If you’ve clicked over to The Back Story to find out how this blog came to be, you know that when I wrote The Islanders in the 7th grade, I ran into some censorship road blocks from my mom and Mrs. G, the Dean of Girls at my junior high.
My mom wouldn’t let me bring the story to school unless I promised not to write about the characters having sex. When Mrs. G also said I’d have to edit out certain things or leave the story at home, I wrote this in my diary —
“Mrs. G makes me sick. She said that I can’t bring my book to school unless there’s some censorship. I had a part in it where a guy got kneed in the crotch.”
The knee to the nuts incident is in Part 19. That matters because in order to get to the ball booting, she would have had to read through a somewhat disturbing scene of domestic violence. I don’t know if she read past the crotch-crushing, but if she did she would have found another passage featuring the same woman being knocked around by a different man.
Here’s the best part: The reason the woman kneed the the guy in the first place, was because he was getting physical (the bad kind, not the Olivia Newton John kind) and scary with her, and she was trying get away from him.
So to recap, including scenes of men beating women is perfectly fine. But when a female character does exactly what self-defense experts recommend in a situation exactly like the one she was in, that’s unacceptable. Because the last thing 13-year-old girls should be reading about is a woman, who’s already been beaten once, defending herself against another assault.
Such an inspirational and uplifting message from the Dean of Girls: Protecting testicles matters more than protecting women.