Taylor’s attitude: A slippery slope
Posted at 21:11 on Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Let’s talk slippery slopes for a moment.
When I was growing up in Paris, the local stream was maybe half a mile from my house, maybe less. It’s hard to remember almost thirty years later.
However, what I do remember is that my parents impressed upon me the fact that if the bank of the stream was muddy and slippery, I better be careful stepping on it or I would fall into the water and be swept away.
That’s good advice, in my opinion. Hard as a rock. Solid tungsten steel. The kind of advice you can apply to many different situations.
And that’s advice I would listen to the Clark County Library Board of Trustees follow in the future.
During a meeting Wednesday night, a majority of the board voted to restrict access to Maia Kobaba’s controversial graphic memoir “Gender Queer” to those over 18 — unless they have parental permission — and labeled it sexually explicit.
Several board members and speakers at the meeting expressed concern about the memoir’s graphic depiction and open discussion of sexuality. This argument has made it the most contested book in America.
So what’s my take on all of this?
Well, first let me answer some questions. Have I read a graphic novel? Yes I have. Is it something I would have anyone under the age of 16 read? Probably not. Did the board act appropriately and prudently? No, I don’t think they are.
Let me explain why.
The simple reason is that the library already has a guide to help parents decide what content is suitable for children, and staff are trained to help patrons find alternative media if the selection does not suit the parents’ tastes.
The library also already has a well-thought-out policy on problematic media, which you can read more about in a story published by the Sun on Tuesday.
These people obviously know what they are doing. For this reason, the graphic novel was placed in the category of biographies for adults. I have a hunch they are turning younger readers away from reading as they have many other controversial media over the years.
So if the staff knows what they’re doing and has clear protocol, why is the board taking it upon themselves to 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 short, they think they are protecting the innocence of the community’s children.
I won’t call it admirable because it’s low hanging fruit. It goes the same way after this graphic novel.
The library’s collection contains dozens of titles that depict explicit sexual situations in written form. He also 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 committee’s outcry against these parts of the media? Why not suggest a thorough inspection of the entire collection if they care about the innocence of childhood?
According to their reasoning, this is what they should have done.
Instead, they applied this to just one book. Will he do it again soon? I don’t know and I hope they have the sense not to do that.
When we begin to selectively apply criteria to certain things and not others, we are not treading carefully on a slippery slope and are inviting ourselves to ride wild water into parts unknown.
In this case, it is moving towards rapids of censorship and limited flow of information. When we do that as a society, our democracy is drowned.
That’s my opinion. What’s yours?