Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Balls, scrotes, vaginas, roscoe rules, censorship.

"An award-winning children's book about a 10-year-old girl seeking answers about life has provoked an uproar in America because it uses the word 'scrotum' on the first page.

Susan Patron's 'The Higher Power of Lucky' is being barred from school libraries in parts of the country - even though the actual reference is to the scrotum of a dog.

The book won America's top children's book award, the Newbery Medal."

Coming very swiftly along behind the recent waffle and spit over the Vagina Monologes -the play title was changed briefly to the 'Hoohaa' Monologes at the request of some one who perhaps didn't realise vaginas were a natural occuring body part and therefore not 'yuccky'- libraries all over America are getting busy and whipping up storm of protest over the inclusion of this most offensive of words, 'scrotum'.

The book’s heroine, a scrappy 10-year-old orphan named Lucky Trimble, hears the word through a hole in a wall when another character says he saw a rattlesnake bite his dog, Roy, on the scrotum.

“Scrotum sounded to Lucky like something green that comes up when you have the flu and cough too much,” the book continues. “It sounded medical and secret, but also important.”

The inclusion of the word has shocked some school librarians, who have pledged to ban the book from elementary schools, and reopened the debate over what constitutes acceptable content in children’s books. The controversy was first reported by Publishers Weekly, a trade magazine.
Reached at her home in Los Angeles, Ms. Patron said she was stunned by the objections. The story of the rattlesnake bite, she said, was based on a true incident involving a friend’s dog.

And one of the themes of the book is that Lucky is preparing herself to be a grown-up, Ms. Patron said. Learning about language and body parts, then, is very important to her.

“The word is just so delicious,” Ms. Patron said. “The sound of the word to Lucky is so evocative. It’s one of those words that’s so interesting because of the sound of the word.”

Ms. Patron, who is a public librarian in Los Angeles, said the book was written for children 9 to 12 years old. But some librarians countered that since the heroine of “The Higher Power of Lucky” is 10, children older than that would not be interested in reading it."

Which is rather like saying only pigs and spiders really want to read about Charlotte's Web. Or that an adult might not be interested in Oliver Twist.

“I think it’s a good case of an author not realizing her audience,” said Frederick Muller, a librarian at Halsted Middle School in Newton, N.J. “If I were a third- or fourth-grade teacher, I wouldn’t want to have to explain that.”

No no, God forbid a child might learn that the old ballbag is actually called a scrotum, let's stick with peepee and goolies or doodysack or whatever other nonsensical word we can find. Let's not mention vagina at all or... oh I don't know, toes. I'm going to call my toes feet fingers from now on.
Actually kids, being kids, like nothing more than reading books that adults tell them they shouldn't be reading, so carry on banning and getting offended over nothing, draw as much possible attention to it in fact.
Now, I really must get on, my stomach-er..interier food recycler, is rumbling and this post is starting to get on my dirty pillows.

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Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

These librarians need a swift kick up their patooties for having their noggins so far up their boompas. Aren't librarians supposed to be the champions of the written word?

What a lot of bottom exudation.

10:16 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Now now Sam, don't be getting your burgina in a flap. Just sit on your fanny and stew it over for a mo'. It's for the children. You know, those little tykes the stork brought.

10:24 a.m.  
Anonymous Primal Sneeze said...

Such a load of bollocks. And all over a mutt's marbles.

10:34 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Snake bitten bollocks.

10:44 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

There's far too much of this potty talk about nowadays. Someone's got to protect the children.

Angina is a very suggestive word, as is gesticulate, and masticate. These and others like them should be removed from all right-thinking dictionaries and proscribed from all books.

11:26 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I intend to masticate some salmon and steamed veggies in about half an hour you big poopy head you.

12:37 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Minge tous are very nice if quickly steamed, and very easily masticated.

1:21 p.m.  
Blogger AM said...

Great to know the most powerful nation on earth is roughly half full of twats that think like this.

Or, that kidnapping's OK as long as it's not a US citizen and you call it rendition.

1:22 p.m.  
Blogger P1P said...

Bless em, You have to laugh at the septics. They seem to have caused the author thousands of dollars of free publicity.

1:27 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I deflowered a broccolli and speared some hot pink juicy salmon with my mighty pronged fork.

1:40 p.m.  
Blogger PI said...

God forbid that they should use the correct anatomical name. No doubt balls would have passed muster?

3:20 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Probably not. But isn't it strange that we should equate any part of our bodies with something shameful?
Why should children not know that their scrotum is a scrotum or their vagina a vagina? What makes it shameful? If a child asked me to name his or her arm I wouldn't make up name so why do people wiggle and squirm over genitalia? We all have it.

3:35 p.m.  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

Once again Greg, I'm soooooo proud to be an American.

This story is right up there with the teachers leading a group of school children around the grounds of the capitol of California and they wanted the naked statutes covered up with clothing so that they wouldn't have to explain and be embarrassed. If you're embarrassed to tell a child what a body part is called, you shouldn't be an educator of any sort!!!

4:27 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...


There, I said it.

5:01 p.m.  
Blogger Boliath said...

Not exactly causing an uproar though is it? I'd heard nothing of it until I checked your blog. Seems like another one of those let's all laugh at the yanks 'cos you know all 280 million of them are stupid y'know?

Not taking away from your point of course, yes it is ridiculous to ban a book for using the correct word for ball sack, bollix whatever you like to call it yourself, librarians should know better as should we all.

6:05 p.m.  
Blogger The Pillion Passenger said...

yes i think we should continue to shield children from science and let them get their sex education from watching porn and reading playboy. that'll help them to suppress all their worries and curiosities about sex, which they will overcome when they discover alcohol.

6:06 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Trust me Boliath, if it had happened here in Ireland I'd have posted on it just as quickly. No nationality has dibs on daftness.

6:18 p.m.  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

But I was under the impression that "the dogs bollocks" was a form of high praise

7:04 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

True Kim, and if you have a 'neck like a jockey's bollocks' it mean you've got a bit of a cheek.

7:13 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know fmc I wasn't questioning that. Just a bit grumpy today is all. Sorry.


10:14 p.m.  
Blogger The Hangar Queen said...

This is not the first time that fuckwit rightie librarians tried to pull this shit (Most recently it was Harry Potter that came under fire)
What happened? Precisely nothing.A bit of a squawk,some feathers ruffled and a few private god-botherer schools 'ban' some books from their bible collection..er I mean library.
I'm going to order it from my local library in the morning and I'm going to go to the snitch who's been turning my reading lists over to the FBI to do it.

7:15 a.m.  
Blogger The Hangar Queen said...

Oh..and seeing as it won our top children's book award it would stand to reason that most of the 300 million (not 280) of us probably have no problem with it.

7:19 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I remember that kerfuffle over Harry Potter, some woman -who hadn't read it becasue it was two long and she ahd four children dammit- said it should be banned becasue it dealt in witchcraft and so forth. When asked why she felt this way when she hadn't even read the book she said something of along the lones of 'I don't have to read pornography to know that is is immoral'.
Right ho.

9:28 a.m.  
Anonymous seadreams said...

I recall some crackpot librarian actually FEATURING "Fear of Flying" in the childrens section, believing it held a valuable lesson for tykes. A real right-winger, he was, inexcusably dense. He would love this. So, no. Don't give them the correct names of body parts- Give them AnnaNicole and Britney and Paris and Lindsay ad nauseum. Too bad though, scrotum is such an unforgettable word.

11:56 p.m.  
Blogger Fat Sparrow said...

We still haven't recovered from the Puritan Era, let alone the Victorian era. It's funny to think that 120 years ago, no one would mention a woman's legs. Oh no, you would have to say "limbs." Saying a woman actually had legs was improper. Hopefully it won't take us another 120 years to wise up.

11:28 a.m.  
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7:24 p.m.  

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