I was at the library the other day with a young boy who is staying with us. I haven’t been in the children’s section for quite a while, so I decided to stick with something safe: Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. It was billed as a modern retelling, but really there was only one modification from the classic tale: no gender was assigned to the 3 bears. We had a large bear, a medium-sized bear, and a small bear.
At a doctor’s office with the same young boy a few days later, I read another fairly recently issued children’s book about a young character with a fairly generic plot: child having a bad day; decides to run away; but then returns after missing sounds and sights of home (as well as meals.) All the characters in the book were talking animals-although the type of animal was not clear from the illustrations. As with “the 3 bears”, there were no specific gender references to either the child character or to the adult figure (note that the household had only 1 adult figure.) Gender specific pronouns were absent.
Now this is just an anecdotal finding, but I won’t object so much in the future to Mrs. Curley’s insistence on saving boxes and boxes of children’s books for our grandchildren and/or other child visitors to our little homestead.
Up until now (homeschooling and all), we have been somewhat insulated (by design) from the cultural revolution against our children. I have read numerous articles and warnings about what is being taught in public schools; I do worry about nieces and nephews. But truly we haven’t experienced some of these things firsthand.
So what’s so devastating about genderless bears? First there are no genderless bears living in the woods! (Farm kids will know this-but we have less and less of these.) Secondly, the 3 bears are representative of a family. One book doesn’t make a cultural revolution, and in the absence of the 2nd book, I would have thought it stupid but uninteresting. But if this is a trend, it has an agenda to destroy the family and indoctrinate our children-especially because it isn’t “in your face”, but subtle as the case builds, book after book.
And, by the way, in both cases, the young boy doesn’t read yet, so I did insert gender (Papa Bear an Mama Bear) into both books.
Oremus pro invicem!