A South Carolina watchdog group has criticized the College of Charleston (CofC) in Charleston, South Carolina for choosing Alison Bechdel’s award-winning FUN HOME as recommended reading for freshmen. The book was chosen as a book for freshmen to read before orientation as a sort of college “ice breaker” but the Palmetto Family Council has labeled the book “pornographic” and protested its purchase at a publicly funded university. According to an ABC story:
“If this book were a magazine it would be wrapped in brown paper,” said Oran Smith, director of Palmetto Family Council. “We reviewed every book assigned in SC this year. Many were provocative. This one is pornographic. Not a wise choice for 18-year-olds at a taxpayer-supported college.”
FUN HOME is one of the most lauded graphic novels of the last decade; it does contain some male nudity and scenes of lesbian sex, but only a few panels each. This is not the first time it’s been challenged, as in 2006 a Missouri woman tried to have it and BLANKETS removed from a library.
The CofC has stood by its decision; a student’s reaction to the book later in the ABC report reveals what we knew all along: nothing sells like controversy.
“I read the first 20 pages so far. I’m not too deep into it, but so far it’s pretty good,” said Hassam Solano’Morel, an upcoming freshman. “Actually the fact that it was controversial has actually put me on to reading it because I do like reading things like that and I know that some people especially have a really closed mind and they need to read stuff like that to really expand their thought about what is going on in the world and real situations in life.”
You can read more of the Palmetto Family Council’s thoughts on the book here. Perhaps you can participate in the comments.