The Anne Frank Vagina Monologues

Generations ago, a doomed young girl hiding from Nazis wrote a diary about her experience. Since she was 13 when her self-imprisonment began, she was interested in more than just her surroundings:

“There are little folds of skin all over the place, you can hardly find it. The little hole underneath is so terribly small that I simply can’t imagine how a man can get in there, let alone how a whole baby can get out!”

While Anne Frank’s father omitted that and similar passages when the diary was first published in 1947, the Anne Frank Foundation published a complete edition in 1995, allowing other 13-year-olds around the world to understand the full breadth of her experience.

Well, except in Culpeper County, Virginia:

A version of an iconic autobiography detailing a young Jewish girl’s two-year experience hiding from Nazis in a cramped “Secret Annex” has been pulled from the shelves of Culpeper County Public Schools…

Citing a parent’s concern over the sexual nature of the vagina passage in the definitive edition, [director of instruction Jim] Allen said school officials immediately chose to pull this version and use an alternative copy…

“I’m happy when parents get involved with these things because it lets me know that they are really looking and have their kids’ best interest (in mind). And that’s where good parenting and good teaching comes in,” [said Allen].

We can’t help but wonder what the concerned parents of Culpeper County would do if they learned about a family hiding from the government, facing certain death if discovered. Fortunately for them, we’ll never know.

CCPS pulls explicit text [Culpeper Star-Exponent, via Raw Story]

Vaginal and clitoral discovery is un-American.

First article I read also said the parent complained of “homosexual themes,” but failed to elaborate. Hold on…here we go:

Also note that the district didn’t follow their own review policy before removing the book. Also also note the Alabama district at the end of the Post article that banned Anne in 1983 because she was “a real downer.” Book banners are the stupidest people on earth and after the dictionary thing last week I gave up trying to fight them with logic and instead started planning a biblioterrorist Book Liberation Front, which you are all welcome to join if you like.

Any discussion of physical activity or body parts is just too provocative to allow to be in a public library. Some poor excitable citizen may read a passage that mentions something along the lines of ‘the back of her knee’ and suddenly be so overwhelmed with quaking, cackling, hair-ripping lust that he runs into the street and hurls himself upon the first female mammal he encounters. What will become of our civilization with this kind of catalyst for mayhem in our libraries, I ask you!

@finette: May I join the BLF? I’m sure Sister Cynica and Sister Flippin will want to join as well…

The story about the audience at a Las Vegas production of the play starring Pia Zadora shouting “She’s in the attic!!” when the German soldiers broke in is absolutely not true and should not be repeated. On account of it not being true. Not even a little bit.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax: Only the Brits – yet another reason I love them.

@blogenfreude: You wouldn’t say that if you could smell them.

You know who else censored Diary of a Young Girl? Hezbollah.

@finette: It’s been so long, but I think it’s something about how she thinks one of her friends is very pretty and kind of wonders what it would be like to kiss her. Really innocent stuff, but apparently enough to offend these dopes.


I understand that the clean ones smell quite nice- like your tribal Queen, for example.

@mellbell: This qualifies as basic snugging, the catalyst and glue of all civilizations.

Why does Culpepper County hate snugging?

What next? Confiscation of teddy bears?

Why do you hate teddy bears?

@SanFranLefty: @Tommmcatt Say Relax: @rptrcub: @Mistress Cynica: Zorro masks and copies of subversive classic And Tango Makes Three to be issued at a later date. :)

I have seriously thought about channeling my rageful energy on this topic into a blog to promote awareness and understanding of censorship issues. I’ve discovered there are way too many seemingly intelligent Americans out there who either think it doesn’t happen here, or at the other extreme seem to believe that ALA’s Banned Books List is prescriptive rather than proscriptive. Once upon a time I briefly entertained the notion that I’d like to work full-time on these issues at FTRF, OIF, NCAC, ACLU, or the like, but after throwing myself headlong into an effort to get a book unbanned in the school district I attended for 13 years (and getting nowhere because I couldn’t find any actual parents who cared enough to fight it), I realized I can’t do that for the same reason I can’t volunteer in an animal shelter: I’d get too emotionally involved and end up hating humanity most of the time. A blog on the other hand would probably be a good outlet. Will let you know if it gets off the ground.

Ironically, I almost applied for a job in Culpeper last year too, as LC’s A/V archive is there. Looks like a nice place, too bad their school district administrators are imbeciles.

so do we each have to pick a book now and memorize it?

@finette: i’m so in.

book banning scares me like nothing else.
if this catches on, and we’ve already seen random examples in usamerica,
it truly marks the beginning of the end of enlightenment.
that is if we are enlightened as a country.
thanks culpeper county for reminding me that we’re not enlightened anyway.

/no snark

That’s not so much how it works here. What we do is make it ‘uncomfortable’ for an agent to represent, or a publisher to publish, what might be considered ‘controversial’. Usually this means religion. If you can make the market hostile enough then writers will censor themselves. That’s the American way. And in the process the writer is stripped of all dignity.

They’ve always wanted to ban Huck Finn. Personally, I’m always amazed when someone manages to read it all the way through. I’ve always been a reader. When I was at fancy-school in London I was held up to ridicule more than once for reading books that were off the list, as it were. So it’s not just here. Rampaging Sikhs shut down the production of a new play at Birmingham Rep the management of which caved instantly to pressure and then ran about wringing its collective hands deploring the censoring that they themselves committed.

That people who don’t read books should still want to ban them tells me that they still think they’re important enough to need stifling. And of course, nothing helps sales quite so much as a good banning. I was amazed when fundies got together to shut down Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi prompting Manhattan Theatre Club to roll over and play dead. I shouldn’t think that any of the protesters had even been in a theatre yet they thought it important to stop the play being seen. One could almost think of it as an encouraging sign. And though I don’t burn books I certainly hide them at the local library when I come across Glenn Beck’s latest.

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