Ever since the technology of the written word was invented there have been dicks that scream and complain that what was being recorded was not “appropriate” or “socially acceptable.” In recent times, the fantasy genre has gotten the shit-end of the stick, mainly from the legions of religious right-wing crazies. When I was a kid, they made their assault upon targets such as He-Man, Dungeons & Dragons and even Rainbow Bright. In the past, this attack was because these things were evil and promoted “satanic agendas.” Today, the target is Harry Potter, Twilight and other tweeny books. The charge? That these bits of literature are the harbingers of naughty language.
So who is making these accusations? Why, the back-asswards religious folks of course! Sarah Coyne, a professor at Utah’s hyper-Mormon Brigham Young University (the same assholes that banned female students from taking tests because their jeans were too tight) did the research. She completed a survey of 40 bestselling adolescent novels and found that most of these had profanity, with an average of 38 swear words popping up per book.
To quote the lady herself:
“Unlike almost every other type of media, there are no content warnings or any indication if there is extremely high levels of profanity in adolescent novels. Parents should talk with their children about the books they are reading.”
So what exactly did this study classify as profanity? Oldies but goodies like “damn” and “hell?” Or was Coyne talking about the serious F-bombs? Personally, I’ve read Harry Potter and don’t recall Harry ever telling Ron to go fuck himself in the ass with a shit-covered broomstick. Of course, I might have skimmed over that part…
Nope, the offending word list is much wider than that, covering “fart,” “fuck,” and everything in between. The classification defines profanity as anything considered “…obscene, offensive, taboo or vulgar… as considered by the American public.” That’s a pretty goddam big list. Many consider “Snooki” to meet all four of those criteria, but I doubt she made the list.
Though Harry Potter and Twilight may be the most recognizable names, they actually scored near the bottom of the potty-mouth judgment list. The baddest of the bunch is a book targeted at older teenagers called Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamine. Yeah, no fucking shit a book with a subject like meth would have a bit of profanity in it.
Let’s face it people, hearing profanity is a part of growing up. Unless a kid is locked in a cupboard under the stairs, they’re going to experience it in everyday life. And once high school hits, holy shit look out, cause your precious kids are going to be bombarded with it. No teenage book or waste-of-money research project is going to change this. Leave the damn books alone you psycho censor-mobs!
Instances of profanity in this post: 17 (18 if you count Snooki).