To Scream or Not to Scream?

Shakespeare Now Considered Officially Too Sexy and Woke for Florida Schools

We’ve all been there: it’s late at night, you’re feeling yourself, and you’re prepared to get nasty. You blindly grope toward your bedside table for some lube and a fresh, pristine copy of Titus Andronicus. Because there’s nothing that gets the blood boiling like the falling of empires and errant sons being baked into pies.

Now if anything about that sounded a little off to you, congratulations, you’re entirely sane. The same unfortunately can’t be said for a group of Florida schools who are now putting Shakespeare on their list of not-safe-for-schools authors.

Yes, that’s correct: Shakespeare. The famous author of such notoriously sexy plays as Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Taming of the Shrew.

Now look—I’m not saying that Shakespeare’s work isn’t full of sexy moments. Far be it from me to suggest that people haven’t spanked it to Hamlet’s soliloquy or Petruchio and Kate’s sparring sessions. But the point is that somehow we’ve entered an alternate universe where even Shakespeare is considered unsafe for teen readers. It doesn’t exactly bode well for the rest of the queer canon, especially when it comes to modern writers who are more explicit and honest about queer life than Shakespeare had a chance to be.

According to the Tampa Bay times, Florida’s Hillsborough County “became the latest to take this step [of censoring Shakespeare,] telling teachers they could assign excerpts of plays such as “Romeo and Juliet,” but not the full text.”

That’s right, Romeo and Juliet, a play famously about how it’s wonderful to marry someone at 15 just so you can have sex with them and then promptly die in a tomb. Methinks the Florida school board has missed the message somewhat.

“I think the rest of the nation — no, the world, is laughing us,” Florida teacher Joseph Cool told the Tampa Bay Times. “Taking Shakespeare in its entirety out because the relationship between Romeo and Juliet is somehow exploiting minors is just absurd.”

He couldn’t be more on the money: if Shakespeare goes, who’s next? Ibsen? Baldwin? CHUCK TINGLE?

When the Bard talked about the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, he was clearly talking about the ever-worsening state of affairs in 21st-century Florida.

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