WARNING: This article is about an extremely disturbing subject, the extent to which schools are exposing young children to indecent, even pornographic, material in school libraries. In presenting this material to readers, we use the actual descriptions of various sex acts and sexual fantasies used by the authors of the books because it is important to have a real world grasp of the depravity that is being pushed. We apologize to any reader who may be offended by the subject. We are offended to have to write about it. – Editors
Time for that most-dreaded moment we all remember from our school days: A POP QUIZ.
Here’s the question: What do the following two quotations have in common?
Quotation A: “Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were—Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter.”
Quotation B: “I got a new strap-on harness today. … I can’t wait to have your ***k in my mouth.”
Don’t be alarmed if you failed. It isn’t obvious, to normal people. But the answer is: these are both things your Fifth Grader might read in books checked out from the school library.
The first is a quotation from Beatrix Potter’s beloved Peter Rabbit stories.
The second is a quotation from a book by Maia Kobabe called Gender Queer: A Memoir.
The books have more in common than one might think, in that they’re both aimed at young people, and they’re both colorfully illustrated. In the former case, the illustrations are of a cute little bunny family having imaginative adventures. In the second case, the illustrations are of the author’s discoveries of masturbation and oral sex.
And they have this in common too: Leftists think there’s absolutely no problem with either of them being in your child’s school library. (Actually, this might not be accurate anymore. Some Leftists have tried to cancel Peter Rabbit because the bunnies are too thoroughly “middle class.”)
The Kobabe book has been in the news more than once. It has ignited wars between parents and educators in pockets around the US before. But this week the controversy surrounding the book achieved its highest profile yet, when Republican Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina mentioned it in a press release.
The release was about McMaster’s request that the State Superintendent of Education investigate how obscene and pornographic materials have found their way into public schools’ libraries throughout the state. Kobabe’s memoir was at the center of the issue: in the Fort Mill, SC school district, parents had been forced to petition for the book to be removed from the school library, even though, as McMaster’s release explains, “If school personnel had performed even a cursory review in this particular instance, it would have revealed that the book contains sexually explicit and pornographic depictions, which easily meet or exceed the statutory definition of obscenity.”
South Carolina’s obscenity statute includes in the definition “material [that] depicts or describes in a patently offensive way sexual conduct.” Kobabe’s book seems to fit this definition pretty squarely as it is clearly (1) geared toward young people and (2) is a graphic novel (essentially a long-form comic book) that describes with illustrations, among other things, the author’s experience as a teenager masturbating while driving to the fantasy of receiving oral sex.
McMaster’s outrage, and parents’ concerns, might easily be called a “no-brainer;” but alas, to do so would rob us of a useful explanation of a phenomenon. Because apparently there are some people in our society so brainless (or at least brain-washed) as to find outrage not with the fact that the book was provided to students in school libraries, but with the fact that it is being removed!
Witness, for example, the spectacular fools at the New Civil Rights Movement hate blog, who file the story of McMaster’s ordered investigation under the category “Right Wing Extremism” and call his action to remove pornography from schools “an attack on LGBTQ students.”
It isn’t just fringe radicals, though. A similar controversy erupted in the Commonwealth of Virginia, where a school board voted unanimously to remove sexually explicit titles from the shelves in their school libraries as well. A representative of the Country schools remarked that, as far as he was concerned, this child-oriented pornographic matter should be “thrown in a fire.” Which, of course, to the lunatics in the mainstream media means he’s basically a Nazi. Breathlessly pointing out that “Book burnings have a dark history linked to censorship and repressive regimes, and are often associated with Nazi Germany,” this particular journalist seems to have missed—ironically, in a conversation about literature—that hyperbole has a long history linked with public expression and rhetoric. Also, banning Hemingway for being “un-German” is a far cry indeed from wanting to keep your kids’ eyes out of books that cheerfully discuss (and illustrate!) how to use a dildo.
For our part, we say McMaster is doing what any sensible statesman and parent ought to do in the face of such absurdity. The reaction of the Left, in the meantime, shows just how truly blind and stupid radical ideologies can make people. The statute on obscenity in South Carolina upon which the Governor relies, like many obscenity laws in States throughout the country, appeals to common sense. Unfortunately, we see every day, and in the reaction to this controversy, that common sense has become frighteningly uncommon in some areas.