watching movies and reading books.

Nic, I do think there's disturbing inconsistency on this issue, and you're right not to want to just let it go. I don't want to open a whole new can of worms by raising other topics, but speaking generally, I can think of a few areas where the effects of art on society are assumed to be powerful, and there's an attempt to use that power to shape attitudes for the better by managing the ways they're portrayed (usually on screen). If art can shape attitudes for the better, it follows that it might also be able to shape attitudes for the worse. I guess it's possible that the former works and the latter doesn't, but that kind of odd difference needs to be established with careful research, not just assumed. IMO.




Offline Shelley K

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #130 on: August 10, 2017, 11:01:39 AM »
There are texts you cannot read or write in the USA, and texts you can't read or write outside the USA. It has been happening all the time. Just the context differs from time to time. However, this is a typical direction of discussion for this topic with American authors and readers, for some reason I have to yet understand. The influence of media, whether audio-visual or written, is an established fact. Why is it so hard to accept that this is so? People have committed suicide and attempted murder after watching movies and reading books.

Everything we see, hear, read and experience affects us. I don't think anybody denies that. But what of all the people who watch movies and read books and don't do horrific things? People have committed suicide and attempted murder after not reading certain books or watching certain movies. The Beatles aren't responsible for the way Charles Manson interpreted their music, right? Anyone who commits suicide or murder after watching a movie has issues that the movie and its creator can't have anticipated or prevented.

I think American authors and readers prize our first amendment, and don't try to hold artists responsible for the individual perceptions of those who consume the art. Media in general, particularly the propaganda that passes for news, is a very different story. But artists need to be free to create without worrying if some disturbed person might see patterns in the words or brushstrokes that weren't intended.

Offline Nic

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #131 on: August 10, 2017, 11:13:07 AM »
I guess it's possible that the former works and the latter doesn't, but that kind of odd difference needs to be established with careful research, not just assumed. IMO.

Yes, and of course. That's why I told Shelley to google "experience-taking". There is research being done on this and similar topics, and so far it points towards direct influence.

I'm not in favour of censoring, I repeat that. Two days ago I argued against PC vocabulary for a reason. But the refusal to acknowledge that negative impact is possible isn't helpful to anyone. And the comparison fits, even. If the used (non-PC) language is so important, because it allegedly influences how we think, why is that suddenly not the case, when we talk about books which portray acts as romantic which are indefensible?

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #132 on: August 10, 2017, 11:38:41 AM »
I'm seeing people trying to clarify what's actually in the book, which most of us have not read. Does a 10- or 11-year-old actually get touched sexually? Does incest actually take place, or are the characters not biologically related? Is the behavior illegal statutory rape, or is it grossly unethical without being illegal? Is there clear consent, clear refusal, or something ambiguous?

I haven't read it, just tracked down the reviews on Goodreads.  SPOILER ALERT: From what I read in the reviews, she thinks he's her father when they become sexually involved. Supposedly it's a big twist towards the end of the book when she finds out that he isn't her biological father. From what I can tell he's been her father figure since she was about two years old.  One of the reviews has a direct quote about him having very forceful sex with her as she's in labor with his child.  Multiple reviews make reference to flashbacks that there had been sexual interest/contact prior to the escape to the wilderness.


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Offline CN_Crawford

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #133 on: August 10, 2017, 11:51:58 AM »
I'm not sure why people are talking about horror here. The books where horrific serial-killing crimes happen are not presented as romance. Different topic.

Amazon would not ban a memoir written someone describing sexual abuse at the hands of her father. We all know that, right?

This is a romance depicting sexual abused between his father and his daughter. If you want to write it and present it as a story about an evil man who abused his child, don't put it in romance.

But what we are talking about here is a romance with an HEA that legitimizes child abuse.

Also, I'm getting annoyed with the implications that adoptive parents aren't "real" parents. Genetics aren't the crucial factor here.

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Offline lilywhite

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #134 on: August 10, 2017, 11:58:32 AM »
Also, I'm getting annoyed with the implications that adoptive parents aren't "real" parents. Genetics aren't the crucial factor here.

SO beyond annoyed over here. My oldest daughter's father adopted her when we got married. She was 4. We did not include a clause where he could start banging her once she was 16.

Offline EC Sheedy

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #135 on: August 10, 2017, 12:06:09 PM »
From what I've read on this thread, I have no desire to read this book. It would make my stomach churn. I don't understand how the word romance even gets attached to such books. Maybe they should be called predator grooming books.

I also have no desire to stop/ban a writer from writing whatever s/he feels the compulsion to write. And I have no problem with a retailer choosing not to storefront certain products. Their call.

What I would like--cuz I is a dreamer--is every possible warning-type disclaimer stamped on such books--preferably by the author. You know, this kind of thing: incest, incest with a minor, sexual violence, rape, extreme violence . . . probably a few more I can't think of. All this, so I as a reader can avoid downloading things I don't want to read. I'd be okay with that. And really if an author writes such things and, I assume, has pride in their work, they should have no problem telling the readers what they've written. They can find their niche and I can read a mile outside it.
 

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Offline dgcasey

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #136 on: August 10, 2017, 12:14:11 PM »
This is a romance depicting sexual abused between his father and his daughter. If you want to write it and present it as a story about an evil man who abused his child, don't put it in romance.

There is nothing romantic about it.
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Offline paranormal_kitty

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #137 on: August 10, 2017, 12:18:17 PM »
From the descriptions of this book, it sounds like it might not even be protected "free speech" in the US. See New York v. Ferber. Not sure this would even pass the Miller test though (does it have "serious literary value"?).

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #138 on: August 10, 2017, 12:20:00 PM »
I read some of this book last night. Spoilers ahead: It has a lot of flashbacks where the dad is lusting over his young adopted daughter, and flashbacks where the daughter has been trying to seduce her dad for years, apparently. The contact between the dad and daughter is "consensual", but there is a rape scene where the daughter is violently attacked by a band of inbreds while the dad is forced to watch. (Ticking all the shock value boxes...)

I don't agree that books should be banned, but man, there is a lot of questionable stuff going on in this one. The author makes everyone seem happy and well-adjusted, and even the neighbors in the book come to accept this incestual relationship. I just can't see how this story is romantic or healthy.

What I would like--cuz I is a dreamer--is every possible warning-type disclaimer stamped on such books--preferably by the author. You know, this kind of thing: incest, incest with a minor, sexual violence, rape, extreme violence . . . probably a few more I can't think of. All this, so I as a reader can avoid downloading things I don't want to read. I'd be okay with that. And really if an author writes such things and, I assume, has pride in their work, they should have no problem telling the readers what they've written. They can find their niche and I can read a mile outside it.

There is a disclaimer on this book, but it basically says if you can't handle this, you are not open-minded enough. Defintely playing up the 'banned' aspect.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 12:30:59 PM by Allyson J. »

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Offline Crystal_

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #139 on: August 10, 2017, 12:24:06 PM »
Yeah, but this discussion is based on acts that didn't really happen. People do view things differently in fiction than in real life, so I don't think you should make judgments about people based on their defense of a book. If we were discussing this book as a news story that we read about, I genuinely believe horror would be the theme and we'd all want the guy behind bars.

Haven't read this book so I don't want to comment on it, but I'm a big believer in the power of fiction (and media in general). The stuff we read, watch, and hear, has a big impact on how we view ourselves and others. How much is debatable. No one is arguing that reading one book with romanticised rape will turn someone into a rapist, but I works certainly argue that repeatedly reading that kind of content will affect the way a person views sexual assault, even if subtly.

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #140 on: August 10, 2017, 12:26:11 PM »


What I would like--cuz I is a dreamer--is every possible warning-type disclaimer stamped on such books--preferably by the author. You know, this kind of thing: incest, incest with a minor, sexual violence, rape, extreme violence . . . probably a few more I can't think of. All this, so I as a reader can avoid downloading things I don't want to read. I'd be okay with that. And really if an author writes such things and, I assume, has pride in their work, they should have no problem telling the readers what they've written. They can find their niche and I can read a mile outside it.
That is the thing though. This was all part of the authors marketing strategy. All the ARC/street team/bloggers were told in very stern words to not put anything in the reviews that says what the "taboo" is. They were not allowed to hint at it or anything. The author did this on purpose. Then prefacing it all with, you don't like it you are not open minded. The so called "warnings" were insulting and didn't really warn of anything. No trigger warning.
Because there are plenty of "dark" romances out there, plenty of romances that go to the edge. I read plenty that others would not touch. But this is very very different. Usedtoposthere said it really best for me.

I do have to say I am appalled at some of the defending and justifying I been seeing from readers, other authors. It sure opened my eyes about a lot of folks. Its the, you'll only "get" it when you read it that is so annoying. Plenty read it, there is nothing to get. Its this rallying around that author by some in the romance community that I am so appalled by. Not that it was published. Its how it was done on purpose with no warnings, how gleefully the author now is. There is a certain pool of readers that are circling the wagons around the "poor poor" author that has gotten pushback. Poor widdle thing. Some authors too. They don't want to miss that spot near the cash cow and the readers don't want to miss their spot in being "special" and close to those authors. Its that justifying and defending of the acts in the book that are so disgusting. The rallying. The way this was done as nothing but a publicity stunt. Planned from the beginning.

Its why I wanted to know the name. And now because of how this is going down, I have added a few more names to the never read list. I can't support an author that defends and justifies the actions in such a book. The twisting of what it actually about. This isn't about having fantasies that anyone can have. This is about misconstruing and justifying pedophilia, rape and abuse. That is what I have an issue with. And the comments I see, not just here, mostly other places that because they weren't blood related, makes it so romantic. She did not know, nor does that matter. They are father and daughter, period. And in addition, since the sexual abuse started even earlier, that wouldn't even matter. It just makes it even more disgusting to see the justifying.

It has been very enlightening I must say to see the reactions everywhere. 

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Offline dgcasey

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #141 on: August 10, 2017, 12:27:16 PM »
I don't agree that books should be banned, but man, there is a lot of questionable stuff going on in this one.

I don't agree with banning books either, but I will defend Amazon's right to say, "Not here." That is their right and prerogative. It has nothing to do with censorship.

There is a disclaimer on this book, but it basically says if you can't handle this, you are not open-minded enough. Defintely playing up the 'banned' aspect.

Ya gotta love the idea that if I don't like the kind of crap this writer is producing, I'm the one that's wrong.
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Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #142 on: August 10, 2017, 12:30:31 PM »
That is the thing though. This was all part of the authors marketing strategy. All the ARC/street team/bloggers were told in very stern words to not put anything in the reviews that says what the "taboo" is. They were not allowed to hint at it or anything. The author did this on purpose. Then prefacing it all with, you don't like it you are not open minded. The so called "warnings" were insulting and didn't really warn of anything. No trigger warning.
Because there are plenty of "dark" romances out there, plenty of romances that go to the edge. I read plenty that others would not touch. But this is very very different. Usedtoposthere said it really best for me.

I do have to say I am appalled at some of the defending and justifying I been seeing from readers, other authors. It sure opened my eyes about a lot of folks. Its the, you'll only "get" it when you read it that is so annoying. Plenty read it, there is nothing to get. Its this rallying around that author by some in the romance community that I am so appalled by. Not that it was published. Its how it was done on purpose with no warnings, how gleefully the author now is. There is a certain pool of readers that are circling the wagons around the "poor poor" author that has gotten pushback. Poor widdle thing. Some authors too. They don't want to miss that spot near the cash cow and the readers don't want to miss their spot in being "special" and close to those authors. Its that justifying and defending of the acts in the book that are so disgusting. The rallying. The way this was done as nothing but a publicity stunt. Planned from the beginning.

Its why I wanted to know the name. And now because of how this is going down, I have added a few more names to the never read list. I can't support an author that defends and justifies the actions in such a book. The twisting of what it actually about. This isn't about having fantasies that anyone can have. This is about misconstruing and justifying pedophilia, rape and abuse. That is what I have an issue with. And the comments I see, not just here, mostly other places that because they weren't blood related, makes it so romantic. She did not know, nor does that matter. They are father and daughter, period. And in addition, since the sexual abuse started even earlier, that wouldn't even matter. It just makes it even more disgusting to see the justifying.

It has been very enlightening I must say to see the reactions everywhere. 
Just gonna put this here so it's up twice.

Yep.

Offline EC Sheedy

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #143 on: August 10, 2017, 12:39:16 PM »
I read some of this book last night. Spoilers ahead: It has a lot of flashbacks where the dad is lusting over his young adopted daughter, and flashbacks where the daughter has been trying to seduce her dad for years, apparently. The contact between the dad and daughter is "consensual", but there is a rape scene where the daughter is violently attacked by a band of inbreds while the dad is forced to watch. (Ticking all the shock value boxes...)

I don't agree that books should be banned, but man, there is a lot of questionable stuff going on in this one. The author makes everyone seem happy and well-adjusted, and even the neighbors in the book come to accept this incestual relationship. I just can't see how this story is romantic or healthy.

There is a disclaimer on this book, but it basically says if you can't handle this, you are not open-minded enough. Defintely playing up the 'banned' aspect.

Wow. . . That's a lot of writer arrogance.

Since when did a reader have to prove their creds by bowing down and paying for the privilege to read about a sick/incestuous relationship to prove how "open-minded" they are.  :o Again, I'm saddened and appalled that this kind of subject matter gets anywhere near the romance genre. I can't see where romance plays any part in it.

My disclaimer, I haven't read the book and don't intend to waste time clicking to it.   
 

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Offline Huldra

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #144 on: August 10, 2017, 12:49:57 PM »
Wow. . . That's a lot of writer arrogance.

Since when did a reader have to prove their creds by bowing down and paying for the privilege to read about a sick/incestuous relationship to prove how "open-minded" they are.

It's a pretty clever marketing tactic. "Are YOU cool enough to be one of the gang? Wear [Brand} sneakers!!!"

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #145 on: August 10, 2017, 12:58:13 PM »
Author has a post on her website of a toddler girl wearing a T-shirt that says something like, "I Love My Daddy" with the caption, "Too soon?"

There you go. You can think that's funny if you want. Your brain. Your thoughts. Your choice.

Offline Shelley K

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #146 on: August 10, 2017, 01:02:49 PM »
Haven't read this book so I don't want to comment on it, but I'm a big believer in the power of fiction (and media in general). The stuff we read, watch, and hear, has a big impact on how we view ourselves and others. How much is debatable. No one is arguing that reading one book with romanticised rape will turn someone into a rapist, but I works certainly argue that repeatedly reading that kind of content will affect the way a person views sexual assault, even if subtly.

I've read a lot of rape fantasies and a lot of dubious consent. I guarantee you that reading those haven't shaped my view on real-life rape. There are very clear lines in my mind about consent. How is that explained? Why don't I think women secretly want it if I've read millions of words of that very thing? Not being stupid helps. Reading a wide variety of things helps. Thinking helps. Stupid or easily persuaded readers exist, I'm quite sure, but there's a point where people talking about author responsibility are really talking about writing for the lowest common denominator. It's another facet of the many-sided die of PC speech. Don't offend, don't challenge, don't put a bad idea into someone's head. It's really a shame we're talking about a book written solely for shock value in this context.

But I think people don't give readers enough credit. Most aren't stupid and understand the difference between fantasy and reality whether in books, movies or any type of entertainment. They're not accepting real life rape because of [crap] they've read in salacious novels. The fact that the author has some sycophants and other writers who write the same stuff justifying the acts in the book doesn't mean many or even most people feel that way or are too stupid to distinguish fact from fiction.

Quote from: Usedtoposthere
Author has a post on her website of a toddler girl wearing a T-shirt that says something like, "I Love My Daddy" with the caption, "Too soon?"

There you go. You can think that's funny if you want. Your brain. Your thoughts. Your choice.

I don't think it's funny, but the beauty of freedom is that nobody needs permission from you or anybody else to think it is, no matter how loudly people disapprove. Her bad taste on her site is pretty irrelevant to the discussions in this thread anyway. Though it's just more marketing, and outrage plays right into it.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 01:13:21 PM by Shelley K »

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #147 on: August 10, 2017, 01:21:50 PM »
"Attention economy" ... very apt, Markus.




Offline Nic

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #148 on: August 10, 2017, 01:23:37 PM »
I've read a lot of rape fantasies and a lot of dubious consent. I guarantee you that reading those haven't shaped my view on real-life rape. There are very clear lines in my mind about consent. How is that explained? Why don't I think women secretly want it if I've read millions of words of that very thing? Not being stupid helps. Reading a wide variety of things helps. Thinking helps. Stupid or easily persuaded readers exist, I'm quite sure, but there's a point where people talking about author responsibility are really talking about writing for the lowest common denominator. It's another facet of the many-sided die of PC speech. Don't offend, don't challenge, don't put a bad idea into someone's head. It's really a shame we're talking about a book written solely for shock value in this context.

But I think people don't give readers enough credit. Most aren't stupid and understand the difference between fantasy and reality whether in books, movies or any type of entertainment. They're not accepting real life rape because of [crap] they've read in salacious novels. The fact that the author has some sycophants and other writers who write the same stuff justifying the acts in the book doesn't mean many or even most people feel that way or are too stupid to distinguish fact from fiction.

One swallow does not make a summer. Like everything else this is a numbers game.

Just because you - one individual - aren't influenced, doesn't mean others aren't either. People are swayed by subliminal messages daily. I know for example that I never bought anything advertised on TV. Not because TV advertising doesn't work, it works and very well so. It's because I have made it a conscious effort not to do so. That doesn't change the fact that millions of people buy a specific brand of coffee or go and try the new chocolate bar seen on TV because they are way more susceptible to this than I am.

The effect of such books probably is not that people will go about and rape someone, or welcome father-daughter incest. The changes may be much more subtle than that. Maybe condoning infractions which someone with an uninfluenced opinion would reject as not acceptable? Or not springing to the help of someone, because they believe what happens to someone is okay, when it isn't? Maybe it is as "inconsequential" as laughing at a girl who was touched inappropriately by a teacher or a boyfriend and telling her not to be such a bore?

I do not think that not writing such books would solve the whole problem. Refusing to acknowledge it doesn't do so, either.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 01:26:13 PM by Nic »

Offline Monique

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    • Written by Monique
Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #149 on: August 10, 2017, 01:32:07 PM »
Usedto,

Just wanted to say how glad I am that you posted. I thought I'd fallen into another dimension.

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