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Michael Rosen, queering children’s literature

(161 Posts)
LiterallyProblematic Tue 14-Jan-20 23:24:15

I could cry.
https://twitter.com/wwwritingclub/status/1217210625153290240?s=20

LiterallyProblematic Tue 14-Jan-20 23:24:44

In case first link doesn’t work
twitter.com/wwwritingclub/status/1217210625153290240?s=20

JanesKettle Wed 15-Jan-20 03:18:23

sad

I'm crying with you, Literally

ConfessionsOfTeenageDramaQueen Wed 15-Jan-20 04:36:38

Doesn't surprise me at all. He's always been so left-leaning as to be practically horizontal. I'm thinking in particular of his appalling defence of Corbyn et al in the anti-semitism scandal. This is right up his street.

ApacheEchidna Wed 15-Jan-20 05:24:53

not everything about queering children's literature is about TRA propaganda. it is right and appropriate for there to be more representation of non heteronormative relationships in kids books. there should be stories where the princess is rescued by another princess, or where some characters have two mums or two dads without that being the focus (or title) of the book.

I have no idea how woke bloke Rosen is, but it seems a bit of a leap to assume that this is all about filling books with sexist ideas about making sure bodies and pronouns match clothing style.

JanesKettle Wed 15-Jan-20 06:10:30

Kick ass princesses and kids with two mums are a dime a dozen in the kid lit world already.

Saucery Wed 15-Jan-20 06:16:30

Of course, I’ve never ever come across any diverse characters in children’s books. Never ever ever. hmm
He loves to talk over female authors on that Radio 4 book programme.

JanesKettle Wed 15-Jan-20 06:42:37

He loves to talk over female authors

Oh surprise.

A disdain for women and girls does seem to be pre-requisite for 'queering'.

HandsOffMyRights Wed 15-Jan-20 06:55:31

It's no surprise - he's a professor at Goldsmiths, where students would like women to be reeducated in Gulags.

Sunkisses Wed 15-Jan-20 06:58:11

Why is there this obsession with trying to ram LGBT into primary schools? Why are people wanting to introduce sexuality to pre-sexual children? It's an adult agenda that should have no place in children's lives.

HandsOffMyRights Wed 15-Jan-20 06:59:39

That's the question we should always go back to Sun

'Why?'

theflushedzebra Wed 15-Jan-20 07:16:35

there should be stories where the princess is rescued by another princess

Like Frozen, you mean?

Why are people wanting to introduce sexuality to pre-sexual children? It's an adult agenda that should have no place in children's lives.

This.

feetfreckles Wed 15-Jan-20 07:20:31

Because if children think a child with 2 dads is normal and something they see in other places, not just one child but in books and tv, then they are less likely to bully that child.

And as they grow into their sexuality they will not think themselves abnormal if they would rather be in. 2 dad situation

Like lots of things , nothing is simple black and white, in this case it's about having age appropriate information, which is where things often go wrong of course

loopsdefruit Wed 15-Jan-20 07:22:51

Why are people wanting to introduce sexuality to pre-sexual children? It's an adult agenda that should have no place in children's lives.

This is so fair. So no more talking about mums and dads, no more stories with families, no more role-playing 'house' with a mum and/or dad and children, no more fairytales, no books with weddings in at all, nothing in history that talks about wives or children.

Or is it just gay and lesbian couples that are 'too adult' for children?

It is possible to explore sexuality without discussing sex acts. Heterosexuality is a sexuality, it's not just the default.

theflushedzebra Wed 15-Jan-20 07:27:22

I think the problem with the term "queering the classroom" is that "queering" essentially talks about gender identity - and the less we encourage children to obsess on their gender identity, the better. It's encouraging a completely narcissistic and naval-gazing culture amongst our young people.

"Such and such has two dads" type books have been in our classrooms for years.

AltheaVestr1t Wed 15-Jan-20 07:32:30

I hardly think the children’s books will be discussing the bedroom antics of the two mums or dads...this is nothing to do with sexualising children’s literature, it’s about representing a wider range of people to reflect the diversity that is present in modern society.

PotholePalace Wed 15-Jan-20 07:33:18

He's interviewing students who have written about LGBT issues. It seems to me he's interested in people's views and encouraging debate.
Morning Star link He attends feminist debates too.

Lordfrontpaw Wed 15-Jan-20 07:40:13

What exactly is the aim here?

And for the record - we had this in the 70s! I remember a book in the school library about a kid with two dads.

The current trend seems to be more adult centred rather than child. Adult themes in a child’s world.

ApacheEchidna Wed 15-Jan-20 07:42:46

"Such and such has two dads" type books have been in our classrooms for years.

indeed. but how many ordinary story books which just happen to mention in passing dad Sam and dad Tom without it being the focus or title of the story? the existence of books like Heather Has Two Mummies is only a very basic starting point - we have only created a culture where kids can grow up and realise they are gay and not feel weird about it if there are numerous pervasive and positive examples in all kinds of media not just of token "look this is how to be inclusive" didactic stories which are still quite "othering" as they make a big deal of the difference.

how many children's authors sit down to write a story that isn't a story about LGBTQ inclusivity and just happen to make the central character kid have a non-het couple as their parents, not to make a point or be a major part of the storyline but just because it's a perfectly reasonable possibility?

BananaChocolateLump Wed 15-Jan-20 07:49:50

Can someone explain the issue to me as I'm not sure I fully see it.

Novina Wed 15-Jan-20 07:50:13

I think there's a grneral problem with language confusion (not particularly on this thread, just in general) between 'queer' as a catch-all term for LGBT and 'queering' as a shorthand for 'transgressing boundaries being axiomatically good'.

I have no problem with age-appropriate LGBT representation in children's books, so long as it's not gaslighty like the recent usborne book. I would have a problem with other bits of the alphabet soup (eg 'kink') appearing in children's books. I certainly have a problem with 'transgressing boundaries being axiomatically good' in kids' books.

The words 'queering' and 'children' never belong together, imo. I do not support a blurring of boundaries around children.

NewYearsRevolution2020 Wed 15-Jan-20 07:55:30

@Apache Yes, that would be the right way to do it. I think books like that would still be marketed a certain way though (and are unlikely to get published as the message is not deemed strong enough).

SleepDeprivedElf Wed 15-Jan-20 07:59:21

Yeah ilthere needs to be a much wider representation of gay relationships in kids books. More Tabby Mc Tat and less Heather has Two Mommies. Totally agree about the no kink though.

Novina Wed 15-Jan-20 08:02:22

how many children's authors sit down to write a story that isn't a story about LGBTQ inclusivity and just happen to make the central character kid have a non-het couple as their parents, not to make a point or be a major part of the storyline but just because it's a perfectly reasonable possibility?

It wasn't literature, but this is basically what happened in Doctor Who under Russel T Davies.

Luckystar777 Wed 15-Jan-20 08:19:20

I agree with @Sunkisses - Children aren't sexual and shouldn't be being encouraged to be either. It's abuse in my opinion.

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