Our local library has Miller’s 300 in the (mixed age) kids’ section. I snapped it up to read myself. 🙂
A little too violent for my tastes for the littles so I wouldn’t let my kids check it out at the time (JMan was 4 y.o.) and I might warn my other mom friends. But take it out of the area entirely? No. (Despite the fact that I believe it was put in the kids’ section entirely because it was a graphic novel…a whole ‘nother issue entirely.)
That’s what being an engaged parent is all about. Check out what your kid is reading and make an individual choice based on your value system. Don’t try to tell me what my value system ought to be.
While I haven’t seen the sexual explicitness (that’s a very subjective judgement), I would feel uncomfortable letting pre-pubescent kids be exposed to overtly sexual situations (as in where body parts intersect!…just as I am uncomfortable (more so even) with violence). The mom can complain all she wants, but she can not say that some other parent-child dyad cannot make a different choice.
This is the problem with censorship. It is an attempt to abrogate the rights of others to make considered (one hopes 🙂 choices for themselves or for those they are responsible for.
So I would argue that overprotective moms do belong in the library (they are even welcome to be unhappy about whatever) but I don’t think they have the right to dictate to others how to live their lives or take away the ability for others to make choices for themselves and their families.
PS: Another related issue: Why is sex not okay but violence is? Lots of violent books for the young adult market but sex is shunned? Weird.
Comment by aliteraryaffair — February 7, 2005 @ 5:35 am
> Why is sex not okay but violence is?
Because Christians have a thousand ways to justify killing someone, but getting it on is still a sin.
Comment by tone_milazzo — February 7, 2005 @ 5:55 am
Excellent use of a Simpsons quote. That one pops into my mind everytime some hyperactive parental group is on the news. . .
Comment by mollymillions — February 7, 2005 @ 6:02 am
Weird that the whole feels good-continuation of the species thing…arguably our purpose, is a sin.
Sure doesn’t feel sinful. -winks-
I’ll stop now before I embarass myself. -innocent grin-
I was talking to someone yesterday or this weekend (you? ML?) about how the dominant culture is all about delaying gratification. (A viewpoint pointed out to me by my friend, Kim Lumbard.) As in, toil on earth, get your reward in heaven. As in, i’ll be happy once i have a new house (but then once the house is bought, something new will be required to make the person happy).
It occurs to me as I write that it is a good way to control a person. To keep them ever after the carrot, leading them along a path that someone in control wants them to follow until that fateful day *kerthump* and they’re dead without ever enjoying life.
So sad. So killing is okay because often the person or people being killed are killed because they are not under the control of Those In Control. But pleasure? Pleasure is something we can do for ourselves. Pleasure is something outside of Their control. Unless self-pleasuring is made taboo and any pleasure at all is meted out, piecemeal, by those in power. And even then, pleasure often remains tainted.
Comment by aliteraryaffair — February 7, 2005 @ 6:13 am
I read the article and had that feeling…. “what’s wrong with this picture?” The way the library staff spoke sounds completely different from how an American librarian might speak, or at least from what I see published. When this kind of thing comes up in the USA, I see/hear apologetic tones, lots of PC words, and the “it takes a village” attitude that converges into “we’ll make decisions for you and your family”, and basically they mollify the HYPER-reactive and HYPER-conservative parents. At a cost to the rest of their library visitors.
I found the article very refreshing in that the library-speak was UNapologetic and put the onus back on the parent. WOW. What a concept…
I was reading Robert Heinlein when I was in junior high. I’m pretty sure it warped me for life, but it was about alternative lifestyles, not graphic sex (poly). Would I deny my daughter that now…? No, but I want to be able to give her context on it, share what I’ve learned.
I think that as a parent I really just don’t want surprises, and that may be part of the parent’s issue in this kind of situation. They thought they didn’t have to take a close look, and now OOPS something slipped thru the cracks from teh library. When that happens, it can leave me feeling like I failed, and generally pissed off that I missed something and now have to do damage control unexpectedly. But then, I’m a great big control freak. YMMV.
It’s funny….. my feelings on this were pretty simple before I had a kid, but now… my biggest concerns are that I don’t want her to develop a warped sexuality (yeah you’re laughing…), warped in the sense of sex-negative, or be willing to tolerate abuse, or willing to tolerate MEDIOCRITY, or be laden with shame. And I CERTAINLY dn’t want her to naively put herself in a position where she could be really harmed in a way that would f*&^ her up for life. And I want her to understand the emotional consequences and physical consequences, and guard herself accordingly.
The frustrating thing I’m noticing (again) lately is the double standard we still have. The whole Virgin/Whore thing. If boys are sexually aggressive or explorative, no one seems to bat an eyelash (among her and her friends). But let a GIRL do that, and she’s instantly labelled. And then follows being treated disrespectfully, treated as an object, and potentially lowering self-esteem, which is the real danger. I think we can turn lemons into lemonade in terms of our experiences, but re-versing self-esteem issues is harder. I just wouldn’t wish that on her.
It’s complex. I can completely identify with the guys who want to get their shotguns out when some boy comes to the door to pick up their daughter. When someone is more precious to you than you can possibly imagine, when even the experience of falling in love absolutely FAILS in comparison to the love for your child, battling the idiotic over protective urges is…….. well let’s just say “challenging”. 😉
Comment by leather_lady — February 7, 2005 @ 8:40 am
It’s the battle cry of Those to Lazy to Take an Actual Interest in Their Child’s Activities.
Comment by tone_milazzo — February 8, 2005 @ 5:52 am