I think most of us are probably against censorship on principle, but … do you think it should vary depending on the impressionable age of the readers? Or is it always wrong? How about the difference between 'official' censorship by a government or a school system, as opposed to a parent saying No to a specific book for their child?
(Read the article that sparked this question here.)
Honestly, I think parental censorship is completely different than so-called 'official' censorship. I'm totally okay with parents reading a book and then saying that they don't want their kid reading it. Of course, I think it also is perfectly viable to let your kids read some of the more controversial books/subjects and then talk about the things in the book. But, what would I know about that. I'm not a parent, nor am I a teacher. I don't even have any young relatives or neighbors I offer books to. So, yeah.
Now, as for so called 'official' censorship... I could give you a lecture on a little thing called the 'The First Amendment to the United States Constitution'. But I won't. I don't want to get into the legal ramifications of this. I just will state that I do not believe it is the government's place to tell you or your kinds that you cannot read a specific book. As far as I'm concerned, that's not even something the government should be worrying about.
I do have to add something that came up in the original article.
'As if there is certain subject matter we can't share with teens...while we are happy to watch CSI-whatever right in front of them.'
I used to watch CSI. I stuck around even though I had little interest in the characters. I tolerated the gore, the violence, until they found a severed human head in a bucket. I've not seen the show since then. Any one else remember the short lived series Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior? Yeah, at that point I was a huge Criminal Minds fan so, of course, I watched the spin off. That was quite possibly one of the most disturbing things I've ever been exposed to. In my family we lend DVD's to each other (well, my mother, brother and I do). Believe me, I have the strong stomach of the three of us. I'm the least bothered by violence and gore. I will never loan that DVD to either of them.
I don't know about teen's nowadays. How late do they stay up? When I was fifteen, I was already staying up until ten, watching some of the programming that ran from nine to ten in my timezone. I imagine most teens stay up at least late enough to watch the last hour long show of the night. I'll admit, I don't read much contemporary YA fiction, but I highly doubt much of it can be 'any worse' (if you will allow that term) than the television programs.
Now, one final quote from the original article:
'[...]hiding things from teenagers is a known fail. Teenagers already know what we're attempting to hide from them. They probably know a lot more than we do about the reality of being a teenager today. They're a lot smarter than most people give them credit for. Contemporary young adult books are not going to tell them anything they don't already know.'
Thanks for reading. What do you think of censorship? For it? Against it? For some of it but against other?