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'dirty Sl*t' - not very appropriate for 8 yo school play?

(31 Posts)
BerylStreep Tue 15-Dec-15 20:08:53

DS is 8. He has been going to his afterschool drama group, which is run in school, but by an outside drama group.

He arrived home a few weeks ago with his script for a play they are doing - Roald Dahl's Cinderella. I noticed in it there was a line where the prince say 'Who's this dirty slut?'

I spoke to DS's teacher and said I didn't think it was very appropriate to teach 8 yo boys terms that denigrate women, and she said she would speak to the drama teacher. Last week the drama teacher made a point of speaking to me after the session and she assured me that a lot of the play was improvisation and they wouldn't be using that line.

So I was a bit surprised today when I went to see the play today, to see that they had kept it in after all.

I don't want to appear to be petty, but I really think that having raised it with the school, having been assured the line wouldn't be used, I think I need to say something to the school about it. Would you say something, or just think, well the damage is done, no point raising it now? The principal was sitting next to me in the play, so will be aware of it already.

DextersMistress Tue 15-Dec-15 20:12:15

I would absolutely be taking this further, wtf? Shocking that was in a children's play.

Cel982 Tue 15-Dec-15 20:16:07

Out of interest, was it used in the original sense of 'slut', as in an untidy woman, a poor housekeeper? Still inappropriate given the modern connotation, obviously.

SundayGirl86 Tue 15-Dec-15 20:18:20

The meaning of the word 'slut' has changed over the years. It originally meant dirty or slovenly and I think that's the context here. That said, I completely agree that it should have been removed and is inappropriate - that's not what we think of now when we hear it.
Epic fail on the school's part.

SundayGirl86 Tue 15-Dec-15 20:18:55

X-post!

JoanFerguson Tue 15-Dec-15 20:28:08

Hmmm, the meaning has changed but I'd also say there is a lot of misogyny in Dahl's work and I'm fairly sure the use of the word had taken on the modern meaning by the time that was written...

BarbarianMum Tue 15-Dec-15 20:35:04

Not appropriate. They could have used 'slattern' if they wanted to keep the original meaning.

SavoyCabbage Tue 15-Dec-15 20:39:35

It is in the original revolting rhyme. It is the more old fashioned usage, although I can't remember the exact wording. I read it to my own dc but I wouldn't read it out at school.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Tue 15-Dec-15 21:03:56

Out of all the plays which could have been chosen there were no other plays available? It's a very poor choice.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Tue 15-Dec-15 21:07:36

Actually, in context it's fine. She isn't very impressed by the Prince.

^What's all the racket? 'Cindy cried.
'Mind your own bizz,' the Prince replied.
Poor Cindy's heart was torn to shreds.
My Prince! she thought. He chops off heads!
How could I marry anyone
Who does that sort of thing for fun?^

^The Prince cried, 'Who's this dirty slut?
'Off with her nut! Off with her nut!'
Just then, all in a blaze of light,
The Magic Fairy hove in sight,
Her Magic Wand went swoosh and swish!
'Cindy! 'she cried, 'come make a wish!
'Wish anything and have no doubt
'That I will make it come about!'
Cindy answered, 'Oh kind Fairy,
'This time I shall be more wary.
'No more Princes, no more money.
'I have had my taste of honey.
I'm wishing for a decent man.
'They're hard to find. D'you think you can?'
Within a minute, Cinderella
Was married to a lovely feller,
A simple jam maker by trade,
Who sold good home-made marmalade.
Their house was filled with smiles and laughter
And they were happy ever after^

evelynj Tue 15-Dec-15 21:08:12

I would put a strong objection in writing.

PlaysWellWithOthers Tue 15-Dec-15 21:30:29

It's absolutely not ok in context! Ye gods!

I'd definitely be speaking to the person running the drama group again, it's not acceptable language now, it actually wasn't when Dahl wrote this either. Even when the word slut meant a woman who wasn't great at housework, it was derogatory toward women, now it's almost lost that connotation to save it, it's just rude.

scallopsrgreat Wed 16-Dec-15 00:18:52

Jeez! You think it's OK in context? WTAF?

It wouldn't be acceptable at any age range OP. Let alone 8.

It really shocks me that people are wanting to find excuses for it.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 16-Dec-15 00:26:47

I think it's wrong as a school production. If you wanted to read it at home with a child it would be different as the context is Dahl didn't think much of the prince. The prince's language and general behaviour isn't something to be admired.

He's not a writer I read with my son and his adult stories are Tales of the Completely Predictable.

KERALA1 Wed 16-Dec-15 00:29:24

If you read his adult stuff from the 70s old Roald had quite a few issues with women - his short stories are very misogynistic I clocked this even as a teen when I read them.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Wed 16-Dec-15 00:33:37

I think the safest thing would have been to replace it with a different couplet, so something like:

The Prince cried, "What's that she said?
Off with her head! Off with her head!"

Usually I'm all for explaining that meanings change over time, but in this case I think I'd have just done a quiet bit of editing.

NormaStanleyFletcher Wed 16-Dec-15 12:25:04

Another vote for not ok.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Wed 16-Dec-15 14:50:10

I'd be equally concerned about the fact that the teacher lied to you - saying that the play is mostly improv when there is a clear script sent home containing the offending line.

And really, 8 yo doing improvisation as a play? As if that would ever be a feasible idea anyway!

BerylStreep Wed 16-Dec-15 16:00:47

I've spoken to the school secretary and am going to e-mail the head (even though she was sitting beside me at the play). The secretary was absolutely horrified, even more so when I explained that I had already had the conversation with the drama teacher.

PassiveAgressiveQueen Thu 17-Dec-15 14:26:30

*The Prince cried, "What's that she said?*
*Off with her head! Off with her head!"*

That doesn't work it needs to be an insult, i feel, sorry sidetrack

feminigran Thu 17-Dec-15 14:31:49

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feminigran Thu 17-Dec-15 14:32:55

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bearleftmonkeyright Thu 17-Dec-15 14:43:08

I would not be happy with my Year 9 DD doing this and she is 13.

feminigran Thu 17-Dec-15 14:48:20

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thedancingbear Thu 17-Dec-15 14:54:01

Yup, another vote for not cool. For the sake of disclosure, I am male.

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