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katehaney

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12:26 pm: I got mighty angry last night
I love getting packages. OOOOH I love getting packages.

So I was delighted to see I'd received two packages while I was in DC.* All were books for Teddy. I love getting packages of books, and so does Teddy.

One was a squeamish purchase. It was a book about avoiding sexual predators. Not a subject I want to address with my child (or, more precisely, not one I want to have to address), but important. Teddy knows his body is private. He knows he gets to decide about his body. He knows he doesn't have to accept affection he doesn't want or makes him uncomfortable in any way from anyone, including his parents. ( :sniff: )

But more conversation is good. He's at an age where he has a more complex relationship with his own body and with other people. So when I read a recommendation from a trusted source (I wish I remembered what trusted source) of this book, I thought it would be a good way to continue the conversation with Teddy.

Of course I read it myself before reading to him. Thank goodness.

This is not a book about avoiding sexual predators (despite what Amazon's description said - or didn't say). It's a religious text.

Y'see, sexual predators are agents of the devil. Yes they are. And any potential victim must look to God to protect and help him (though it does depict parents as important in the process).

Also? Pictures of naked women are evil and must be (a) shunned and (b) reported immediately to an authority.

Even if I did believe in God, even if I were raising my child to do so, this book would still be not only a crock of shit but also potentially deeply, deeply dangerous.

Can you imagine the confusion of some small boy, raised to believe absolutely in the authority and benevolence of God, encountering, oh, I dunno... a pedophile priest? And his understanding of sexual predators is based upon God protecting him?

Jiminy Christmas!

Never mind the confusion of a pre-adolescent boy, deeply curious about women's bodies (never mind the complete confusion of a gay pre-adolescent, because this books' authors seem to believe that the only possible homosexual interaction is predatory), for whom pornography (and medical texts, and any art depicting nudes) has been conflated with predation?

Or what about a boy (of whatever age) who's confused by sexual attention from a girl or a woman? Nothing here to help him.

The book both went waaaay too far (salvation instead of safety) and not far enough (OK, you're religious, this activity is evil [though I might argue that in some of the scenarios they put forth - i.e., predators who are very young - more compassion may be in order] your relationship with God is important, your relationship with your parents is important, people other than your parents and religious figures can help you too, especially if the one who's victimizing you is one of them... and by the way? it's totally normal to be curious about your own body and about the bodies of people you find sexually interesting, and here are ways you can safely explore that interest, etc.).

The book has gone back to Amazon, and a scathing review posted. I only wish I'd read all the other reviews before I bought it. Most are from sanctimonious idiots (bad grammar and religious conviction seem to be directly correlated) praising the authors; a couple are from concerned parents.

Caveat emptor, Kate. Y'should've known better.

GRRRRR.


* Trip went fine. Got lots accomplished. Happy to be home.

Current Location: Longmeadow
Current Mood: angryangry
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Comments

From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 10th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)

What's the book? So I know to avoid it!

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I HATE when you think that you've found a great book, and then find out it's awful! I've read a lot of good books about kids and sexuality though. My favorite for parents is Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child's Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens (Richardson & Schuster). Definitely a book for parents, but gives you lots of ideas on how to answer questions. Not specifically about predators, but does give lots of ideas. Some of them are a little too "liberal" for me, but I'd say that 85% of the info felt "right" to me.

Lori - sister of Chris
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From:katehaney
Date:February 10th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)

Richardson & Schuster sounds great!

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I'll definitely have to get that one. I have Gavin de Becker's, but they're not specific about what to say to kids. I have "What's Going on Down There" (Gravelle et al.) and Where Did I Come From? (Mayle & Sanders) for him to read, and lots of general parenting stuff, but Richardson & Schuster will definitely fill a gap in my library - thanks! I tend to be a little too liberal, so I'll probably dig it. :g:

The one I returned was something like Tell & Yell, by the Pearls (Greater Joy Ministries, egads). If I'd done any research at all, I would've known to avoid it. It was cheap, I trusted whoever recommended it, I didn't do any research. Definitely my bad (although the Publisher's Description was VERY misleading too).
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 11th, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Richardson & Schuster sounds great!

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It's been a long time since I've read it, but the part that squeamed me out was when it debated the merits of teaching your kids HOW to have good sex. It reasoned that because parent teach their kids how to walk, speak, eat with good manners, etc., that we should also teach how to have a good sex life. I want my kids to have a good sex life. Someday. Someday, a long, long time from now. But they can read it in books and learn it in ways Not From Me. :-) (though if I remember correctly, Chris dated a guy who's single mom talked to him about all kinds of things in an explicit manner)
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From:katehaney
Date:February 11th, 2011 05:41 pm (UTC)

oh good heavens

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I'm not that liberal. EEK.
From:derbyhat
Date:February 11th, 2011 12:20 am (UTC)
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You're going to hell if you don't buy everything that this book says hook, line, and sinker...

I'd say that I'd see you there. But since I'm Jewish, I've got myself a free pass. :)
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From:katehaney
Date:February 11th, 2011 12:34 am (UTC)

dang!

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But you're a bad Jew! You told me so!

I was born and raised in Newton. Surely that counts for something.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 15th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
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Hurrah for Kate! (Sorry for bad book.) I don't think you have to teach about sexual predators. Maybe my bad. Just be careful about who you leave him with. He's got all the building blocks.

YoMaMa
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From:katehaney
Date:February 15th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)

I do need to reinforce some stuff

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Keep those building blocks strong, y'know?
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