Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I believe strongly in Freedom of Expression. Should there be a line that never gets crossed? Share your views.

 I will never condone Censorship In Literature. That is a stance I took before I wrote my own books. Whether Non-fiction, or Fiction. Targeted or not. The freedom I have come to hold precious had to be by extension carried over to my life online and in the real world. I would not write the words of my own pain, and expect others to censor theirs.

Views of course will differ, strongly. I invite you all to share your insights. They will be published uncensored here.

We are all members of a profession that by it's very existence has the power to touch a great many people, and in some instances it assists those people in learning about  genres and topics that otherwise may have remained forever outside their realm of experience. Because they have the option to choose what they read!

 Should they be denied that opportunity to choose? What signals are we sending to the next generation of writers ... and readers? If they are only able to  access sanitized choices are we not denying them the freedom to explore new realms of expression.

I would be less than honest if I said that I wasn’t nervous about posting this. I have dealt with some pretty strange people since I first published “Empty Chairs”my biography.

People  called me names that don’t need repeating, men wrote to me on quite a few occasions and said I probably deserved to be raped at age 5. It was dirty and painful. The haters really knew how to hit the vulnerable spots. But I accepted that the book and the topics it dealt with would inevitably attract those people out there that somehow get “Off’ on other people’s pain.

My stance against incest, rape and pedophilia is well documented. Would I go so far as to suggest the Banning of books containing such things...NO. I would not!

I fought long and hard for my freedom in a world that wanted to shove me down and make me disappear. I fought for my right to be heard. I fought for my right to exist.

I will never condone Censorship In Literature. That is a stance I took before I wrote my own books. Whether Non-fiction, or Fiction. Targeted or not. The freedom I have come to hold precious had to be by extension carried over to my life online and in the real world. I would not write the words of my own pain, and expect others to censor theirs.

“Oh”, you may say...”but Soooz...yours was NON fiction!”
Yes it what?

Did that make it less titillating to be read, by those that were only looking to be titillated?


Let’s not kid ourselves here people, if a reader is searching for a way to get off on what he/she is reading the fact that is has labels all over it, of the “Adult content only” variety won’t make a damned bit of difference. 

The labels simply take them where they need to be more quickly... Those that seek out those places for that purpose will always find them.

BUT...should someone be permitted to decide what can and can not be read?...Should they have the ability to be the invisible conscience for all things deemed sweet and light; all things good and noble?

Should they then have the power to force us to accept their decision by removing books that THEY deem unsuitable for human consumption?


How dare they?

Most people don’t lead a Mary Poppins existence, for those that do this question would surely never be raised; for their worlds would be so shut off from reality that the very thought of something needing to be censored would not in all probability cross their minds.

They would probably never read a post like this. To those that do, and are shocked and horrified that such books exist in their world..I say it is your right to be shocked, it is your right to be scandalized.

It is your right NOT to purchase the book.

We fight wars to allow others Freedom of Religion, for Freedom of Choice, Freedom of Expression...

Freedom to be permitted to live our lives without impeding the same FREEDOM to others.

Freedom to not have our reading matter decided and selected for us by anybody else.

What do you think?


  1. I never have, and never will, condone censorship. There are, indeed, things I choose not to read - but who am I to judge what may please someone else. Even the most offensive topics to me may touch or inspire someone else. Especially in fiction, which is just imagination - and imagination should always remain unfettered.

  2. I completely agree with you. A few years ago, there was a mass protest about Amazon selling a book which apparently was a 'how to' for paedophiles. Many people decried Amazon (and the writer, of course). I read a fascinating online discussion on a group I'm in. One was an indignant mother, the other a man. The debate was heated, but never rude. The man pointed out that not everyone reading such a book would be a paedophile. It might be a writer researching, or it might even be a guide to parents so they could protect their kids from such situations. I don't mind admitting that, while I was no fan of censorship, I wavered on that case. After reading the debate, I had to agree with the man.

    Nobody has the right to tell anyone what they can read. I might disagree, I might loathe what was written, but it's not my right to impose my views on others. In cases like the one I've cited, banning that book would be the foot in the door.

  3. The argument against is the same as that regarding free speech in general. Does free speech include shouting 'Fire' in a crowded theatre?

    So the argument morphs in the case of books into, 'Can the written word incite, encourage or stimulate a person or a group to carry out acts detrimental to society? And if they do, should they be banned?"

    Anyone who knows their history knows that books (particularly religious ones) can generate riots, overthrow of governments, mass murder and attempted genocide. However, modern governments do not ban religious books because of the way some people interpret them.

    For matters other than religions, governments have often exercised censorship, often in ways that don't make sense. A 17 year old taking a nude picture of themselves and downloading it to their computer via the web can be sent to jail in the US, the UK and a number of other countries.

    Sometimes, it seems to me, censorship can be used to cover up illegal behaviour, to sweep it under the carpet. If you are not allowed to write down and publish 'This is what happened to me' because somebody might find your words 'titillating' then how will word get out? I am reminded of a case where a man sued a catalogue supplier because he said 'Some of your pictures are pornographic to me.'

    Societies will always try to censor information they find 'uncomfortable'. I think that right minded people should always try to prevent this.

  4. Thank you, Sessha Greta and John for making the time in your busy days to read and comment on my post.

  5. Honestly, this shouldn't even be discussed. How sad that we need to. Each of us has the right to choice in what we read and listen to, and that choice should NEVER be censored. If you don't agree with the subject matter, move on, but don't start calling for a ban or censorship merely because it doesn't sit well with you.

  6. With Politcal Correctness now spreading like a malignancy and censoring what so many people say, it's nothing short of a corporate/governmental "gag order." I'm afraid that once "They" tight-lip enough of the populous, and They're getting there fast, They will go to work on literature as well. Sure, we can still "think" what we want inside our minds. But living all alone in there, while seeing all that's going on around us and not being able to speak out about much of it can drive one mad. Orwell isn't rolling over in his grave, he's spinning around in it now.

  7. Hallelujah! I couldn't agree more. Censorship is a slippery slope. Where does it start? Who gets to decide what gets published and what doesn't? Where does it stop? To me, censorship is the beginning of dictatorship and a tamping down of creativity not to mention a total loss of freedom. If you don't like something, don't read it. Don't watch a TV program you don't like. Don't see a movie that offends you. No one is forcing anyone to read anything they don't want to. But no one should be dictating what others can and cannot read. Our forefathers fought hard for our freedom, we need to keep that going. I, for one, do not want to tell other people what they can't read. And what they can't write. Great post. Thank you for some refreshing honesty in such a duplicitous world

  8. Thanks so much, Elaina, Tom and Jean. I appreciate your comments and thank you so much for making time to leave them.

  9. I'm against censorship, but I do understand why some people advocate it.
    The wish to protect younger, or more impressionable eyes is inherent in most NORMAL thinking people.
    If you've read The House in Wales, you'll know that I don't pull any punches sexually. However, I still asked Poppet to put up a warning about the graphic descriptions violence and sex in some of the scenes.

    That said, if it had been censored, I think I would have been livid!


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