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50 Shades of Grey Added To The ALA's List Of Challenged Books

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


04/16/2013 2:19 pm
50 Shades of Grey Added To The ALA's List Of Challenged Books

Melissa LoParco
Staff Writer

The list is generated from the number of requests libraries receive to remove a book from their shelves.

This year’s list goes as follows:

1.     Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey (offensive language, unsuited for age group).

2.     The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group).

3.     Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher (drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually exp licit, suicide, unsuited for age group).

4.     Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James (offensive language, sexually explicit).

5.     And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (homosexuality, unsuited for age group).

6.     The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit).

7.     Looking for Alaska, by John Green (offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group).

8.     Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz (unsuited for age group, violence).

9.     The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls (offensive language, sexually explicit).

10.  Beloved, by Toni Morrison (sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence)

Having read a majority of the books on the list, I usually laugh it off (I mean, Captain Underpants? Seriously, guys?)

But this year, I’m actually glad that the 50 Shades books have been added to the list; but not for the reasons that have been provided.

I don’t have a problem with the novel being sexually explicit or that it uses offensive language, it is what is expected in a romance novel.

What I would have liked to have seen as the reason behind it was the abusive relationship it portrays.

Yes, I am aware of what a BDSM relationship involves. No, that is not what I’m talking about when I say it portrays an abusive relationship.

I’m talking about the way Anastasia is treated outside the bedroom, and I’m not the only one who feels this way.

There are Facebook pages, Twitter pages, blogs, and websites dedicated to awareness of domestic abuse in the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy.

In an article by the Guardian in 2012, they talked to Clare Phillipson (the director of Wearside Women in Need, which is a charity for victims of domestic violence) and she told them:

"It really is about a domestic violence perpetrator, taking someone who is less powerful, inexperienced, not entirely confident about the area of life she is being led into, and then spinning her a yarn. Then he starts doing absolutely horrific sexual things to her … He gradually moves her boundaries, normalising the violence against her. It’s the whole mythology that women want to be hurt."

As much as these books are not for younger females, they are still reading them and I don’t think that it is healthy for such a message to be related to them.

But of course, this is just my opinion on the novel and many people out there do not think like this (including E.L. James who denies the abusive relationship in her novel).

What do you think about the newest addition to the ‘challenged’ list and/or the list itself?


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