3 days ago
08 May 2009
Pro-birth groups attack Judy Blume
As a long time supporter of Planned Parenthood, Judy Blume recently lent her celebrity as a pioneer in Young Adult fiction to support their cause. Of course, the pro-birth/anti-choice/anti-abortion/anti-woman groups got their panties all in a twist and began an all-out flame war on Planned Parenthood and Judy Blume.
As a scholar of YA fiction, and an avid admirer of Ms. Blume's devotion to some very important progressive causes such as free speech and women's reproductive rights I think we all need to support her in this fight. If you think women have a right to determine what to do with their own bodies, make a donation to Planned Parenthood now. I'm going to.
By the way, Judy Blume has written dozens of books for teens, a few for adults, and has been published in over 17 languages. Many young women learned about sex from her book Forever. Many also learned about menstruation from Are You There, God? It's me, Margaret. She is a prolific author and is a very important figure in the world of YA literature. She's awesome. If you haven't read any of her books, you should. One of my personal favorites is Forever--which Blume wrote in part as a response to a request from her daughter. Blume's daughter wanted to read a teen novel where the main character has sex and doesn't get punished (death, pregnancy, shaming, disease, deformity, acne) in some major way for doing the deed. So Blume, ever the innovator, wrote Forever. In a genre replete with punishment for "transgressive" teen behavior, Forever is a refreshing narative where sex is actually pleasurable and no one dies. Amazing.
By the way, you should also read Deenie for its incredible depiction of female masturbation and body image issues. I also recommend Then Again, Maybe I Won't for a remarkable story about class, assimilation, and male sexual pleasure.