Nothing gets parents' knickers in a twist more than the idea their kids might get their knickers twisted with a little self exploration. Masturbation is an instinctual and natural act that causes no harm whatsoever, but still kids are shamed out of it. One group of parents in Queens, New York got so alarmed about an award-winning book that had some passages about masturbation in it that the book was removed from the required reading list. Didn't these parents ever read Are You There God? It's Me Margaret?!
The book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, contains passages such as:
And if God hadn’t wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldn’t have given us thumbs. So I thank God for my thumbs.
Ooooooh. Horrors. One parent went so far as to compare the book to one that contains about a gajillion sex scenes, and you probably know what book I'm talking about it. Said mom Kelly-Ann McMullan-Preiss, who refused to let her son read the book:
It’s about ... masturbation — which is not appropriate for my child to learn at 11. It was like 50 Shades of Grey for kids.
Who are these parents who read through their kids' summer reading lists looking for dirty bits anyway? Don't they have things to do?
I wonder how many of these parents would be fine with their kids reading a book about a kid who has a gun. Or who even give their kids guns!
But masturbation? Woah. Now that's some dangerous stuff!
Here's a clue parents: At 11, your kid is either masturbating, has heard about it, has considered it, or will start doing it within the next few years. And who cares? How exactly would this harm your child? No, it won't make your child any more sexually active than not knowing about masturbation.
Said the author, Sherman Alexie, about the taboo subject:
To pretend that kids aren’t dealing with this on an hour-by-hour basis is a form of denial.
As the book says, "Everybody does it. And everybody likes it."
But not some parents, apparently. At least not if their kids are doing the liking!
Do you think these parents overreacted?
Image via hpeguk/Flickr