Happy Banned Books Week!
I love Banned Books Week for so many reasons. I don't believe in the institutionalized censorship of diverse voices and ideas, I don't believe there should be any censorship but self-censorship, and I don't think it's such a terrible idea to expose yourself to multiple arguments and perspectives about any subject.
So in honor of Banned Books Week, I'm going to be sharing my favorite banned books--one banned book a day with an anecdote about why I love that book. Enjoy!
I always have to chuckle when people get uptight about Lolita because I can't help but think those leading the "Ban Lolita" crusade have never read the book. Or worse, read it and didn't understand it. But that's a different story...
Lolita doesn't glamorize "sluttiness" (undeserved slut-shaming is another misconception of the book) or pedophilia. Anyone who has read the book can see that the narrator, the pedophile Humbert Humbert, is trite and his guilt weighs heavily upon him. Does that make his pedophilia okay? No, of course not. But to say the book should be banned because is glamorizes pedophilia is ignorant at best. Or to say that the book should be banned because it encourages young girls to be sexually promiscuous is even more ignorant and misguided because such a stance is laced with victim-blaming. That's not cool.