Taylor’s Take: The Slippery Slope – Winchester Sun

Taylor’s opinion: the slippery slope

Published Wednesday 21 December 2022 at 21:11

Let’s talk about slippery slopes for a moment.

Growing up in Paris, a local creek was maybe half a mile from my house, maybe less. It’s hard to remember almost thirty years later.

What I do remember, though, is that my parents let me know that if the creek bank was muddy and slippery, I had better be careful stepping on it, or I would fall into the water and be carried away.

This is sound advice, in my opinion. Solid rock. Solid tungsten steel. The kind of advice you can apply to many different situations.

And it’s advice I would heed the Clark County Library Board of Trustees to follow in the future.

At its Wednesday night meeting, a majority of the board voted to limit access to Maia Kobabe’s controversial memoir “Gender Queer” to people over the age of 18 — unless they have parental permission — and marked it as sexually explicit.

Several board members and panelists at the meeting expressed concern about the memoir’s graphic depiction and frank discussion of sexuality. This argument made it the most contested book in America.

So what’s my take on all of this?

Well, first, let me answer a few questions. Have I read the graphic novel? Yes. Is this something I would let anyone under 16 read? Probably not. Did the council act appropriately and judiciously? No, I don’t think they did.

Let me explain why.

The simple reason is that the library already has guidance in place to help parents decide what content is appropriate for children, and staff are trained to help patrons find alternative media if a selection doesn’t suit parents’ tastes.

The library also already has a well-thought-out policy regarding challenged media, which you can read more about in a story the Sun published on Tuesday.

These people clearly know what they are doing. This is why the graphic novel was placed in the adult biography section. I have a feeling they pull younger readers away from reading it as they have many other controversial pieces of media over the years.

So if the staff know what they’re doing and have a clear protocol, why is the board taking it upon themselves to essentially tattoo this graphic novel as obscene?

For the full answer read our story on the front page of the newspaper or on our website, but in summary, they think they are protecting the innocence of the children in the community.

I won’t call it admirable because it’s a low fruit. So is following this graphic novel.

The library’s collection has dozens of titles depicting explicit sexual situations in written form. She has other visual novels in the teen section, such as ‘Attack on Titan’ and ‘The Walking Dead’, which vividly depict the mutilation of the human body.

Where is the council outcry about that media? Why not suggest a thorough review of the entire collection if they care about childhood innocence?

According to their reasoning, this is what they should have done.

Instead, they applied it to just one book. Will they do it again soon? I don’t know, and I hope they have the good sense not to.

When we begin to apply selective criteria to certain things and not others, we are not treading the slippery slope carefully and inviting ourselves for a white water ride to parts unknown.

In this case, it’s venturing into the rapids of censorship and limited information flow. When we do that as a society, our democracy drowns.

This is my opinion. What’s your?

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