If you haven't heard about the Amazon controversy that took place yesterday, I don't think we can be friends anymore.
Seriously, it was hard to be online and not be sucked into the discussion about whether Amazon should ban a book called The Pe*ophilia's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child Lover's Code of Conduct.
My initial reaction was one of complete disgust that a book like this even exists. The fact that Amazon was allowing this self-published book to be sold online made me furious.
I believe in free speech. I believe that people should be allowed to write about what they want to write about. I believe that book stores should carry Mein Kampf, because that is a part of our history. I don't think Lolita should be pulled off the shelves either.
But. I don't think a book that is called A Child Lover's Code of Conduct should exist. I don't think that anything that could potentially harm a child should be made readily available for every pervert to get his hands on. When it comes to something like this, something so illegal and something so morally wrong, then I think we have the right and the power to say no. At this point, and in this instance, censor away.
Here is what is known: the author of the book has feelings for children, although (allegedly) he's never acted on them. In his book, he talks about ways to make pe*ophilia situations safer, he talks about establishing rules, and he talks about what to do if these adults get 'caught'. Oh, and that they should be handed lighter sentences if caught.
Excuse me? Oh, and it gets better. He says that if you're disease free, you don't have to use condoms. He talk about what level of kissing and touching is legal and how far you can go without getting arrested.
How far you can go.
Did no one at Amazon read this book before they saw the flashing dollar signs before their eyes?
Amazon didn't get back to any of the major news stations yesterday, but they did release this statement:
"Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."
They don't censor books, unless they promote criminal acts. Excsuse me, but pe*ophilia is a criminal act, damn it.
And here's my favourite part: Amazon has a blanket ban on porn. As if porn is a terrible thing!
As a mother, I stand firmly behind my view on this topic. The book should be taken off of Amazon.com. Imagine one child is sexually abused because of this book? Even just one child? It is our job to help prevent horrible things from happening to children. It is our job to protect our children in any way possible. This is not about the freedom of speech. This is about the protection of our children. And sometimes, it is okay to say no. That is the beauty of free speech.
Have you written a post about this topic, too? Let me know - I'd love to read what you have to say.