From 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.
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.
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)