Tuesday, February 20, 2007

CENSORED - scrotum - but its okay to say "nut sack"!

Recently it was brought to my attention that a word has caused the ban of a book in school and public libraries. The book is called "The Higher Power of Lucky" and written by a children's author and is "age appropriate" for the normal learning ability of a 5th grade 10 yr old child. The word is scrotum - an appropriate term for a male genitalia body part.

O.k., consider this and this is something I have heard often.
An educated man is a dangerous man.
And the average American has the education of a 5th grader. (Ah, the wonder of our government..... )

Much of this post is about the power of words, morality and education. If you are offended by the title then move on. Comments that slander will be deleted. Comments that offer constructive criticism will be considered but not necessarily responded to.

This is just another fight of someone trying to make a name for themselves -- Oh, we saved the world from religion, choices and education! But that is for another time.....

Censorship over a word....
Librarians making a name for themselves....
What will be next??

Cats and dogs living together peacefully???

Because our culture has made "sex" a bad word this is the kind of stuff we have to live with in our blessed country.

Scrotum: the external pouch that in most male mammals contains the testes.
Testes : two egg shaped objects located in the scrotum of a male animal.

Sex anatomy education for a Librarian that wants to censor this book --

What's a scrotum? (as stated from the average child of say 10 yrs of age or less)

Boys have a pouch near their boy parts that contain testes which is part of what makes them a boy.

And if a girl asks, "Why don't we have a scrotum?"

"You do not need one. You know you are made different so instead you have ovaries which are inside your abdomen."

Sounds pretty simple to me... and age appropriate. They don't need to know what's there above and beyond that, or what the purpose is.... unless you think that the learning ability of the child is where they will understand what you try to tell them!

Oh MY GOD! SEX in A Book for CHILDREN!

The New York Times posted this about this book and word scrotum -- you can read it here.

Yes, I understand that children are going to understand different things at different ages. The older they get the more they begin to understand so long as they are taught as they grow. You teach colors, numbers, names, age, letters, shapes, and fingers, toes, ears, mouth -- oh wait, those are body parts..... CENSORED! Seriously though, if you teach children about the world around them - just the basic facts -- and not what you believe to be right and wrong - its about building an understanding of language - what words mean and using the right word for the right object.

My 16 yo son made a comment to a girl a few years ago that was sexually inappropriate -- he repeated something he had heard a senior class mate say. He did not understand the context of what he was saying and he nearly got expelled. In response to what he did we have encouraged him to come talk to us about things he's over hearing other people say, that its o.k. to come and ask us, "what does '____' mean?" *fill in the blank with what you think is not appropriate* We let him know we would not be mad at him for repeating it to us because he needs to understand what it means and why repeating it is going to cause him trouble. Or if what he's hearing he doesn't know the meaning of he can come ask us and we can teach him what it means and how to use it in proper context so that he doesn't get in trouble or look foolish. He is able to pronounce words of all types so therefor he should be able to understand what those words mean.

Now, then, instead of censoring our culture any further by encouraging ignorance of the meaning of words and the objects they are related to, teach the words -- and offer sound morality. Instead of censoring a book because its got a word in it, mark it with something that shows what age group its intended for. Let the parent make the choice if they want to do a lesson on anatomy that the youngster will understand.

I just had another thought -- age appropriate is exactly what? I know adult age people with the mentality of a "normal learning 5 yr old" - but stopped learning beyond what a "normal" 5 yr old can learn. My best friend works with a 14 yr old that cannot learn beyond what a "normal" 6 month old can. So what is "age appropriate" them. Or should it be learning ability appropriate?????? Oh the fights that can stir up!!!!!

Librarians out there censoring for my children.. shame on you! It's my job to teach my children about the rights and wrongs of this world. It's my job to decide if a book is age appropriate for my children. If YOU want to let me know there is a word in a book that will require me to teach my children about anatomy then by all means when you see the children's rated book in my stack of literature to check out then tell me! But DO NOT CENSOR FOR ME! I will make the choice of what is truly appropriate for my child to learn based on what I know the child's ability to learn is.

Another problem I thought of. Here in America what do you think of when you hear the word "rubber"?


Based on what I understand about our culture and what I know we are taught -- its another word for "condom".

In Britain, its another word for what an American would refer to as an eraser.

In America "a rubber" is slang - and generally because of our "sexuality training" -- its derogatory! In Britain "a rubber" is a tool you use to remove lead pencil markings from paper and other objects!

Let me think - the "normal average age of a 5th grade child with appropriate learning ability" is 10 yrs old. My youngest son will start kindergarten after he turns 5 yrs old because his birthday -- so in effect he will be 6 for 1st grade, 7 for 2nd, 8 for 3rd, 9 for 4th, and viola -- 10 for 5th grade!!!! Ah, the blessings of an education to deduce that little tidbit of information, and to have the ability to tell you all about it! In big words no less.

And while we are at it , let the librarians censor all those books out there that show murder and rape and anything else that is doing the world an injustice from the shelves of our "public" libraries! And trust me I have read an "age appropriate" book that had


murder, rape, kidnapping, death and many of the other acts of life that can be construed as "wrong" from a public library. Would I let my 10 yr old read that book?? Most likely not, but then its a good possibility that he's not going to be interested anyway!

I am being sarcastic. Do you understand what "sarcastic" means? Even my 5 yr old understands what "sarcastic" means. Not a Webster definition of it, but a definition on his level of saying something in a mean way because you are mad or hurt. Better yet, I say BAN IT FROM BOOKS! Sarcasm is bad bad bad!

Many blessings to you .... no sarcasm and no censorship.


Blogger Little Miss Moi said...

dear heather. At elementary school in Australia, I can remember when we found out what rubber was slang for in America. So we started to call it eraser... self censorship really. Aren't words funny things.

Tue Feb 20, 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Tracey said...

Well, you could put on your rubbers and be grabbing a pair of rubber boots to go wading through mudpuddles with...

I'm so glad I live on a farm, truthfully, where my kids know exactly what the body parts are and how everyone gets pregnant! (Gasp! The PG word!)

Fri Feb 23, 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Isn't it sad and scary to think people can be so put out or flustered by words? I had my say about it at Chickenblog, and I enjoyed reading your piece too.
Thank you.

Tue Mar 06, 06:44:00 PM  

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