Saturday, February 14, 2015

No I'm Not a Prude

I have always been a bit of a literary snob. Books were not always readily available where I grew up, so I read what I could find. Which is why I developed an early taste for classics. Young adult novels were a relatively new category and there were not the caliber of YA writers that there are now (there were exceptions of course). In fifth grade, I held the kids who read "Choose Your Own Adventure" or novelizations of movies in disdain (remember I was reading Little Women). Well, Lily has changed my views on that. We had a heated discussion about the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series. I declared they were "real" books. Why? Were the words invisible? Were the books made from air? Guess what snob? Your child is reading, so get over yourself! Reading is not the passion for her that it is for Caroline and I. Truth be told, Caroline and I have very different tastes. I tried to get her to read the classics, but she found the language and pacing tedious. Caroline enjoys thick action novels. Lily enjoys graphic novels. Reading is reading.

I do have one exception on my new rule. I refuse to read anything demeaning to women and will uphold this for the girls. As a young girl, I loved fairy tales. I had a serious case of princess syndrome. I really thought that one day I would be rescued by a handsome prince. Once I was older, I was able to read the original and international versions and see the stories for the twisted dark tales they are.

I never understood the obsession with the Twilight books. Neither Caroline or I read them. They just seemed like cheesy junk. I haven't read any of the Fifty Shades books either. I have read enough quotes to be concerned. If you are an adult who knows your mind and understands this is not based in reality and is for fun, well enjoy! But, having worked with women (and their children) who have been in abusive and controlling relationships. The books seems to give the idea that a sweet submissive girl-woman can cure/save an asshole. There is a piece on Upworthy that is worth looking at. Being a woman is hard enough. There is no need to perpetuate the idea that a rough man can be saved by a good woman or that poor girls can be rescued by "princes" and live happily ever after.

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