Drag Queens and Libraries Radio 4 discussion
BoreOfWhabylon · 05/08/2022 11:51
Antisocial, with Adam Fleming
Drag queens and libraries
The row over drag queens reading stories to children.
A spate of protests outside libraries has focused attention on the idea of drag queen story hours - drag queens reading stories to young children in libraries and other public spaces. For some, it’s the perfect way to build acceptance of LGBTQ+ identities, plus it’s fun and fabulous for the children. For others, it risks exposing young minds to adult entertainment and complex themes of sex and gender.
Hmm... I'll be interested to see how this goes
aseriesofstillimages · 12/08/2022 18:23
Of course instincts and feelings can be bigoted. If a man’s instinct was that women were purely sexual objects and they had no opinions of any value, that would be bigoted.
aseriesofstillimages · 12/08/2022 18:24
Or if a man’s instinct about gay men was that they were pathetic and to be despised
DameMaud · 12/08/2022 18:24
AmaryllisNightAndDay · 06/08/2022 15:51
If I ran a library it wouldn't be my first choice of hire, and if I had a child that age it wouldn't be my first choice of holiday activity; and yes I suspect that ideologically it's a bit dodgy and I wouldn't want to look to closely; but it's not the hill I would choose to die on.
However I was not happy about the performer saying "right now I am a girl" to a confused child who came to him to ask. It is important to be plain and truthful with children who ask questions. Performers may be unwilling to "break the spell" but "I am a man and I can dress up and pretend to be a girl for storytime" is safer than "right now I am a girl". The performer needs a hard think about why he wouldn't or couldn't say that.
Was it "I am a girl whenever I dress in a frock and feel as if I am?" Or was it not wanting to break the performance? Or some mix of the two? People who can't break themselves out of a performance have poor boundaries.
Children trust adults to tell the truth (this girl trusted him to be honest or she wouldn't have asked him!) and not all children will recognise a non-literal or "stage" answer. Especially children who might have autism - and a performer has no way of knowing that a child doesn't. That girl may not feel confused any more but she may have gone away believing that it's possible for a man to become physically female when he dresses up and says so. Which is not a safe belief.
This is perfectly articulated. Thank you
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