October 20, 2012

"My daughter has repeatedly brought home books from the school library that I have a problem with. I'm a feminist and I'm anti-censorship. I'm lost."

So wrote a woman at Ask Metafilter:
Yesterday, for the THIRD time, LittleTaff brought home a fairy tale... this time Rapunzel. Objectified women with little or no agency, basing marriage decisions on the appearance or wealth of the men, and WITCHES!!!!

After the second version of the Little Mermaid came home, I had a phone interview with the head and told her that I wasn't happy about the way women were portrayed, that I could see some historical merit in the books, but thought they were more appropriate for older children... but also that the Disney version of the Little Mermaid had no literary nor historical merit and did the school need some fundraising for books. (I'm on the fundraising committee. )
We were just talking about the Disney "Little Mermaid" yesterday, specifically the song "Part of Your World" — remember the singing "dads" — and my son John emailed me a link to his Ask Metafilter answer to that worried woman:
Really, [the Disney "Little Mermaid"] has no merit? Listen again to the song "Part of your World." Do you not hear the feminist themes in that song — about "bright young women . . . ready to stand?" What could be more feminist than a young woman expressing her interest in scientific discovery — "what's a fire, and why does it burn?" (The lyrics are fresh in my mind since I sang it in karaoke the other day along with a female friend.) I'm sure there's a great feminist critique of the movie to be made. But do you really want to prevent your daughter from seeing anything that could potentially be the subject of such a critique?

You seem to assume that you've seen all the truth that exists to be seen in your world, and educating your daughter is just about transmitting these truths to her. On the contrary, it matters relatively little whether your child shares your views. What matters more is equipping your child to deal with the world in her own individual way.

So I say, let your daughter be exposed to all of this. I'll bet she can handle it. Focus on talking to her about it instead of trying to create the perfect parental filter (considering that the filter is never going to last anyway). You might even learn something from her in the process.
You can probably tell I didn't filter my children's reading/watching. And I can't remember my own parents ever saying one thing about my choices — even my choice to watch just about anything that was ever on television (when they themselves rarely watched television). (My parents spent nearly every evening sitting around talking to each other. Not reading and talking. Just talking!)

Speaking of controlling your children, I was just listening to one of my favorite old Lovin' Spoonful songs "Younger Generation" (video and lyrics at the link):
Why must every generation,
Think their folks are square?
And no matter where their heads are,
They know mom's ain't there....
Listening to it now, I'm not sure whether it's a sincere expression of a desire to let children range free — "I must be permissive... all my deepest worries must be his cartoons" — or making fun of hippie-style parents who don't know where to draw the line:
Hey, Pop, my girlfriend's only three,
She's got her own videophone,
And she's taking LSD,
And now that we're best friends,
She wants to give a bit to me,
But what's the matter, daddy,
How come you're turning green?
Can it be that you can't live up to your dreams?
Crazy dreams! (And yet, today the little girl does have her own videophone.)

104 comments:

Expat(ish) said...

Hysterical - I never really listened to those lyrics at the time and had forgotten that last bit.

Anyway, I've met plenty of parents like that. It doesn't seem to break the kids too badly. Maybe the real purpose of four year college was the break with parenting, and now that parents are more intense the kids need that fifth and sixth year?

-XC

Tim said...

The older I become, the more I realize people do not think; they feel.

This woman hates traditional fairy tales for children because she feels they represent something that she feels oppresses her.

She only oppresses herself.

elkh1 said...

Take away the little girl's dream, who will she grow up to become? Julia.

What is Julia's wet dream? Obama!

Pogo said...

I had to encourage my kids to read by using comic books.

The PC socialist propaganda crap they were given in school made them hate books for a while.

Erika said...

Neurotic lady, heaven forbid your child be exposed to ideas you don't endorse, and you might have to have an interesting and stimulating conversation with her about why you believe what you do and how you manage to function in a world full of people and notions with which you disagree.

EDH said...

After the second version of the Little Mermaid came home, I had a phone interview with the head and told her that I wasn't happy about the way women were portrayed...

Imagine if Romney referred to a female educator as "the head".

madAsHell said...

Just cuz ya got self-esteem issues don't mean ya gotta project them onto your child.

I couldn't finish the reading. Is the poor child a gayby, and suffer two mothers?

MnMark said...

Yesterday, for the THIRD time, LittleTaff brought home a fairy tale... this time Rapunzel. Objectified women with little or no agency, basing marriage decisions on the appearance or wealth of the men, and WITCHES!!!!

It must be very frustrating to be a feminist. Your beliefs about what is right conflict with the reality of human behaviors and desires: men are attracted to beautiful, yielding women, women are attracted to handsome, dominant men with resources. It's wired into us genetically, so the feminists are fighting a fundamantally unwinnable fight if they are trying to change young girls into, basically, small men with vaginas.

Quayle said...

How horrifying when your own child stacks her blocks in the form of a pillar of society, after you had spent your life trying to tear them all down.

Must feel like the horror of being a parent and seeing your daughter working to tear down pillars of society in the first place.

You spend your whole life chopping at the branches - ever learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth:

The "why" was everything, the "what" was nothing.

ricpic said...

There is no hypergamy! Dammit!!

Maguro said...

Just wait 'til Little Taff starts dating a biker.

Mr. D said...

I've always operated on the assumption that the public schools my children attend will fill them with nonsense. I just tell them to think for themselves and don't accept anything they hear as gospel, including my own advice. I am confident they will figure things out.

Erika said...

Oh heavens, the woman's a Zinniac.

Everyone's either an oppressor or the oppressed! The blond people are trying to ruin us all! Must fight back!

Can't even reason with people like that.


sydney said...

That woman is a Puritan. The most important thing you can teach your children is critical thinking. Believe it or not, this is one reason our children went to public schools instead of parochial schools. We wanted them to be exposed to as many different ideas as possible, and learn to evaluate them.

elkh1 said...

Pogo, they hate their Obama's wife's mandated school lunch too.

Sam L. said...

And I'm sure this woman sees her therapist twice a week.

AEH said...

She could take her daughter to the public library after school to find more/other books to read, unless she feels that the state should completely control her daughter's education. Clash of the ideologies.

Darrell said...

She should keep on moving to a foreign non-English speaking country every year or so. That way her daughters can't read the books in the local library.

Darrell said...

And just imagine how employable they will be with all those language skills they acquired from cheating her system.

cubanbob said...

This woman believes that libraries can only carry the books she approves of. I feel sorry for the kid to have such an insufferable ass for a mother.

Dr Weevil said...

You got something against Zinnias, Erika? They're beautiful flowers!

Clyde said...

Taff's mom needs an operation to remove that stick up her ass. I hope that her health insurance covers it.

mariner said...

I wonder what men and non-feminist women should do when their children bring home books that offend them.

Kirk Parker said...

"Really, [the Disney "Little Mermaid"] has no merit?"

Somebody already wrote my reply to JAC on this point.

Michael K said...

"The most important thing you can teach your children is critical thinking. Believe it or not, this is one reason our children went to public schools instead of parochial schools. We wanted them to be exposed to as many different ideas as possible, and learn to evaluate them."

And how did that work out ? Are they now good little Obama voters ?

My God !

My ex-wife was very pro public schools and had been a teacher. A few years ago, she went back to teaching for a year and now says he would home school our kids if she were doing it now.

After the divorce, they went to private schools.

mariner said...

Darrell,
She should keep on moving to a foreign non-English speaking country every year or so.

She could just move from state to state in this increasingly non-English speaking country.

BaltoHvar said...

I wonder if she's ironing her husband's shirts while on the phone to the Administration.

Rapunzel? Really? A girl overcoming oppression and imprisonment?

edutcher said...

If there's a feminist version of the SA out there, she's Ernst Rohm.

sydney said...

Michael K,

No, they are not Obama voters. They seem to be very moderate in their politics for college-aged people.

Our town's public schools are actually pretty good, or at least they were when my older children were going through them. I have to admit, I am detecting a sea change here in the past year or two with a change in superintendent and more experienced teachers retiring.

Kirk Parker said...
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Freeman Hunt said...

We just read Rapunzel a week or so ago. Rapunzel didn't seem too helpless. She and the prince stayed up talking every night and making a silk rope. Then the witch found out and banished Rapunzel. The prince was so sad he jumped out of the tower and thorns scratched his eyes blind. He wandered around for years in despair until he found Rapunzel living with their twin children in destitution. Then they are all happy and go to live in the castle. Also, he is no longer blind.

Maybe this writer's daughter didn't bring home the Grimm's version.

Freeman Hunt said...

There's a lot of filtering at our house. Mostly to filter out mind-numbing trash that kills attention spans. If you've seen children's programming lately, you know what I'm talking about.

The easiest filter is to just not watch TV. Then you buy a couple thousand books. And you talk. Everyone is fully entertained.

Freeman Hunt said...

Or does she think Rapunzel is a weak character because she is imprisoned? That's not really fair. Blaming the victim there. I thought that was a major taboo in feminism.

Paco Wové said...

What a terribly fucked-up person "LittleTaff's" mother is. I hope the kid turns out ok.

Largo said...

@Kirk Parker:
Thank you!

Kelly said...

I rank this up there with agonizing over Barbies. I played with barbies and never once thought normal was a size D cup with a 15 inch waist. In fact, in the case of Ken, feminists should be happy he is castrated.

My daughters grew up watching the Little Mermaid and all the other Disney stuff and it doesn't seem to have caused permanent damage. It's called entertainment! People just over think this stuff, I guess to feel self-important.

gerry said...

The woman is neo-Puritanical. When one cannot teach by example, censorship is the answer.

gerry said...

The woman is neo-Puritanical. When one cannot teach by example, censorship is the answer.

Joe Schmoe said...

"My problem is that I'm a feminist and anti-censorship, but somehow all my proposed solutions lean heavily towards censorship rather than challenging my feminist assumptions."

Joe Schmoe said...

There's a lot of filtering at our house. Mostly to filter out mind-numbing trash that kills attention spans. If you've seen children's programming lately, you know what I'm talking about.

Yeah; a lot of mainstream children's programming is so flashy and frenetic that I'm surprised they don't induce more seizures. We watch a lot of Caillou at our house. The kids seem to prefer it over just about any other show.

We just watched the Charlie Brown Halloween special last night. We haven't watched it in a long time. I was pleasantly surprised at the simplicity of the scenes, the comfortable pacing, and the characters speaking in a clear, measured tone. I'm biased, though, as I've always loved the Peanuts comics.

Paco Wové said...

Whenever I browse a Metafilter thread, it never takes more than 5 or 10 minutes before the realization hits: I loathe all these people.

Joe Schmoe said...

I played with barbies and never once thought normal was a size D cup with a 15 inch waist.

Ha! Good one Kelly. And playing with toy guns didn't make me a serial killer.

PatCA said...

The head?

Is that PD-speak for headmaster/headmistress or she's talking to herself in the head?

Freeman Hunt said...

Another thing in Rapunzel:

The parents lose her to the witch because the mother gives in to the temptation of wanting the food in the witch's garden. The husband enables her temptation, steals the food, and then his courage fails when the witch catches him, and he agrees to give her their child when the child is born.

I'd say the theme of family tragedy caused by lack of self-control and failure of courage is a worthy and relevant one.

Freeman Hunt said...

Another thing in Rapunzel:

The parents lose her to the witch because the mother gives in to the temptation of wanting the food in the witch's garden. The husband enables her temptation, steals the food, and then his courage fails when the witch catches him, and he agrees to give her their child when the child is born.

I'd say the theme of family tragedy caused by lack of self-control and failure of courage is a worthy and relevant one.

joe said...

My daughter repeatedly listens to Oldie Radio that plays "In The Ghetto" that is racist, what am I to do? Especially racist at this time, because the song is set in Chicago and Obama is from Chicago.


As the snow flies
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin'
A poor little baby child is born
In the ghetto



And his hunger burns
So he starts to roam the streets at night
And he learns how to steal
And he learns how to fight
In the ghetto

Then one night in desperation
A young man breaks away
He buys a gun, steals a car,
Tries to run, but he don't get far
And his mama cries
As a crowd gathers 'round an angry young man
Face down on the street with a gun in his hand
In the ghetto

As her young man dies,
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin',
Another little baby child is born
In the ghetto
And his mama cries

PJ said...

I liked that old Spoonful song, too, but my interpretation of it isn't the same as either of yours. I don't think John was so much making fun of hippie-style permissive parenting as expressing newly acquired empathy with the concerns of the "squares" (perhaps his own parents). Not "your way is mockworthy," but "don't be so sure the other way is mockworthy." John is a big-tent guy.

Whamodyne said...

My parents censored one thing when I was growing up. And that one, too terrible for children to see thing was.... Speed Racer. No joke, they claimed it was too violent. Now that I'm an adult I go back at watch old Speed Racer and damn, it was violent as hell.

Jeff said...

The Little Mermaid did have one really great song in it, but it wasn't A Whole New World. This is.

Christy said...

Odd that this woman grew up in a world full of sexist tales herself and yet became a feminist. She must think her daughter isn't so bright.


G.K. Chesterton "Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."


Inga said...
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Inga said...
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Mary Beth said...

Christy, I was just listening to the beginning of Neil Gaiman reading "Coraline" and heard the G.K. Chesterton quotation and came back to add that, and say that maybe the woman's problem is that she's looking at it the wrong way. She needs Freeman Hunt to explain the stories to her.

At the link above there will be someone reading the book, one chapter at at time, beginning with Gaiman.

Synova said...

What if you had to argue... I'm against it!

It's like 9-11 Trutherism. You don't have to even for a moment prove what IS, you simply "ask questions". Picking apart something is easy, really. There is always a "question" or always a fault to find or always some way of looking at something negatively.

Is Wonder Woman powerful or objectified?

Do you look at the Little Mermaid as someone who wants to explore the larger world and be herself or someone who sends the message that girls can only be happy by finding their true love?

Feminism, the theory sort, the "look at the world only through this lens" sort, is arguing from the negative. The question applied to anything is "can I find a way to find fault with this?"

What if you had to argue that everything in the world was bad for women?

Brilliant people make this their life work.

Alex said...

Didn't Rapunzel bathe in her captor's blood at the end of the tale? Play with his entrails?

Synova said...

This is, I think, from a Jennifer Ruben column: "Myers said that since Obama’s campaign has made an issue of the remark, “I have an inbox that has been flooded from women who say, ‘I think it’s great he reached out and understood you have to be flexible.’ Not a single one has been anything but positive.” She scoffed at the Obama campaign’s suggestion that this was somehow insulting to women. “That’s not the reaction of normal men and women,” she told me".

I overheard a Hispanic lady doing a quick interview (I think with Univision) saying that the remark about flexibility was "problematic". So people do argue that.

That's "what if you had to argue" territory.

wyo sis said...

We have parents who preread everything for their children to ensure they never read anything they disapprove of. We have parents who freak out if someone gives their child a Skittle. We have parents who don't allow their kids to read a book with dialect written in non standard English. Swear words. Sexual innuendo. Not up to Christian standards. Depicts witches and magic. Depicts gay relationships. Mythology that has illegitimate children of the gods. Swear words. One child freaked out at the name Bikini in a Sponge Bob book. Another had a meltdown when a grammar software asked where the apostrophe belonged on the word hell. The feminist version of extreme censorship is no less censorship than the Christian version.
People need to learn to relax and talk about ideas without foaming at the mouth.

SukieTawdry said...

When I was around 10, my parents gave me a volume of (original) Grimm Bros fairy tales and a volume of (original) Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales. For someone who before had only known the Disney-ified versions, they were quite a revelation. I loved 'em and I'm almost certain they did me no permanent harm. They were fairy tales after all.

Alex said...

wyo sis - the Christianists on this web site are gonna give you hell for that.

Sam L. said...

Forgot to add "The HORROR. The horror."

And what if the child came home with an old copy of Huckleberry Finn with teh "N-word" in it?

SukieTawdry said...

Mostly to filter out mind-numbing trash that kills attention spans. If you've seen children's programming lately, you know what I'm talking about.

Not just lately. I remember when Sesame Street first aired. Although I had no children at the time, I watched a bit of it and decided that if I did ever have children, they'd never be Sesame Street viewers. I thought the frenetic pace and constant jumping from subjectto subject was terrible and especially terrible for very young minds that needed to learn patience and discipline (you know, the kind of stuff they might pick up from spending time with someone like Fred Rogers).

Is it just a coincidence that kids who grew up with Big Bird became the Ritalin generations?

Freeman Hunt said...

Kirk Parker, that link was wonderful!

Here it is again for anyone who doesn't want to scroll up to find it.

jr565 said...

When I was a kid my mom wouldn't let me play with toy guns. So there was a bit of attempted programming there. Didn't grow up to be a gun lover, but I did play with toy guns every chance I could, so the programming didn't work.
And I shouldn't say I became a gun hater. I just haven't really bought one for myself yet. Someday, perhaps.
Its not just the backwoods rednecks burning the beatles records that are the censorers. Look at how the PC crowd goes after Huck Finn for example. Or look at pro evolution types refusing to allow teaching of ID in school (i.e. why not both? Have a class just to say what it is for those who want to believe or disbelieve). Every group has their books or images that must be censored repressed, whether its on the left or the right or whether you are god fearing or atheist.

jr565 said...

Sukie wrote:
When I was around 10, my parents gave me a volume of (original) Grimm Bros fairy tales and a volume of (original) Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales. For someone who before had only known the Disney-ified versions, they were quite a revelation. I loved 'em and I'm almost certain they did me no permanent harm. They were fairy tales after all.


I had the same reaction when reading the Canterbury Tales. It struck me as this boring middle english dry poem that would have no interest whatsoever. Au Contraire. It is bawdy, tragic, violent, hilarious from story to story and I was totally engrossed. It was a little tough going reading it in Middle English, but not impossible. And the stories again are not what you'd necessarily expect.

Freeman Hunt said...

Sukie, I agree. Sesame Street is hugely overrated. You should see it now. It's even worse. It's appallingly bad.

Most of the kid shows are so bad that it is hard to imagine anyone putting them on for a kid. And yet they do. I don't know how that happens. Because it's easier? You sit the kid in front of a screen, and you're just happy that the kid is occupied and not making a mess no matter what trash he's taking into his mind? But if that's it, a person could just give a kid a bunch of blocks and teach him how to pick them up later. Or send the kid out into the backyard. Or give him a bookcase full of good books. There's a whole world out there.

Laura said...

Heh. "Hard-core" feminist enlists husband to fight her battle with feisty headmistress, who talks "over" her. Needs "help" preparing her script.

Needed a good laugh like this.

Laura said...
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Mary said...

John should get back to us with advice after he has raised his own little girl successfully...

;-)

ALP said...

If this mom had gone ahead and had a meeting with the head librarian - what on earth would she have said?

It is jumping to conclusions, but is it a stretch to imagine that she would suggest removing any and all books that did not fit into her world view? With the best of "intentions" of course. Or would she merely insist the librarian "censor" the books her daughter chose from the library - relieving the mom of the guilt of doing so herself?

Then that begs the question: who the fuck does she think she is dictating what OTHER kids have access to? OR having the librarian do her dirty work. Also - wonder what she'd think if her daughter suddenly wants to read Greek and Roman myths, like I did when I was kid?

My younger sister has a bit of this mentality. At one point during a visit, my niece, then about 5 years old, would have a great time clomping around my apartment in my high heeled pumps! Since heels are a no-no to my sister (they are tools of the patriarchy, don't you know?) she was so conflicted, it was hilarious to watch her face go through many contortions and colors! OTOH - she wanted to rip those shoes off her feet. OTOH - she didn't want to squelch her creativity.

Both thoughts would paralyze her to the point she just sat there with a pained look on her face!

Mary said...

"Believe it or not, this is one reason our children went to public schools instead of parochial schools. We wanted them to be exposed to as many different ideas as possible, and learn to evaluate them."

It's all relative, eh?
Just don't be too surprised when the kids end up with little in terms of academic discipline or foundations for critical thinking.

John voted for Obama, no? Wonder if he is still a supporter. He's sure good at advising others, tho.

Mary said...

Even putting out an album of cover songs, between karaoke sessions. Wow. Sounds like an original thinkier...

Those Disney videos did him good in the scientific thinking department. He's an engineer who changes the own oil in his car, right?

Mary said...

That Mom should probably home school if she has greater aspirations for her daughter.

Mary said...

" Also - wonder what she'd think if her daughter suddenly wants to read Greek and Roman myths, like I did when I was kid? "

Might be what she's hoping for, over the Disney goop.

rcommal said...

Why "LittleTaff"?

Mary said...
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Mary said...

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea.
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth;
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness lent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch.
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be --
I had a Mother who read to me.

Mary said...

"Is it just a coincidence that kids who grew up with Big Bird became the Ritalin generations? "

Electric Company and ZOOM were what the kids liked, and were taken off the air. Mr. Rogers Neighborhood induced sleep, with Sesame not far behind...

Mary said...

"And what if the child came home with an old copy of Huckleberry Finn with teh "N-word" in it?"

Twain used the word nigger, not "the n-word". If you make it seem like, in context, it's bad to openly discuss literature, your kids will pick up on it.

Give them the truth, they can handle it without sugarcoating.

ALP said...

Mary: I recall a fair amount of violence and male-gods-exerting power. From the Hera myth:

"Hera's marriage was founded in strife with Zeus and continued in strife. Zeus courted her unsuccesfully. He then turned to trickery, changing himself into disheveled cuckoo. Hera feeling sorry for the bird held it to her breast to warm it. Zues then resumed his normal form and taking advantage of the suprise he gained, raped her. She then married him to cover her shame."

I can see a feminist getting pretty worked up about THAT! Don't recall rape as a basis for marriage in Disney...does anyone else?

Source:

http://www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Hera/hera.html

SukieTawdry said...

Kirk Parker, that link was wonderful!

Yes, great link.

Andersen and the Brothers Grimm aren't the only ones to get "the treatment. Among my favorite childhood books were the Mary Poppins series by P.L. Travers. Not too long ago I went looking for the original books. Although the Disney versions are widely available, apparently the originals are out of print as I could find them only among the "rare" books listings. It's criminal, really; the original stories are far more imaginative than anything the Disney studios concocted (not that Disney's Mary was a bad sort; she just wasn't the Mary I knew).

Mary said...

" the Disney version of the Little Mermaid had no literary nor historical merit "

Presumably the Greek myths meet this standard...

---------

Bambi, Fexix Salten. Don't wait until you have children to read it.

Mary said...

Not too long ago I went looking for the original books. Although the Disney versions are widely available, apparently the originals are out of print as I could find them only among the "rare" books listings. "

There's a good market for "rare" books. They are still out there. The younger generations tend to treat hardcovers as "clutter" because they can find what they need online.

If they know what they're looking for, or need to read.

That's the trouble with letting children have free reign in picking their diets. They want sugar over substance too often, and a good parent/adult helps steer them.

Until they can drive safely on their own, of course.

Balfegor said...

RE: Maguro:

Just wait 'til Little Taff starts dating a biker.

I get the feeling her poor mother would find it more objectionable were she to date a banker.

Christy said...

MaryBeth, do you find Caroline as scary as I did? To scary for a child, I think.

Anyone else as disappointed as I was that the Brad Pitt Troy didn't have the scene of Hera seducing Zues while Posidon aided the Greeks? Should I, as a feminist, regret the use of sex to accomplish a goal?

wyo sis said...

Mary Poppins by P L Travers is available and inexpensive at Amazon. All of our school libraries have them and they circulate. Same with the Borrowers and the Little Britches series. Not big circulation, but steady.
Maybe a Wyoming thing.

gmama3 said...

Sounds like the mom should come up with an abortion-rights themed children's book. Ursula the Uterus or something fun like that.

The sad part is, if she did it would probably become required reading.

Balfegor said...

gmama3:

Sounds like the mom should come up with an abortion-rights themed children's book.

I kind of feel like that would backfire with very young children.

Yes, children. Be grateful to Mama -- I could have snuffed you out before you were ever born.

MadisonMan said...

I can only imagine the eyeroll that occurs when the librarian hangs up the phone with this helicoptering parent.

I will say, though, that the child is rebelling against the parent at a very early age. But she has certainly learned how to get attention/under Mom's skin.

Synova said...

"When I was a kid my mom wouldn't let me play with toy guns."

We could play with toy guns, we were just forbidden from pointing them at people... or a stick... or cocked fingers (bang, bang). This made toy guns rather boring.

We had real guns, though. And got to get safety training and go hunting when we were young.

Mary said...

I will say, though, that the child is rebelling against the parent at a very early age. But she has certainly learned how to get attention/under Mom's skin. "

??
Or maybe the child is oblivious to Mom's concerns, and just found a book she liked. Then, a second version/copy which interested her too?

Most kids just choose for themselves at the library like that.

sleepless nights said...

Fairy princesses are about purple sparkles and pretty hair. Just leave it at that and don't worry about it. It'll end soon enough.

During fairy princess stage I rediscovered my love for all things purple, pink. Now that it has passed and those involved have moved on to less cute things, I still love purple and magenta. They're fools to let themselves be talked out of it by their peers. They will know this one day, as I do. ;)


Freeman Hunt said...

I wonder if the Metafilter questioner has read The Fisherman and His Wife.

Freeman Hunt said...

I've found this edition of Grimm's to be particularly good.

SukieTawdry said...

wyo sis: I went to Amazon and see they re-published the books in 2006 (I must have been looking for them a bit longer ago than I thought). I'm really happy to see they're not only the original books, they contain the original illustrations.

Thanks for the tip--I ordered all three!

wyo sis said...

Sukie
I too love Marry Poppins and was also very glad to get the original versions. There is a certain group of kids, girls mostly, that really eat up the what I call "gentle" books. Mary Poppins, Anne of Green Gables, Betsy Tacy, The Borrowers, Secret Garden/Little Princess, Little Women, etc. I love to book talk them and get kids interested in reading books with "lots of words."

Kirk Parker said...

I saw Mary Poppins when the film first came out. One of my strongest memories is of the suffragette stuff and going "What is wrong with those ladies?????"

Largo said...

"I'm against it!"

@Synova,

My son knows that one by heart!

I must step up to the defence of Early Sesame Street. (Not what it has since become, which is something vile.)

Where else would children be introduced to Vaudville, by way of Ernie and Bert?

If you want a good cry, google "sesame street weeping flower" -- and then think of "Elmo's World". Alas!

WV: "Manah Manah" (I kid!)

rcommal said...

I was allowed to read whatever I wanted to, growing up. As my mother described it, when I was pregnant with my son in 1999: "What else could I do? You'd out-read everything that was so-called appropriate so early, and then you just wanted more. There was no more than to let you go."

True story. God rest my late mother's soul, and bless her for that. Thanks, mom!!!!!!!!

rcommal said...

My father turned out to be like that about music, by the way, and quite a while ago, which is no surprise, but still: God bless his living soul, as well. Thanks, dad!!!!!

rcommal said...

(This is not to say that disapproval did not come along with choices of reading or music. Of course it did. Important lessons came with both. But I did get set free in the most critical ways, and for that I will never forget to be endlessly grateful.)

rcommal said...

Largo:

Where else could kids be exposed to vaudeville? It seems, to me, that the answer is obvious.

rcommal said...

Am I the only one who thinks it's too marvelous, and also amusing, but mostly truly great that someone who's embraced "Sukie Tawdry" as his or her nom de plume comments here? Seriously: I not only love that, I value it.

Largo said...

My first exposure to Mac the Knife was through The Muppet Show!

A good parent can introduce their children to vaudville (and more) without resorting to Sesame Street, now more than ever. My son has studied his Groucho through YouTube and dvd! My suggestion that children could only learn vaudville via Sesame Street was silly and clumbsy.

What is true us that my own early education in such things was almost entirely through Sesame Street. If my parents had provided me with a better alternative to the show, I might be less defensive of it. But I am not sure of how I could have done better for my son if I were raising him in outport Newfoundland in the early 70s.

An anectdote:

Not that my grandfather never tried! When I was in Kindergarten, he showed up one morning, to take me with him (he said) on a shirt business trip. I loved taking such trips with him. To my chagrin, he had taken me hime that morning to watch Sesame Street! (I entered kindergarten during the second season of Sesame Street, and I was missing it. I had told him that I had been kearning more from one hour of Sesame Street than I was from one morning of Kindergarten. He took me seriously. and I will always love him for it.)

Maybe my desire to defend Sesame Street is, at its core, simply a desire to give homage to Jim Henson -- or to my grandfather (may they both R.I.P.)


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