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'Beyond Magenta': another GOP tempest in a teapot

GOP leaders have now directed their constituents to be incensed over a book titled “Beyond Magenta,” currently in some public school libraries. The book presents first-person accounts of six young adults’ childhoods and coming of age as transgender or other gendered.

The book has been reviewed and been generally described as age-appropriate for 14 year-olds and up. Yes, it addresses aspects of sexuality, but no students are required to read it. If you don’t want your children to read it, then tell them not to.

Your singular opinion should not set the requirements of the library’s operation. The following discussion primarily relates to males: I have little insight into the thought processes of females of any age.

Thinking that a library book or a sex ed class is going to “indoctrinate” adolescents is supremely naive. I know where adolescents really get their sex information and misinformation; you probably do too: from their (presumably) more experienced friends and associates. And what dominates their conversation is automobiles, social drugs, alcohol, and sex. Note that I used the singular verb “is” because for adolescents those topics are intimately related.

If you want to move an item or activity up in adolescents’ “most wanted” list, just forbid their access to it. Ban a book, like “Beyond Magenta,” and you’ll make it a “must read” for them.

Additionally, your child’s computer and smart phone may be squeaky clean, but the odds are, the same can’t be said for one or more of their friends or associates. The internet facilitates access to a host of evils, ones that are actual threats, such as porn and on-line betting, and other addictions as well. Considering those known threats, a library book should be the least of your worries.

John H. Terrell

 

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