Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today's adults were NOT yesterday's kids... WTF???

This is outrageous.

I don't understand the movement towards installing your children in figurative plastic bubbles to protect them from the world. I mean, I would understand actual plastic bubbles—that actually offers real, physical protection. But... disallowing trick-or-treating? Banning books? Particularly the dictionary?! It's the same concept as banning guns—pretty soon, the only people who have books are the ones with all the power over the children.

I mean... if removing a child's access to words removed the things those words meant (ie, if you don't know the words "oral sex," then oral sex doesn't exist), then I could see some limited advantage to banning books. (But really, we shouldn't be removing oral sex from people's lives. Why would you?!) But this particular censorship technique results in the kids who don't have dictionaries or internet access or horrible-but-kind older siblings at home don't know what the phrase "oral sex" means... but that doesn't stop more informed (or pervy) peers from trying to take advantage of them and get them to put their mouths on the peers' genitals.

Anyone who watches action or mystery movies knows that knowledge is power. Similarly, ignorance is weakness. If a person knows what oral sex is, then a peer seeking to take advantage of them can't tell them it's something different, like a game, an experiment, or a joke. (See Competence: Law & Order SVU episode.) To be educated & informed is not to automatically be tainted or impure; it simply helps to prevent 1) miscommunications 2) looking (and being) completely ignorant 3) and people taking advantage of your ignorance.

I remember being younger (I don't remember what age I was, unfortunately)—my family had an unabridged dictionary. I spent lots of happy minutes (I was a kid, I didn't have that much attention span) looking up dirty words and stuff before realizing that I was having fun looking stuff up in the dictionary. Some amount of time after that, I hear the phrase "chicken hawk" on SNL, and had to know what it meant. So... I looked it up in my unabridged dictionary. And I learned what it was (slang-wise... I already knew about the bird). And I went "oh, huh, I feel informed now." It didn't immediately make me want to be (or be a victim to) an older gay man. Similarly, despite the positive slant the book Where Did I Come From puts on sex, having it read to me as a little kid didn't make me immediately want to go have sex.

Banning all things that make some reference to "intimate parts" or sexuality is simply unrealistic and, in the end, very harmful to learning children. For example, I have several or many friends whose first porn was National Geographic. That's obviously not the recommended use for National Geographic... but man. Horny pubescent kids will turn ANYTHING into porn. Don't victimize the good stuff because of it! Damn people.