to read or not to read

via suricattus

and there’s also this over on the Night Shade boards…

In summary — a young teenage girl ordered Asimov’s from her school’s magazine drive. Her mother casually flipped through the first copy that arrived and found stories she felt were inappropriate for her daughter. She went to the authorities to have the magazine removed from the subscription service permanently. You can see the whole story here.

Questions that arise….

How *does* one decide what’s appropriate or inappropriate? And if it’s inappropriate for my sister, or god-daughter, or some other relative, does that automatically carry through to everyone else’s daughters? And — if it were, say, an article in Newsweek, would children need to be shielded from that too? Where exactly is the line between protection and allowing for experience as the best teacher?

Thank goodness my mother wasn’t reviewing all the stuff that I was reading as a child…

3 responses to “to read or not to read

  1. Thank god likewise likewise.
    Who’s that hot babe in the icon, chica? *g*

  2. (delurking)Hi!
    Growl. If the mother felt it inappropriate for her child (if she actually read the magazine, which I’m still not sure of after reading the postings from the first link), then fine. Let her pull it from her child’s hands and discuss, or not discuss, her decision with said child. But she should NOT be allowed to pull it from everyone else’s hands.
    My father gave me =The Prince= to read when I was twelve. No lie. He thought I should learn its life lessons young. =Asimov’s=, =Analog,= and etc. were fixtures in the house growing up. I was reading Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg and Nabokov’s =Lolita= at twelve. Did I =understand= everything I read? No. Did my parents know =everything= I read? No. But…they trusted me by that point to form my own judgments on what I read. And frankly, probably knew that what I didn’t understand would go whizzing RIGHT over my naive little head.(wry grin)
    Based on that upbringing, I think it falls on an individual parent to deal with what s/he wants his/her child to read/see/etc. But it is NOT that parent’s prerogative to preempt that decision-making process for other parents. In my not-very-humble-at-all-on-the-subject opinion.
    Wonder how this mother feels about Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, et al.?

  3. Madeleine L’Engle has often written that she read anything she wanted as a child, and when she was too young to know/care about sex, those parts of the book didn’t interest her anyway. I know exactly what she means, because I was the same way. I skipped over “sex stuff” when I was 8 or 9, because, well, who cared about that stuff?
    I adored Lloyd Alexander’s The Kestrel when I was that age, though. Blood and politics was what I wanted out of a book. And I’m deeply grateful that no one tried to get me to read something “nice” instead.

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