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May 18th, 2005 - Trickle of Consciousness — LiveJournal
I've been seething a little, ever since I read about the latest claptrap attempting to protect the frail children from discovering that homosexual people exist:

[Oklahoma]'s House of Representatives on Monday passed a nonbinding resolution calling for gay-themed children's books and "other age-inappropriate material" to be moved to the adult section of public libraries.

Republican state Rep. Sally Kern introduced the measure after complaints from the parents of a 6-year-old who had checked out "King and King," a book about two young princes who fall in love, from a library in the Oklahoma City suburb of Bethany.


I seethed, but didn't say much. It's a nonbinding resolution, which so far as I can tell lets the politicians behind it claim they've done something without actually passing any forceful legislation. If they want to set themselves up to throw their hands in the air and say "we tried, but those gosh durn liberal librarians did it," fine. The libraries seemed to be handling the measure in stride, so I'd let it go.

Others, it seems, aren't letting it go:

U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C ... [has] introduced the Parental Empowerment Act of 2005, legislation that would create parent-based advisory boards to review at the local level material eyed for school libraries and classrooms. It would let parents, in blocks of five to 15, decide whether the country's youngest children are ready for themes of homosexuality and gay marriage, for example, Jones said.

He, for one, doesn't believe they are.

"To me, there is nothing more important than our children and their future," Jones said Tuesday. "The 5-, 6-, 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds - they're as innocent as a baby, and their parents need to know what's in their library."


So now the seething gets to be too much, and thus I rant.

I'm really exhausted by the continuing rounds of "children are too young to understand homosexuality" arguments. Mostly because they come in one of two varieties: those that seem convinced homosexuality can't be explained without explaining homosexual intercourse, and those that claim children will be confused trying to understand all these complicated kinds of love.

The first argument should be obvious in its idiocy. I shouldn't have to build a strong argument against it because, I'm sorry, it's just willfully ignorant.

The second has the ring of truth, but is just as flawed. It's basis in the perceived "simplicity" of a child's mind ignores a number of contradictory evidence, not the least of which is young children's uncontested ability to pick up fluency in complex languages in the space of time it takes an adult to manage your basic high school competency in a language exam (usually accompanied by an accent that makes native speakers wince).

One of the many words those tiny, simple brains learn is "love." They encounter it in "safe" fairy tales like "Beauty and The Beast."

Beauty loves her father so much that she takes his place as a hostage of The Beast. Beauty loves The Beast, so much so that her tears of love transform him into the man of her dreams. They marry and live happily ever after.

Clearly Beauty is a treacherous creature, bereft of loyalty. First she loves her father, then she loves the beast. Or so she claims. Surely, if she loved her father, she'd have married him instead of leaving him all alone.

This isn't that hard. Little Johnny knows there's a difference between the way Mommy loves Daddy, the way Mommy loves the family cat, and the way Mommy loves him. If he doesn't, I fear Little Johnny is either simple-in-the-bad-way, or there are some disturbing things going on at Little Johnny's house. Love isn't all the same thing. We trust kids to understand that when it comes to opposite sex relationships; why would it be such an amazing leap for them to apply that to the same sex variety?

And you can pull out your "parents should decide when they learn" arguments all you want, so long as, when using that line of reasoning, you can honestly say you find it reasonable--rather than ridiculous, bordering on negligent--for a single mother to strongly object that her child is reading books at school that involve dual parenting. Because otherwise, you clearly aren't advocating parental control of when a child learns about relationships, but only parental control of when a child learns about relationships you yourself have a problem with.

What it all boils down to is that I think it's long past time that supervisory groups--be they the government or "Family Advocacy" cooperatives or whatever--stopped telling people that the very fact of their existence constitutes Adult Content. I have a hard time coming up with something more insulting than that.

Though, because I'm just disturbed enough, now I totally want to get a shirt that says "Parental Advisory: my life contains homosexual themes."

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