Is the diary of Anne Frank too pornographic for middle schoolers to handle? According to one Michigan mother, the unedited version of the landmark account of a young girl’s life during the Holocaust is inappropriate for 7th-graders because of a scene in which Frank discusses her female anatomy.
According to MyFoxDetroit, Gail Horek believes that the unedited version of “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” is simply too graphic for her daughter’s 7th grade class to handle. In response to several passages about Anne Frank discovering her own genitalia, Horek has called for Northville, Mich., schools to pull the unedited version.
Horek says that she isn’t trying to ban all versions of Anne Frank’s diary, just the recently released unedited version that features scenes of Frank discussing her labia. Horek says that her daughter complained the passages made her feel uncomfortable, and when she read the passages for herself, she felt that the edited version would be better suited for young teenagers. Horek has submitted a formal complaint to her daughter’s school board.
“The problem is the school is giving the seventh-graders inappropriate material and not explaining it to the parents," Horek told her local Patch. “If they watch any kind of movie with a swear word in it, I have to sign a permission slip.”
Horek also added that she thought it was “awesome” that her daughter chose to read Anne Frank’s diary, but stated she should be reading an edited version instead.
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Currently, there are several versions of Anne Frank’s diary available. The first and best known version of “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” was edited by Frank’s father, Otto Frank, and released in English in 1952. This edition removed several pages of content relating to Anne’s emerging sexuality and her distaste for her mother. Other passages removed from this version included Frank’s sexual desires related to a female friend also in hiding.
After Otto Frank’s death in 1980, newer revised editions began reinserting these passages into the book. Both edited and unedited versions of “The Diary of a Young Girl” are on the market at the moment.
Below is one section specifically named in the complaint against the unedited version of Anne Frank’s diary.
“Until I was eleven or twelve, I didn't realize there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn't see them. What's even funnier is that I thought urine came out of the clitoris … When you're standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you're standing, so you can't see what's inside. They separate when you sit down and they're very red and quite fleshy on the inside. In the upper part, between the outer labia, there's a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That's the clitoris."
This is not the first time that parents have called for bans on the newer versions of Anne Frank’s diary. In 2010, the Washington Post reported that a Virginia school system chose to remove the definitive unedited version of “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” in classroom curriculums. Students would be assigned the edited version in class, but they would also be free to check out the unedited version, available at school libraries.