Friday, February 23, 2007

Children Need Protection...from Doofus Librarians with Scrotophobia!

Did you hear about THIS?

Since when is scrotum a bad word? Last time I checked, it was a part of the human body, like, you know, tongue, ear, hair follicle, toe, navel, frenulum, cheek, thigh, foot, breast, vulva, penis, and finger.

Know what, loony librarians? Even Jesus had a scrotum. Yep. And he wouldn't have something that was bad or shameful on him. Trust me. The guy was, you know, perfect and superholy.

None of those anatomical bits in my list are bad words. It's just not possible for a scrotum to be bad, anymore than the word apple or sunbeam or Saturn or limestone is bad. It simply states the name of the thing as is generally accepted, without any particular cuss word association. It's not vulgar. It simply IS.

None of those listed identifiers are words kids need to be shielded from. They are just body parts, and no body part is dirty. God gave me my vagina. God gave you your scrotum. Those are what we call those parts. These are terms that shouldn't be thought of as dangerous. A child shouldn't be made to think a scrotum is a nasty thing or that the word is taboo.

I suppose part of the problem is that some (many) parents tiptoe around body parts, so teachers then have to tiptoe around them, so therefore, librarians have to tiptoe around what they stock for the young set.

Let's just stop tiptoeing, maybe? If a kid's got a pet dog of the male sort, then there's no reason not to teach them what a pooch scrotum and penis is. If it's a bitch, then teach them the terms for teats and vagina (I'm not up on doggie anatomy, so correct me if they call it something else.) Since various kids have seen cats and dogs give birth to kitties and puppies, it's not so tough to say, "Look, the puppy just came out of its mommy's vagina. And now it's looking for mommy's teat so it can have milk."

Not really a major undertaking. Use a friend's or relative's pet, if necessary. Or there's always Animal Planet.

Since the banned book was not referring to grandpa's scrotum, but rather a dog's, it seems to me that a teacher could use a dog photograph or illustration to explain to any child ignorant of the term what it meant. Or simply say, "Ask your dad when you get home."

What's the big deal?

So, I'll leave with this quote from Neil Gaiman, which includes a quote from one of the censoring librarians:

Ms. Nilsson, reached at Sunnyside Elementary School in Durango, Colo., said she had heard from dozens of librarians who agreed with her stance. “I don’t want to start an issue about censorship,” she said. “But you won’t find men’s genitalia in quality literature.”

leaving me wondering what tmen's genitalia have to do with a dog's bollocks, and whether the lady in question has actually read the book she's trying to stamp out.

I've decided that librarians who would decline to have a Newbery book in their libraries because they don't like the word scrotum are probably not real librarians (whom I still love unconditionally). I think they're rogue librarians who have gone over to the dark side.

Still, I'm glad that there's finally a solid rule of thumb guide to what's quality literature and what isn't.


No comments: