Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 28, 2014

Alison Bechdel Responds To SC School-Funding Controversy

imageI nearly missed this PW story containing a statement from the cartoonist Alison Bechdel, whose Fun Home was one of a pair of books targeted by members of the South Carolina legislature for punitive funding cuts when schools under their purview assigned them; these cuts are not only openly punitive but they are due to a reductive, doltish, and wholly political characterization of these books as being gay books because they touch up against aspects of non-heterosexual culture and/or depict lives of non-heterosexual people. The College of Charleston assigned Fun Home to incoming freshman as a kind of group-read heading into the school year.

It is a classy statement; I'm not going to repeat it here as I didn't get the quote, but I hope you'll read it through the link.

I'd like to reiterate my wholehearted, white-hot contempt for the actions driving this story. Defining these books that way is asinine. Suggesting that books with ideas you don't like are therefore something students shouldn't encounter is asinine. Suggesting that assigning books whose ideas you don't like is somehow irresponsible is asinine. Substituting your views for the views of educators on a matter of educational value based on ideology is asinine. Punishing a educational institution on this basis is asinine.

I hope you'll consider joining me in sending a few bucks to the College Of Charleston in support as there is actual money involved here -- 66 George St Charleston SC 29424 -- or will at least stand by to see if a more formal fundraising effort to replace those funds is initiated down the road.
posted 2:15 am PST | Permalink

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