As a new mother, I must say my view of banning books and censorship in general has made a complete 180-degree change from the liberal standpoint I once held. Though I still believe in freedom of the press and one’s ability, and right, to create and publish whatever he may choose, I like the idea of being able to censor what material my son sees and is exposed to in public schools.
For example, let’s discuss “Lolita,” by Vladimir Nabokov, a novel that’s been banned numerous times in several countries. If this book were to be placed in every public school library in America, many children would be exposed to what is, more or less, child pornography. In particular, I don’t want my son to know that it’s acceptable for such a young girl to have sex at all, much less with an older man.
“Lady Chatterley’s Lover” is another book that is, in my opinion, unacceptable for children to read. Its use of what is generally considered profanity and blatant sexual detail is not appropriate for anyone younger than college. I would like to shelter my son from any type of obscenity until he absolutely must learn about it, and not have him encounter the embarrassment of a class discussion about such books.
There are some things we can teach our children to shun and ignore, like the racism in “To Kill a Mockingbird” and other novels during the Civil Rights movement, but we can’t teach them to overlook disturbing images of children, visualizing their friends or peers in such horrible and disgraceful situations. If one has to show an ID to buy a R-rated movie or M-rated video game, he should have to do the same to read a book filled with the same materials. Our children’s minds are far more creative than we give them credit for.
An avid supporter of freedom in all forms, I feel that in order to keep our children indeed children, and not have them grow up too fast, we have to not only monitor what they see on television and in movies and what they hear in music. It is also our duty as parents to make sure the reading material in public schools is wholesome and will not hinder their innocence. By banning certain books from young children, such as “Lolita” and “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” we give our children another chance at the innocence the other media are already stripping them of.