Saturday, January 16, 2010

Propaganda in Children's Literature

GL has discovered the "Bright and Early Books for Beginning Beginners" series, and is tearing through the library's entire collection. They're light, humorous, and mostly harmless, although I'd just as soon skip those pious propagandists of feminism, Stan and Jan Berenstain. There are two varieties of feminism, "women are as good as men" (but, as Dorothy Sayers asked, "At what?") and "men are scum." Both are represented in these books, but the majority lean toward the second variety, constantly preaching that Papa Bear is a fool, while Mama Bear knows everything, and even the cubs are both smarter than Papa. Yesterday he read He Bear She Bear (sic). This one leans more toward equality, listing all the jobs Brother or Sister could grow up to do, regardless of gender. But the real, if unintended, message of the book is something both types of feminists seem to agree on, my main problem with feminism viz. a) Being a mother or father is less important than earning money, and b) Work done for an institution or business is more valued and fulfilling than work that only benefits one's family (presumably because the former is usually either paid, or considered charitable, and the latter is not. Nowadays, doing something for your family is considered greedy, not generous.)

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Blogger Rachel said...

I've noticed this in so many places - especially the "highly recommended" children's books sections. Shows up in some very surprising places.

February 14, 2010 at 8:26 PM  

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