If I stay silent, I am damned.
~Les Miserables

I was reading the March 2005 issue of Ladies Home Journal the other day, and they had this somewhat interesting article on the peer pressure we experience as adults. The article was just okay, but the author, Judith Newman, wrote this line that struck me as particularly funny:

“Humans are, at heart, amoral animals: Left to our own devices, most of us would be bathing once a year and eating our neighbors’ pets”


But the author had a good point. Much of society is based on peer pressure. We do things because other people do them. We buy things because other people have them. And when pressure is exerted, things- and people- give way. And sometimes we come out on the losing end.

A prime example has come to light in the past few days with the Ghede line announcing it’s premature demise due to “today’s conservative climate.” Obviously, this is an extreme case and I’m sure there were a number of factors at work (such as Ellora’s Cave being able to keep their financial supporters and stay in business) but it is still sad that this form of peer pressure has, in reality, become censorship of a sort. Someone out there didn’t believe that people should be reading the stories the authors of Ghede wrote and they were able to exert their will and get their way. I wonder if those same people would agree with the banning of certain books- classics, even- from school libraries so as not to ‘taint our youth.’

I may not have been interested in purchasing from the Ghede’s line myself, but I don’t think it’s right for someone else to take away my decision entirely, by not even letting me have a choice.

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