Has anyone heard about the book “Let’s Talk About It”? You might have heard how it’s an obscene book that’s been challenged in Ketchikan, Fairbanks, Anchorage and Mat-Su Valley. The cover bills it as a “Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human.” Sounds innocuous, right? 

Well…look deeper. This book has a disclaimer stating that the publisher and authors expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects from following their advice. There’s a reason for that. Maybe because it’s anything but innocuous.

Moving this book to the adult section of a public or school library might seem like an acceptable course of action. But I’m working in Mat-Su to get this book completely removed – not just from the young adult section of a library – but from library shelves throughout Mat-Su Valley.

To update; this book was challenged at the Mat-Su Borough building in a hearing on May 18. On June 2, the book was ordered removed from young adult sections of Mat-Su Valley public libraries, which includes Big Lake, Sutton, Talkeetna, Trapper Creek, and Willow. That action was a result of an appeal of the May 18 decision to keep the book among the young adult materials.

Why would anyone allow a book with this level of absolute stupidity to be purchased with public tax dollars, and then be placed on publicly funded library shelves?

Mat-Su Borough Community Developer Director Eric Phillips issued the final decision to relocate the books. It rested not on the fact that this book fits the criteria for obscenity as outlined with the Miller-Ginsburg test (see Supreme Court Miller v California 1973), but a declaration concerning a majority of Mat-Su residents’ community standards.

Phillips’ decision letter also stated that the book will remain available for anyone (including minors) to check out regardless of where it’s located. That’s why another challenge of this book is now underway with the Palmer City Public Library. The official “Palmer Public Library Reconsideration of Materials Form” was received June 26. It is currently in the 30-day timeline for a response, which – if negative – will result in the complaint moving to the next stage of a non-transparent, obstructive, highly biased, and intentionally convoluted and confusing procedure put in place by librarians to challenge content purchased by librarians.

This is not about First Amendment rights, banning, censoring or even book burning. This book is freely available to anyone who wishes to gain it for themselves or their children. This challenge is exercising the public’s right to confront expenditures of tax dollars, especially when they appear to have been spent on completely useless rubbish for public consumption and discourse. 

Quite frankly, “Let’s Talk About It” is literary Kryptonite. It demonstrates complete and total contempt for physical reality, while making a mockery of knowledge and science and indisputable truths. Section after section, chapter after chapter, it spews nonsense as if it’s actual fact, without a shred of proof, evidence or documentation. This material also clearly meets the level of obscenity from the Miller-Ginsburg test “as a whole,” for lack of value in science and education.

This book is absolutely toxic garbage.

Would you want a book in the library that states that the Grand Canyon is an example of gardening, the color of grass is black, wheels on any vehicle are square, and eyeballs are located on the bottom of your feet? Those four concepts are allegory to show the level of obscene drivel spewed forth in almost every chapter, most subjects, and numerous depictions throughout this book.

Why would anyone allow a book with this level of absolute stupidity to be purchased with public tax dollars, and then be placed on publicly funded library shelves? Why should we pay for it to be carefully catalogued and shelved by workers whose salary the public pays? Finally, why should we pay for the time and effort for public employees to staunchly defend this book?

Here’s what the book actually asserts:

— When boys go through puberty, they can grow female genitalia, while girls can spout male genitalia (pages 79 and 80).

— When a baby is born, doctors “determine” the sex, based off three choices – male, female or intersex (page 45).

— “A great place to research fantasies and kinks safely is on the internet.”  Page 164 has that bit of downright dangerous conduct parading as “advice.” 

— Look to page 78 for this tripe: “Lots of people have to medically change their bodies to have the traits that are right for them; this includes *cisgender, transgender, and non-binary people.”

Did you get that? This book actually declares in writing that people need medical intervention to have the traits of the sex they were born. 

The definition of cisgender from Wikipedia:  This is terminology to describe a person whose “gender identity” corresponds to their sex assigned at birth. (You’re female because you have XX chromosomes, and if you have XY chromosomes, you’re a male – both of those statements are actual biological fact.) 

There is so much more than lewd, obscene imagery to this book. It is propaganda to the core, pushing political and social agendas with both overt and covert methodology. It’s layered throughout the material to appear innocuous. This book has cute cartoons, inclusive messaging, it covers so many wonderful subjects, and yet… I’ll say it again. This book is absolutely toxic garbage. Period. 

The above passages are just a few overt examples that reveal the agendas pushed by this material. There are several covert instances, too, but I’ll save those for the appeal to the library director’s response to the “Palmer Public Library Reconsideration of Materials Form” that is currently working its way through the process.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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Mat-Su woman recounts ongoing quest to remove toxic teen sex book from public libraries

Jacquelyn Ivie Goforth
The author is highly active in Mat-Su politics and served as chairperson of the "Recall Palmer Three" campaign, which successfully recalled three left-leaning city council members in 2022. She is also an award winning fiction writer who now lives in Palmer with her husband and very spoiled pets.