Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How dare you speak of Judy Blume this way!

Yesterday I was innocently going about my day—and then I got the email from Jay with a link to this trash from the National Review Online. Read it. I dare you. Then try not to kill someone.

Kathryn Jean Lopez, who penned this ridiculous rant about Judy Blume—the beloved author of Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, Superfudge, Just as Long as We’re Together, and many more FANTASTIC books—needs her computer taken away. She refers to Blume as an “unnecessary presence in children’s lives, as a substitute parent and cheerleader of that sex-ed-crazed culture that she served as a trailblazer of”—and is angry that in honor of Mother’s Day, Blume wrote a fundraising letter for Planned Parenthood (PP). Lopez calls this “insulting.” You know what I find insulting? A woman who hates on Judy Blume!

An excerpt from Lopez’s article, starting with a quote from Blume’s PP letter:

"Blume continues: ‘I’m a mom, and I’m also a writer and an activist. Nothing has made me prouder than seeing my own children — and really, all young people — grow up to be healthy, educated, and in charge of their bodies and their lives. That’s where Planned Parenthood comes in. There is no organization that I know of that supports motherhood and all that it means more than Planned Parenthood. That’s why I’m honoring moms everywhere with my gift to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund today.’

Richards [president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America] accuses critics of a lack of ‘compassion.’ But a Mother’s Day fundraiser for the single biggest abortion provider in the United States (subsidized by your tax dollars) is insulting, most especially to the women who are suffering because they rejected motherhood and know they ended a life in the process…

I’m grateful for the Blume fundraising letter, though, because it highlights something busy parents and teachers all too often don’t realize: That book your child is reading is imparting values, and they might not be your own. ‘I first heard about sex from Judy Blume,’ a fortysomething mother of six told me immediately after I mentioned Blume’s name to her. Today, perhaps, that’s not the situation — Blume’s not the first time — our culture being as oversexualized as it is. But Blume remains an unnecessary presence in children’s lives, as a substitute parent and cheerleader of that sex-ed-crazed culture that she served as a trailblazer of. And a presence trusted adults put in children’s lives, as if issuing an Imprimatur, a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

Though frequently thought of as the harmless author of Superfudge, that description fudges the reality of Judy Blume. Her books are hormone cheerleaders — as if adolescents’ bodies needed the help. In Forever, Blume is right where she was in her fundraising letter, praising a progressive grandmother whose only fault seems to be that she is so devoted to Planned Parenthood rallies that she doesn’t have time to help her granddaughter get contraception from that organization. Planned Parenthood does provide young Katherine the Pill, making a graphic first-time scene possible.

Next time you’re just happy your daughter or son is reading, consider that your child may be reading, “Can you spread your legs some more . . . and maybe raise them a little?” That’s in Forever, which is clearly a pre-teen or teen book (if that makes it better — I’m not so sure). Deenie, however, is for children on a fourth-grade reading level. Would you knowingly hand your third or fourth grader a guide to self-arousal? You are when you hand him Deenie."

ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME. First of all, I am so sick and tired of people misconstruing PP’s mission. Yes, it is an abortion provider, but if you think that’s entirely what PP is about, it’s time to educate yourself. PP’s mission:

"Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual's income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence. We believe that respect and value for diversity in all aspects of our organization are essential to our well-being. We believe that reproductive self-determination must be voluntary and preserve the individual's right to privacy. We further believe that such self-determination will contribute to an enhancement of the quality of life and strong family relationships.

Based on these beliefs, and reflecting the diverse communities within which we operate, the mission of Planned Parenthood is:
* to provide comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services in settings which preserve and protect the essential privacy and rights of each individual
* to advocate public policies which guarantee these rights and ensure access to such services
* to provide educational programs which enhance understanding of individual and societal implications of human sexuality
* to promote research and the advancement of technology in reproductive health care and encourage understanding of their inherent bioethical, behavioral, and social implications."

Has Lopez ever been to a PP clinic, I wonder? I highly doubt it. I went to PP for several years, and my wonderful mother, the same one who put fantastic books such as Deenie, Are You There God?, and Just as Long as We’re Together in my hands, was the one who brought me there for my first visit. And thank God she did, because there I was able to ask the questions about my sexual health that I was too embarrassed to discuss with her, learn about proper uses of birth control, and get good, important health care—without any judgment, ever.

PP also cares about women’s emotional health and physical well-being, and provides patients with information about abusive relationships and phone numbers for counseling centers and crisis lines if they suspect a patient is having problems. I know this from my personal experiences at PP—something Lopez clearly has no knowledge of, since she reduces the organization to simply an abortion provider. She writes, “But a Mother’s Day fundraiser for the single biggest abortion provider in the United States (subsidized by your tax dollars) is insulting, most especially to the women who are suffering because they rejected motherhood and know they ended a life in the process.”

She really doesn’t get it. PP celebrates motherhood—and a young woman’s ability to have the knowledge needed to plan being a mother, safely, intelligently, and when she is ready.

It’s because of PP and books like Judy Blume’s that countless young women have learned to be comfortable with their bodies, that their feelings are normal, and that they have every right to access health care and education about their sexuality—no matter if they are poor, rich, white, black, 16-years-old or 45-years-old.

To call Blume’s books “hormone cheerleaders” is the insult, not Blume’s support of an important organization such as PP. And how dare you call Deenie merely a “guide to self-arousal,” Ms. Lopez? HAVE YOU EVEN READ IT? Well, I have, multiple times, and what I took from that book had nothing to do with self-arousal. Deenie is the story of a beautiful 13-year-old girl whose mother is pushing her toward a modeling career—until she is diagnosed with scoliosis, and has to wear a back brace for the next four years. Deenie reinforced the values that my parents had already instilled in me—that there was more to a person than his or her outward appearance, and that the right kind of people would like me for my brain and my personality, not for my looks. THAT is what stuck with me from Deenie.

So back off, Lopez. And while you’re at it, why don’t you actually do some research and visit PP’s website? You’ll see that the home page features a link to information about Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, which includes information about safe sex, birth control, masturbation, and, yes, abstinence. It’s not a giant cheer for abortion. I think you need to read this, since you obviously are as misinformed as the teenagers who have been taught abstinence-only sexual education and that masturbating is dirty.

Better yet: Go to the library. Check out Judy Blume’s books. Read them.


  1. let me say this: judy blume shaped my world. x-man's awesome 1st grade teacher, mrs. j, has introduced judy blume (fudge series) and it has completely captured his imagination. i guess the puritan approach works if you want to be a grandma when your kid is a teen (hey bristol! what up?), but please!

  2. and dont forget summer sisters!! my absolute faaaaveeee boook.

  3. hooray that xander has a great teacher! the fudge series is the best!

    and I re-read summer sisters every summer. it's an addiction!

  4. More K-Lo on PP:

    BTW, K-Lo is sad, small, and self-righteous. She's basically a less physically attractive Michelle Malkin. (Is it misogynist to compare wingnut women analysts based on their physical attractiveness?)

  5. Just saw your post on GAB...what, no tipster credit over there?!

  6. You definitely don't get a hat tip on GAB now that I know you hate women.

  7. i've always considered blogs to the beer of writing, but you've proven me wrong.

  8. Oh, it's still beer. You just need to accept that beer is delicious.