I was having dinner tonight? And one of my companions made the Very Good Point that for all the handwringing about Twilight, we read some pretty fucked-up narratives as teenagers, most specifically V.C. Andrews. It seemed at the time the only people who might have gotten their knickers in a knot over that kind of thing was the Jerry Falwell crowd. And given that all three of us at this dinner had read this book, and nonetheless managed to become psychologically okay individuals who have not married our brothers or rapists, it just seems like maybe all this concern about kids reading dumb shit is kind of… hysterical? Misplaced?
I realize in some ways this is a reversal of previous things I have said about Twilight. I reserve the right to hypocrisy when I may have been wrong in the first place.
I’ve seen this argument made here and there, and it does make sense to me. I used to read rape-y romance novels when I was a teen. So I’m reserving the hand-wringing for adult women instead :P
My thoughts are always that kids are reading things and adults aren’t worried about their thoughts on the subject. Not pushing the thoughts on them, but discussing why what they are reading might or might not be right or wrong, or troublesome at the very least. I mean, I am reading The Sword of Truth series right now, and would let Kid read it in a few years, and I would really need to discuss some of that with her, like the disturbing shit about torturing a child that really makes me cry and cringe used to let me know just how bad the bad guy is, just like I would need to discuss how a dude stalking you and dismantling your car, or another one forcing himself on you to prove you really do in fact like him too, are not healthy models for relationships.
I don’t call this hand-wringing…I call it active parenting. But I digress…
Yeah, see, that would be awesome. I would have loved to have had some discussions on stuff I read when I was younger with my parents, but neither of them, nor even any adults I knew, ever seemed interested in my thoughts on such-and-such novels, because they didn’t read the same things, or when they read it, they dismissed it out of hand.
I’m thinking more of the “OMG OUR GIRLS ARE READING AND LIKING ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS IN ACTIONS WHY IS THIS STUFF GETTING PUBLISHED AND WHY ARE GIRLS BUYING IT?!?!?!” phenomenon. Which I understood, but now the novelty of the outrage is fading and I’m just like “… well you could just talk to them about it.” And it is still fun to flail over the fail within the books themselves, and possible to do this without bashing the readers.
Will you be posting about the Sword of Truth series? I’ve heard it mentioned here and there, but nothing indepth.