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"Dirty slut" in p6 reading book!?

(37 Posts)
Iamlora88 Wed 18-May-16 11:18:40

I need some advice from other mums. Kaylas class has been reading The Suitcase Kid by Jaqueline Wilson. There's a line in it when someone calls a character a dirty slut. Now I get that this is a children's book but there's no room for the word slut in a class full of ten year olds. Kayla told me and showed me the book and I asked her what the word meant and she told me it's the worst word you could ever call a girl. We left it at that. Kayla wants me to bring it up with her teacher and I do too but I'm not sure how to address it with the school without going all crazy raging feminist on them. Ten year olds shouldn't have words like that introduced into their vocabulary and that fact that the word is basically about shaming women for enjoying lots of sex (to put it very lightly) makes it even worse. If it was just a normal swear word I could let it slide but the word slut is so damaging and shaming and I'd hate to thing that they're all running around the playground calling each other dirty sluts! If anyone can help me draft an email it'd be much appreciated.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 18-May-16 11:20:36

What's the context? Is it definitely meant sexually.

Does it mean slovenly? Nothing wrong with that imo.

SnuffleGruntSnorter Wed 18-May-16 11:24:14

I see where you're coming from, but it also means you have low standards with cleanliness around the house. Maybe have a word with your daughter about the two meanings of the word and explain why it's not a nice thing to call someone in case they think you mean the wrong one?

cingolimama Wed 18-May-16 11:29:41

Before you write that email, please read the specific passage, and clarify the context. I don't know this book, but Jacqueline Wilson never avoids controversial material, and she may have a character using the word "slut". That doesn't mean that JW supports shaming women.

I disagree with you about certain words "shouldn't be in their vocabulary". Unfortunately, at some point your daughter will probably be called a "slut" and a "bitch" and maybe a "ho". It's appalling, I know, and in a perfect world that wouldn't happen. But wouldn't it be better to discuss these words with our girls? So that these words lose their power to shame?

charleybarley Wed 18-May-16 11:30:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Iamlora88 Wed 18-May-16 11:30:30

It's the mum calling the dads new partner a dirty slut. I dont get how you think that word is ok to be in a yen year olds vocabulary.

Elledouble Wed 18-May-16 11:34:03

If I recall correctly, it's used in the old-fashioned sense (by Andi's mum towards Andi's dad's partner?) meaning slovenly rather than promiscuous. The book was published in 1992, I'm not sure the word was so commonly used in the way it is now.

I remember reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at school and discussing the use of the N word. I think it's important that we don't get overprotective over words.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 18-May-16 11:35:37

If the book is otherwise fine, you need to speak to your daughter about the word OP. Rather than emailing with all guns blazing.

She'll come across words you don't like; communicate with her about them.

cingolimama Wed 18-May-16 11:35:42

Just because a ten year old knows what it means doesn't mean that they will use it. My DD knows what 'fuck" means, but she doesn't use the word.

cingolimama Wed 18-May-16 11:39:02

She'll come across words you don't like; communicate with her about them
^^
this

urbanfox1337 Wed 18-May-16 13:29:17

These words exist, you need to teach your DC to cope with them.

YorkieDorkie Wed 18-May-16 13:35:06

The Suitcase Kid is a fantastic book and as usual JW isn't one to hold back from the risqué! My A Level Theatre studies class frequently dropped the C-Bomb and we were 16-17... Still technically kids although old enough to know of the word. I'm assuming your DC is 9-10? I think I'd read all of JW by then and it was readily available in our library at primary school. Is it more that you're concerned the word was read aloud in a shared read?

YorkieDorkie Wed 18-May-16 13:36:04

Sorry you did was she was 10!

Balletgirlmum Wed 18-May-16 13:39:23

My dad calls me a slut. He had no idea of the sexual meaning & why I got so offended he meant that I hadn't cleaned the house.

YANBU at age 10 nearly 11 you can't protect them from the world.

Balletgirlmum Wed 18-May-16 13:39:41

That should be yabu.

MoonfaceAndSilky Wed 18-May-16 13:44:47

Well I'm with you OP, I don't think it should be in a book for 10 year olds. Not sure what you can do about it though?

TimeforaNNChange Wed 18-May-16 13:51:21

I had a rude awakening when my DD was 9 and I discovered the letters WTF in the margin of her spelling test.
They know these words. They will be exposed to these words from adults and peers. And it's really important to normalise them, otherwise they will struggle to relate to people.

If they are shocked/offended by people in authority who swear, or their peer group, then they are going to live a very lonely life.

Inclusion of these words in books given to them by their teachers (who they respect and trust) is a way of gradually introducing them to the fact that different people have different values when it comes to bad language.

YorkieDorkie Wed 18-May-16 14:27:34

Time I think that's completely unacceptable! The teacher had written WTF??

TimeforaNNChange Wed 18-May-16 14:46:54

No, my DD had!

wigglesrock Wed 18-May-16 15:55:13

I don't understand why you think having the word in a vocabulary will damage your daughter - it's in a book. Use its inclusion in the book to discuss with her why it's a horrible, why its pejorative, why she shouldn't use it. My P7 (she's almost 11) asked me a few months why so many rap songs had the word bitch in them. I didn't shut the radio off, confiscate CDs, we talked about it, how it's used to demean women, that led onto talking about music videos, body image, stuff that can be hard to bring up naturally. She chose not to listen to music that used the word bitch - be it by men or women.

corythatwas Wed 18-May-16 18:34:17

The same word came up on MN only the other week in connection with Roald Dahl. The consensus then was:

a) the word does not necessarily have a sexual connotation in a work that is a few decades old

b) bad language, or bad behaviour, when used by a less than positive character is not there for you to emulate; in fact, in the Roald Dahl poem the prince's rude language was part of what marked him out as poor marriage material and somebody to avoid.

The second observation may well be relevant to Jaqueline Wilson: she tends to write about dysfunctional families but always makes it clear that they are dysfunctional, so not something to be admired and copied.

Surely your dd understands that not everybody in a book is somebody she should admire or copy? She will soon be old enough to study Macbeth in class: I hope that won't make her think she should murder the next lot of house guests you invite.

There is a great difference between a rapper using the word "bitch" in a song because that is how he thinks of women and a novelist letting a character use the word "bitch" to signal that that is how the character thinks of women. Your dd is old enough for you to start discussing literature with her in those terms if her teacher is not already doing it.

cariadlet Wed 18-May-16 23:26:26

I can understand why you'd be taken aback by that word, but the Suitcase Kid is quite suitable for ten year olds. Some of Jacqueline Wilson's books are for older children, but that one is fine. My daughter read it when she was about that age and really enjoyed it.

Just5minswithDacre Thu 19-May-16 14:35:56

Do you realise you've named your child OP?

blaeberry Thu 19-May-16 15:56:15

My dd read that book when she was 8 though we just seemed to skim past it in a 'unspecified insult' kind of way. I didn't draw her attention back to it. However, I did mention it to the teacher who was shocked.

Verbena37 Thu 19-May-16 23:47:41

I was also going to mention Roldh Dahl's Revolting Rhymes as it appears in their, discussing Cinderella I think and whilst as an 8 yr old reading it I did feel it was a strange word and unlike the others ....although I didn't know it's meaning then.

As others have said, words are often just words and it doesn't mean they'll use them.

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