Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2000 01:08:25 -0400
To: ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom List
From: Mark Rosenzweig
Subject: [ALAOIF:12216] On the offensive re anti-ALA campaign
On the Offensive,,,
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The more I think about it, the more I believe that active ALA members
should DEMAND of ALA that they GO ON THE OFFENSIVE against Dr Laura and
the Family Friendly Libraries, and the Family Research Council, etc,
What are we paying our dues for, anyway? ALA has been relatively
passively riding it out, staging a "holding action". Watching.
Reporting. That's not gonna work.
TRENDING: Is this what you voted for, America?
Instead of the expensive, but insipid,' library "branding" camapign'
(which will cost ALA who-knows-how-much), with its noxiously pedestrian
logo "[email protected]" , attempting, consciously or not, - among other
things - to counter all this highly-organized fundamentalism by
politely proving how innocuous and ineffectual we are, our ALA leaders,
our paid staff, our
spokespeople, our elected Presidents, our lobbyists. should be out there
on the stump, on the talk shows and the radio shows, in ads and on
speaking tours, talking about, how libraries are a bulwark of democratic
culture, how these people want to KILL libraries. and how the real
opposition here is to the 1st Amendment, the Bill of Rights-because it
runs against the grain of
fundamentalism and theocracy (as it was MEANT to do).
We're as American as apple pie. And we should say so. Loud and clear.
The more progessive wing of the profession should intelligently counter
the 'erotophobia'. The worst thing in life, even for a kid, is NOT
exposure to the image of naked people, or even people screwing, blowing,
licking, humping, having sex with animals, etc. (except, for legal -
and perhaps ethical - reasons, child erotica, so ill-defined that it can
include the work of world-renowned photopher Sally Mann
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We need, perhaps, to take the African-American ex-Surgeon-General,
Dr.Jocelyn Elders', brilliantly realistic approach (for which she was so
maligned): "masturbation", for example, is not a vice: it's a normal
sexual outlet and it should be actively described as such to childrena
should be taught about it by trained professionals! That's
pedagogically, and psychologically and medically sound. That's in the
best interests of the child. We should, to put it bluntly, be
sex-positive, in favor of sex education, of providing information about
abortion and alternatives and about family planning. We should not make
children ashamed of their sexual curiosity on the internet or in
literature. Is that what's bad for children? NO!
What's bad for children?
Corporal punishment is bad for children, wife-beating is bad for
children, being abused sexually is bad for children, growing up without
resources and access and the ability to make the most of yourself is
bad for children, being treated like property is bad for children,
condescension and dismissiveness is bad for children, prison-like
schools are bad for children, capital punishment
is bad for children, pollution is bad for children, malnutrition is bad
for children, no libraries (or poor libraries) is bad for children, war
& mass violence is bad for children, child labor is bad for children,
adult ignorance is bad for children,, attempts to contain the curiosity
of kids is bad for children. But so-called pornography? WHERE DOES IT
Anyway, it's the responsibility of ALA to oppose this actively ,
aggresively and PROUDLY, and find allies in the education profession ,
in the legal profession, among politicians, in the social-work andf
child development profession, among parents, among workers,among
professionals, among activist youth, and, for the bolder progressives in
our field, to help put this pornography question in TRULY realistic
perspective. Don't you agree?