Ideally, a bookstore is an endless cornucopia of knowledge, a place where boys and girls can explore their most personal curiosities. But at a recent visit to the bookstore, eight year old KC Cooper, daughter of author Constance Cooper, found something quite unexpected and distressing: sexist children’s books.
KC loves the outdoors, and as she thumbed through adventure books, she found one that included tales of animal attacks and natural disasters. The book is entitled “How to Survive (Almost) Anything,” and in bold green lettering sits the words: “BOYS ONLY”. When KC examined the girls’ version (with “GIRLS ONLY” written in bold pink lettering), she found instructions on how to survive girl fights, acne, and clothing malfunctions. The section on camping encourages the activity because it provides a good complexion and a “marvelous workout”, although “camping may not always be a girl’s top choice of activity”. YUCK.
Although KC initially cried because of offensive implications of the book, she refused to be a victim. She took action, asking her mom to inform a store staff member. The staffer was shocked and disgusted and promptly removed the books from the shelves and gave KC a gift card. Realizing the harmful effects of these books, the Berkeley, CA store refuses to purchase any more copies. Brava, KC!
Some have criticized the bookstore’s actions, believing them to be a form 0f censorship. I completely understand this complaint, but I think the incident has opened the floor for discourse, not limited it. After all, these books are still available elsewhere; maybe now kids of all genders will be free to examine them with a more critical eye.
Thanks to Daily Mail
Images via Daily Mail