Yesterday, Kena Vernon, a reporter at Pennsylvania TV station WNEP, ran a story about high school teacher Judy Buranich who writes erotic books for Ellora's Cave under the name Judy Mays. (I quit purchasing books from EC some time ago for several reasons including their business practices and their inability to consistently deliver decent prose at a reasonable price; however, that has nothing to do with their authors who should not be tarred with the same brush as EC's owners).
Ms. Buranich had apparently kept her writing life confidential from most students and parents. The gist of the story was how three parents had found out about Ms. Buranich's writing and were upset because OMGWTF it has SEX in it. And she's teaching KIDS!! Oh the controversy. And oh the backlash.
Three women - yes, a whole three - were quoted in the story. The first two women - Wendy Apple and Deanna Stepp - simply come across as narrow-minded asshats who still believe that women can't or shouldn't enjoy, discuss, or write about sex. And yet they have kids. Unless the stork dropped off some babes in diapers, this makes them hypocrites as well.
Ms. Apple is quoted in the article as saying:
"Now my son knows so how is he thinking when he's sitting in her class knowing what she does on the side"Does this woman also think that pregnant women shouldn't teach because her son might imagine how the teacher got pregnant. Didn't we leave this type of sexist thinking behind sometime in the first half of the last century?
And I've got news for her. Her son is a teenager; sex is pretty much all he's thinking about right now.
Elsewhere, Ms. Apple is claims that people are attacking her on Facebook for speaking out. Yup, this is America, where you have the right to say narrow-minded, sexist bullshit...and people have the right to tell you that you're saying narrow-minded sexist bullshit.
But the stupid stick today really goes to Kelly Hornberger, who says in the video version of the story (emphasis mine):
"Unbelievable. I can't even imagine somebody would write such stuff. I don't read it. I don't watch it. you know...that's just not how I want my children to be brought up. And I don't want my son sitting in her class thinking, "Is she looking at him, you know, a certain way..."Huh? Because Ms. Buranich writes erotica, she should be suspected as a pedophile? Under what rock does this woman live? This is so disgusting that I don't really have words to discuss my outrage.
And let's not forget Ms Vernon's and WNEP's role in all this. By airing the pedophile implication and by not presenting any balance - or even any fucking common sense - to the claims made by these women, they are in effect endorsing the message in the story. I hope that WNEP has a good lawyer. I hope Ms. Buranich has an even better one.
A cool Youtube video by someone who professes to be a former student of Ms. Buranich. Go watch it!
Smart Bitches cover the story
Dear Author covers the story
WNEP's Facebook page is getting hammered
The Support Judy Mays Facebook page has 3719 likes (and it's still increasing)