The new regressive sport of finding racism and sexism in children’s books

It is a new sport and anyone can do it. Becoming offended by wonderful children’s classics is easy. Almost anything can be twisted into racism and sexism you just have to look hard enough. Fairy tales are full of gender stereotypes (shock horror) and seemingly innocent characters like Thomas the tank engine can be found to be racist and sexist if you only look hard enough.

Everything is racist or sexism. Or homophobic and transphobic. Or some sort of hate crime.

On the heels of a librarian denouncing a donation of Dr. Seuss books because they’re racist, we have an extensive essay denouncing Thomas the Tank Engine.

[…] conducted a critical race analysis of 50 children’s books by Seuss and found that 98 percent of the human characters were white, and only two percent were people of color.

And then we have this social justice essay denouncing Thomas the Tank Engine in the New Yorker…

[…] When I watched “Shining Time Station,” I was too young and too absorbed by the fever-dream visual textures to take in anything that was actually happening. But through the dedicated and comprehensive Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia, as well as a smattering of critical assessments and message-board threads from dedicated viewers, I have become a little obsessed with the show’s repressive, authoritarian soul.

[…] (More information on the class and gender hierarchy of Thomas the Tank Engine can be found in “A Very Useful Engine: The Politics of Thomas and Friends,” a 2009 article by Shauna Wilton, a professor at the University of Alberta.)

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I shudder to think what Social Justice regressives from the higher education system would have to say about the classic tale of the Little Red Hen. I loved the story as a child because I agreed with the message of the story. These days the little Red Hen would be framed as a racist capitalist who refused to feed the poor.

In reality, the little red hen taught children lessons about teamwork. She provided for her young family by working hard. Below is an extract from an essay about the book that wasn’t written by a Social Justice regressive.

The Little Red Hen: A treatise on personal leadership

[…] Like many children, I grew up with the story of the Little Red Hen. If you do not know the story, it is about a chicken—the Little Red Hen—who, after finding grains of wheat, asks her farmyard friends for assistance in cultivating the crop. At each step along the way, no one offers assistance when asked. They do all want to help eat the bread when it is ultimately baked […]

In the end, the little Red Hen feeds the bread she has baked to herself and her chicks. The life lessons that can be learned from the book include:

If you don’t contribute, don’t expect to be rewarded […]

Work first, then play […]

Listen to your elders […]

Watch how you use your resources […]

Even a small effort can lead to great things […]

Doing something for others is its own reward […]

-pharmacist.com

 

 


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If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

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