Amazon Defends Erotic Content for Children as an American Value in Hagiography of Judy Blume
The Biden 2024 campaign announcement video makes it clear that Team Biden plans to double and triple down on his “battle for the soul of America” messaging. The term “MAGA extremist” must poll well for them, and we can expect to see more and more traditional views attacked as “MAGA extremism.” Team Biden is determined to smear parents as “book banners” linked to “MAGA extremists” like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.) and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). (Oh, the horror.)
That’s right, parents. If you are concerned that the quality of your children’s reading materials at school is lacking, or that it might be too sexually explicit to be age appropriate, you are a “MAGA- extremist-book-banner.” This “parents know worst” attitude has been proven disastrous for candidates like Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who gratefully accepted the endorsement of Virginia’s controversial governor Ralph Northam and closed his campaign with American Federation of Teachers President Randy Weingarten. Don’t tell that to Team Biden.
Cue Amazon Prime to join the fight with its latest offering, “Judy Blume Forever.” As a bookseller and publisher, Amazon’s interest in promoting a glowing documentary about a best-selling author like Judy Blume isn’t surprising. But the timing demonstrates a willingness to capitalize on her controversy as objections to books including pornographic content for children intensifies. The not-so-subtle framing of the bio-doc (“you are a Nazi if you object to Blume’s oeuvre in whole or in part”) is visually compelling and artfully produced.
The story of Judy Blume’s life is not as remarkable as her charming ability to weave a narrative about the American dream she has lived and profited from. But one is left with the uncomfortable sense that her own adult emotional and psychosexual issues were worked out in the pages of books she wrote for middle school children. She is portrayed as the consummate “cool girl” and her influence, while powerful, isn’t necessarily for good. The cavalcade of stars who make cameo appearances to praise her in the documentary are some of the more controversial figures of recent popular culture, including Lena Dunham and Samantha Bee, among others.
Genderqueer-identifying children’s author Alex Gino appears as well to remind us all that parents who today are fighting to keep transgender promotional books like “George/Melissa” out of school classrooms and libraries are just newer versions of the uncool/dangerous parents who protested Blume. Ms. Blume’s own recollection that her mother “who worried about everything — everything — didn’t seem to worry about what I was reading” confirms that those of us who take issue with sexually explicit or politically controversial content in children’s literature are just, well, backward and small minded. Afterall, her mother had to explain the Holocaust to her American Jewish children — why should privileged modern day parents worry about a little masturbation or gender fluidity in library books for children?
And in case you think this review is forcing an unnecessarily political frame on a sweet and unassuming biographical documentary, gloomy footage from President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration and clips of Blume’s appearance on CNN’s “Crossfire” leave little doubt that this offering is very political indeed. It is designed to reinforce the publishing industry’s fabricated self-serving mantra “children have a right to read,” and parents who think otherwise are a threat to the First Amendment. Maybe we are even, as the Biden campaign and Amazon would tell it, “extremists.” Why else would there be a need for the National Coalition Against Censorship or the annual and self-indulgent “banned books week” promoted by publisher financed left-wing political front groups like PENAmerica and the Marxist-led American Library Association?
As we brace ourselves for the unhinged entertainment offerings so typical of Pride month, I suggest skipping “Judy Blume Forever.” Read a good book to your kids or attend a school board meeting instead.
Meg Kilgannon is Senior Fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council.