Thursday, February 09, 2006

stuff I don't really want to talk about

OK, Becca's post on Caitlin Flanagan and the Rainbow Party review was so great that I have to say something, even though I really don't want to. I don't want to because I think the book is sensationalist and pornographic and, umm, ridiculous, and I don't really want it to get any publicity. I'm on a fabulous listserv for discussing children's lit and we "talked" about it there for a while--or other people did, as I hadn't read it, and won't--and I thought that was it.

But the more I thought about Caitlin Flanagan and her insistence that yes, these parties really are happening, or something like them is, or something else bad really is, I just flashed back on the mid-80s and the pre-school abuse stories. Does it strike anyone else that this panic is a lot like that one? That this is middle class parents worried about their own parenting, or lack thereof, and especially worried about how to think about children and sexuality, and projecting all those fears and anxieties onto someone else? Of course it's harder with teenagers, because--well, because they're teenagers, so probably sexuality is entering the picture in a lot more overt way than it was when they were toddlers, but in many ways the rest of it seems much the same.

Which is why I'm waiting for Jim Kincaid to chime in on this one, because this is the kind of thing he's really smart about.


Susan said...

Holy toledo. I can't believe there is a YA book about this. The RAINBOW PARTY?! I'm speechless. And normally I think Caitlin Flanagan is a total ninny, but I just don't know what to think about this. I had heard of these oral sex "parties" but I figured they were these weird urban/suburban myths.

I'm just sitting here shaking my head.

Lilian said...

Wow... heavy stuff, but extremely good review by Caitlin Flanagan. Her discussion is deep and all-encompassing. Now I have to read Becca's post...

Thanks for linking to the review, I don't think it'll really give the book more publicity, on the contrary :)

Lilian said...

Good - Becca's post put things into perspective. The article conveyed way too much information, and was convincingly well-written, so I couldn't even see the holes in it.