Nastygrams From Upset Parents
After my book review of Num8ers by Rachel Ward I received a nastygram. I’ve been sitting on it for a while, wondering just what I should do with it. The person didn’t leave their name and their reply email looks suspicious, but obviously they feel very strongly about sexual activity in young adult books. After finishing Th3 Cha0s, which deals with another aspect of sexuality – incest- I decided it should get its own post.
Here is the comment:
As a parent whose 15 year old daughter picked up this book from the public library in the youth section, I would like to point out that it contains a lot of material which is grossly inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18. Among other things, it includes an explicit sex scene involving a pair of underage teens. If this were a movie, it would definitely get an R rating if and only if the sex scene were removed. With that scene left in, someone would be serving jail time since such depictions are illegal in cinema. Rachel Ward may or may not be a pedophile, but her work is garbage.
For those of you that didn’t read my book review I put this at the bottom:
Please note: Parents please note there is a sex scene in this book. Rachel writes it with taste and portrays the awkwardness and excitement of the moment.
In all honesty I thought the scene was well and tastefully written. There was not a lot of graphic detail. It was simple, awkward and sweet. I would have no problem with my high school age teen reading this scene. But, I’m of the philosophy that acting like teen sexuality doesn’t exist is just asking for more problems.
There are a few things that confuse and concern me about this comment.
First, the comment that anything sexual, getting in trouble in school and running from the law is inappropriate for anyone under 18 to read. My response- Does this person live in reality? Teens are bombarded with sexuality and authority 24/7. Putting these things outside your comfort bubble does not make them disappear.
Second, is that this scene would get an R rating. My response– First I’m not sure what country this person lives in as they decided to leave an anonymous comment, but here in the US it would most likely get a PG-13 rating. But truthfully Vampire Diaries shows more sexuality and bad behavior than this scene/book does and that is on regular Prime Time TV.
Third, is that somehow this person is equating a Young Adult writer depicting two teens who truly love each other as ‘maybe’ a pedophile. My response – This scene involves two teens having intercourse, not an adult having intercourse with a teen. A Young Adult writer writes books geared for teens to read, not adults that have inappropriate sexual desires. In NO way are the two related.
So, now that I’ve vented I’d like to hear what your thoughts are.