• Fri, Oct 4 - 9:00 am ET

8-Year-Old Girl Gets Sexist Books Banned From Store So Our Evil Agenda Is Obvs Working

coversFrom now on, anytime anything awesome in the world that happens regarding women and women’s rights and feminist issues, I am going to start taking credit for it, and you guys should too, because it is all part of our AGENDA.

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So great job you guys with Wendy Davis announcing her run for governor!

And great job with author Constance Cooper‘s daughter KC, who was visiting Half Price Books and noticed something a little bit off about two books by Scholastic, one made for boys and one made for girls.

The boys version, entitled How To Survive Almost Anything (Boy’s Only Edition) had chapters entitled things like:

How To Survive A Shark Attack

How To Survive A Plane Crash

How To Survive A T-Rex

How To Survive A Zombie Invasion.

Sounds like a pretty cool read, right?

Yay boys! Yay boys learning how to survive a swarm of killer bees and I think any kid would like reading about that.

And another book offered, entitled How To Survive Almost Anything (Girls Only Edition) had chapters like:

How To Survive A Breakout

How To Survive A Fashion Disaster

How To Have The Best Sleepover Ever

How To Survive A Camping Trip

How To Teach Your Cat To Sit

Ha! Because cats are for the ladies and most women end up old and alone with CATS.

fat-cat-sitting

 

All of this is a whole lot of bull because WHAT IF a girl gets an acne breakout WHILE she is being attacked by a shark? WHAT IF?

The part that bummed KC out was the fact camping was depicted as something girls wouldn’t like to do because ew, spiders, hiking, outdoors, ew, boy stuff, and KC loves camping. Her mom suggested she show these books to the manager and the manager decided to pull them from the shelves and gave KC a giftcard for her part in drawing the books to the manager’s attention. Constance posted her daughter’s reviews of the books on Amazon’s website, and then, of course, people had to cry STOP CENSORING on Constance’s website, so she patiently explains:

First, I’d like to reiterate that no one asked the clerk to remove the books. She looked at them, and decided they were not something the store wanted to promote—something bookstores do every day.

Second, I think it’s important to draw a line between censorship–the government or other powerful entities restricting speech–and the individual making an impact through their actions. As an author, if a bookstore chose not to carry my books, I would be sad but that would be their decision–probably a business decision based on what their customers wanted. If an arm of government tried to control what went in my bookstore or local library, I’d fight it tooth and nail.

What I’d like kids (and adults) to take away from the incident is that it’s good to recognize harmful stereotypes, it’s OK to speak out against them, and that even at age eight, you can have some influence as a consumer.

Good job mom, good job KC, and good job us – because um, agenda.

(Image: Constance Cooper)

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  • NicknamesAreDull

    Unless alcohol is involved in that sleepover, it’s gonna suck.

  • Evelyn

    Ooh, you forgot the chapter on “how to keep stuff secret” ’cause you know what silly gossips us girls can be. I just took a look at amazon and their “look inside” and … good grief! How to survive a BFF tells girls to remember the good times with an example comic of secret sharing “he’s so cute!”. Obviously the fact that I went to an all girls school changes my perspective on childhood but I am sure I remember more to my friendships than giggling over boys. I agree totally on the camping thing. I love camping and loved it as a kid. The cartoon for that starts by warning girls that camping isn’t glamorous and so may not be a girls first choice of holiday so the guide will explain how to make the best of a bad situation … what bad situation? My little daughter adores camping! The boy book looks great … or would do if they called it kids only only and made their us and them gimmick about parents and kids rather than girls and boys.

  • meah

    Writing an angry letter to Scholastic…

  • TngldBlue

    But but I really really want to learn how to teach a cat to sit. I kinda want to know what to do if those pesky T-Rexs resurface after being extinct for millions of years but I’ve got my priorities.

    • NicknamesAreDull

      First, you have to domesticate the T-Rex, then use other cats as treats for the T-Rex until you scare your cat into submission.

      “See, Fluffy. That cat became dino food because it didn’t sit. Now, don’t you wanna sit?”

  • AnonyMouse

    I’m confused…is the mother’s name Constance or Candace?

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      ooops sorry

    • AnonyMouse

      I’m going to go with Constance because that’s the name in the link.

      I think it’s great the manager agreed that the books were a little ridiculous, and pulled them from the shelves. It always bummed me out when I was a tomboy growing up that all the things geared towards girls seemed really “frilly” for lack of better word.

      I understand that girls and boys are usually interested in different things, but there can be some overlap on both sides and I think that it would be great if things could be a little more accommodating. Like writing books for the girly girls, and for the girls that aren’t. That way they are equally represented and neither feels like they are left out.

  • Samantha_Escobar

    Okay but like really where are these kids meeting up with sharks and cats that actually listen to humans.

  • ChillMama

    Love her comment on censorship. Action+reaction=consequence is not censorship! I have been on this rant many times myself, but she was so much more eloquent.

  • Elizabeth

    It’s also unfortunate that these books don’t have social/emotional advice for young boys. I mean, boys break out and get made fun of and wear stupid things and have friend problems, too. I guess I just that tendering books like these is just silly.

    • TngldBlue

      I agree. My brother was always far more concerned with breakouts than shark attacks.

  • Tinyfaeri

    Ah, censorship. One of the ultimate “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” words.

  • ukmummy

    spontaneous round of applause from here!

  • ukmummy

    And, why don’t they combine the two headings completely and call it “How to survive just about anything (for kids)”????????????????