"Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion." John Adams

Featured Posts


Creative Minority Reader

Don't Read to Your Children. It Makes Them Racist Homophobes and Stuff, Warns Academics

God save us from PhD candidates, and for that matter people with PhD's.

I honestly believe that the stupidest things said on the planet are said by people with advanced degrees. This is a terrific example. A couple of academics presented a paper at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences worried that the animal characters in children's books often have mothers and fathers and don't engage in male-male sex enough. Oh, and they're racist too.

Parents who read their kids stories about happy, human-like animals like Franklin the Turtle or Arthur at bedtime are exposing their kids to racism, materialism, homophobia and patriarchal norms, according to a paper presented at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Most animals portrayed in children’s books, songs and on clothing send a bad message, according to academics Nora Timmerman and Julia Ostertag: That animals only exist for human use, that humans are better than animals, that animals don’t have their own stories to tell, that it’s fine to “demean” them by cooing over their cuteness. Perhaps worst of all, they say, animals are anthropomorphized to reinforce “socially dominant norms” like nuclear families and gender stereotypes.

“[M]uch of young children’s media reproduces and confirms racist, colonial, consumerist, heteronormative, and patriarchal norms,” Timmerman and Ostertag write in their paper ‘Too Many Monkeys Jumping in Their Heads: Animal Lessons within Young Children’s Media,’ presented at Congress Wednesday.
As far as racist themes being presented, it seems to me that as someone who's read hundreds of children's books, most of the animal characters are mostly all sorts of weird colors like purple or green. So I'm not sure how that might be racist.

As far as children's books pushing the nuclear family, I think that one of the problems is that actual animals don't have two Mommies or two Daddies. That's a human invention. Conception kind of requires a male and female going all Nat- Geo on each other. Sorry.

So it turns out that children's books may adhere a little closer to reality than say a couple of academics at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences.



HT National Post

*subhead*Teach the children well.*subhead*

Your Ad Here

18 comments:

LarryD said...

“[M]uch of young children’s media reproduces and confirms racist, colonial, consumerist, heteronormative, and patriarchal norms,” Timmerman and Ostertag write in their paper ‘Too Many Monkeys Jumping in Their Heads: Animal Lessons within Young Children’s Media,’ presented at Congress Wednesday.

...and upon concluding their presentation to the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nora and Julia proceeded to strip off their clothes and engage in lesbian sex in front of the audience, who gave a rousing, standing ovation at their brilliant research and persuasive conclusions.

What?

BurgoFitzgerald said...

I do not want to live on this planet any more.

TheCatholicScienceGeek said...

Hey! I'm a PhD candidate! We're not all crazy agenda-pushing nutters that grasp for straws! To be honest, I loved Franklin and Arthur stories growing up...back when sex and all that other stuff was kept out of children's books... http://thecatholicsciencegeek.blogspot.com/

Mack Hall, HSG said...

At last, I have an opportunity to exclaim "My daughter the doctor!" I barely graduated from high school; my daughter is a (gasp) psychologist. In her childhood she read books about the Berenstain Bears, Robin Hood, King Arthur, Sweet Valley High, Old Yeller, Texas history, American history, world history, and anything she wanted (always make your child's book budget generous). She also played with Barbies, cap pistols, and her electric train. This good and loving young woman NEVER misses Mass on Sundays and other holy days.

Don't stereotype. We've had this conversation before.

Julie said...

They mentioned Arthur, and I remember one episode of a series based on a character from the Arthur series, Buster Bunny and his travels, that had him visiting a little girl who lived with homosexual women. It aired on PBS, if I recall, and I was not really a fan of Arthur after that. I'm also pretty sure in Arthur there are animal kids with single parents, Buster for one I think, and possibly the "bully" character. Cannot remember his name. Anyway, Arthur is a strange choice for an example, I think. Perhaps it's just the PBS series that shows these things and not the books?

Me, I like the Thornton Burgess and James Herriot classics more than Franklin or Arthur.

Sherry Antonetti said...

So the moral of the story is, unless you are sexualizing your children by teaching them about all the proclivities that one might chose to engage in, you aren't being "honest" with them. And this is going before Congress today why?

Harry Seldon said...

The authors:

Nora Timmerman, a University of British Columbia PhD candidate in educational studies focusing on environmentalism.

Julia Ostertag is a PhD candidate in the Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy, University of British Columbia
Her current research explores the history and contemporary practices of school
gardening.

Proteios1 said...

Saved from all PhDs? Seriously? That's pretty illogical even for a blogger.

Eh? said...

As someone with a PhD I'd like to point out that it's not the degree that's the problem it's the Mickey-mouse research they get it for.

Paul Zummo said...

God save us from PhD candidates, and for that matter people with PhD's.

As a Ph. D myself I say - yeah pretty much.

Ellyn said...

I don't know how my children survived all the Babar books without turning into French Colonialists. And they read Curious George and no one has been caught huffing ether, either.

Mack Hall, HSG said...

Easy, EH; I LIKE Mickey Mouse, and won't hear a word said against him.

Donna M said...

Ah, er uhmmm...Mack,

I did hesitate for a nano second about "not" telling you about Mickey, but your gonna need to cover your ears when you read this.

I'm "outing" Mickey! Disneyland in So Cal for years has had "Gay Nights", after it lost it's lawsuit! From what I've been told from gay educators, the "rides" are pretty wild! It was a crushing blow and couldn't listen to more! In their circle, Mickey is out of the closet.

jac said...

"Much of young children’s media reproduces and confirms racist, colonial, consumerist, heteronormative, and patriarchal norms"
Ah Ah Ah... It is lucky that silliness no longer kills anyone. Otherwise there would be a huge number of casualties.
This autoproclamed "Congress of humanities and social sciences" has no more important issues to deal with?
Then what do they recommend? To censor the underage movies, Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan, etc...?

William Meyer said...

Two of the most important things I learned from my mother were that a) the most important lesson college could give was to teach you some sense of how much you do not know and b) that you should come out of college with well developed skills in researching information. She also counseled that a degree did not mean that you had acquired valuable expertise--that comes later, with the application of skills in research, logic, and observation.

Mack Hall, HSG said...

Donna,

Not Mickey! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

But Peter Pan's still cool, right? Please?

:)

Donna M said...

Mack, dear peer,

After Mickey, there is not much left!

Just can't tell you about Peter Pan and the island of lost boys!
I KNOW your heartbroken, but givin' ya' a coronary won't help!

Here, maybe this will help.
1960's, Mary Martin's Peter Pan with Cyril Rouchard as Capt Hook.
Yes, a little weird, even for then, but loved it as a kid before the world went morally nuts!

Donna M said...

...not going to mention "Tigger" from Winney, the Pooh, either!

Post a Comment