Apparently there is a discussion going around in some circles about whether or not kids books should be labeled for content. ¬†It’s a tricky argument for me because on the one hand I think they (and in fact all books) should have them. ¬†I don’t want to read a book that is heavily laced with violence and pornography and if I see that on the back cover of a book, I might not pick it up where I mgith have before but then thrown it out (or donated it, back off) before I got to far in because it wasn’t my thing.
On the other hand, I don’t know of anyone else qualified enough to tell me what I will or won’t like. ¬†None of the Amazon, or Netflix ‘guesses’ having gotten it right and while I realize those are computer generated, I’m not sure a human will be much better.
A big sticking point for me is the fact that some people are arguing that it isn’t censorship to put a YA-14 label or “WARNING: NUDITY” label on a book or movie, or TV show.
It is censorship pure and simple, no matter how you try to argue it.
Because someone else gets to decide whats appropriate for you and your kids. Who says that having circumstance X and Y in a book means it’s PG-14 or whatever. I know some very mature 12 year olds that can handle certain things like violence and drug abuse in a book or movie better than some 20 year olds I know. ¬†Hell, I know some 5 year olds that can deal with some things better than I can at 38!
And guess what, even if I read a book and decided that other books like it aren’t the kind I want to read I’m censoring myself. ¬†For example Danielle Steele. ¬†Can’t stand them. ¬†Don’t ever want to read another one even though the last one I read was close to ¬†20 years ago
To me it all smacks of the games they make kids play today where no kid loses, or they lower the requirements for passing a test or getting into something so that ‘Johnny won’t get left behind’ Guess what, those kids will be ill equipped for dealing with real life where there are winners and losers, and people DO get left behind.
God forbid parents should take an active role in knowing what their kids do, watch and read. ¬†You don’t have to read every book, or watch every show, but knowing what Dora is like, or checking out a Harry Potter book or movie once in a while isn’t going to kill you.