Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son


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Book Fair Betrayal

If you’re as nerdy as I am, perhaps you remember with a similar fondness the Scholastic Book Fair. Ours was around this time of year, as I recall. Parent volunteers would set up table after table after table of books in the GYM — double-bonus, since that usually meant no dodgeball for at least one day. My mother could usually be convinced to take me to the fair after school (massive understatement — apples don’t fall far from trees, and the woman is OBSESSED with books), but even if your parents weren’t the sort who understood why you HAD TO HAVE that shiny copy of The Boxcar Children or Sideways Stories from Wayside School or Harriet the Spy — a new copy, of your very own, a perfect rectangle that you would be the first to peel open — the school would lean on them to send you with a little spending money for the day your class went to the fair. (Triple-bonus: book fair, no gym, and less time in class.)

Scholastic makes money hand over fist at these things (and gives less back to the host school than they used to), as one would expect with a captive and coerced audience, but it’s hard to begrudge them a little profit for something as all-around good as the book fair.

Which is why it made me so sad to read this:

You have to wonder why an organization dedicated to getting students to read would decide to make censorship such an important part of their work. You also have to wonder why one of the leading organizations dedicated to helping students learn would decide to wallop a giant blow of discrimination toward gay and lesbian families and children of same-sex parents.

But that’s what Scholastic Books is doing by banning a book from its book fairs simply for the fact that the book contains a girl character who has two lesbian moms. The book in question is Lauren Myracle’s book Luv Ya Bunches, a new book that wittingly covers the trials, tribulations and friendships that a group of young girls go through in school.

Teh Gay Agenda?

And yes, the book is definitely, no question about it, being censored because it dares to suggest that not all children grow up in heterosexual households. Scholastic is up front about that:

The company sent a letter to Myracle’s editor asking the author to omit certain words such as “geez,” “crap,” “sucks,” and “God” (as in, “oh my God”) and to alter its plotline to include a heterosexual couple. Myracle agreed to get rid of the offensive language “with the goal—as always—of making the book as available to as many readers as possible,” but the deal breaker was changing Milla’s two moms.

“A child having same-sex parents is not offensive, in my mind, and shouldn’t be ‘cleaned up.'” says Myracle, adding that the book fair subsequently decided not to take on Luv Ya Bunches because they wanted to avoid letters of complaint from parents. “I find that appalling. I understand why they would want to avoid complaint letters—no one likes getting hated on—but shouldn’t they be willing to evaluate the quality of the complaint? What, exactly, are children being protected against here?”

And here’s where I get all misty (am I pregnant or just PMSing???) and fall in love with Myracle a little bit:

“Over 200,000 kids in America are raised by same-sex parents, just like Milla. It’s not an issue to clean up or hide away,” says Myracle. “In my opinion, it’s not an ‘issue’ at all. The issue, as I see it, is that kids benefit hugely from seeing themselves reflected positively in the books they read. It’s an extremely empowering and validating experience.”

So here’s what we need to do:

1. Sign this petition at Change.org

2. Especially if you’re a parent whose kids will have a book fair (or who just love Scholastic Books), let Scholastic know why appeasing a few testy weirdos who hate everyone who isn’t just like them is a bad business decision.

Investor Relations
Strategic Development
(212) 343-6741
investor_relations@scholastic.com

(Thanks to Mombian, Change.org, and The School Library Journal for writing most of this post.)

(Also: If, like me, you’re wondering whether or not I have been knocked up, I feel I should let you know that I’m up at 5am on a Sunday not to begin walking across the fields to church but because I’ve been throwing up much of the night. Gross. I sure as hell better be pregnant.)


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The Word On The Street

Here’s where we are these days, apparently (click for biggerness):

Wordle

(Word Cloud courtesy of the very fun Wordle, which I found out about thanks to the even more wonderful starhillgirl.)

Clearly I need to be saying vagina more often.

i haz them


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Waiting

Hello, internet. I’m feeling a bit blue today. No good reason, except that summer is winding down and the writing projects I’ve been supposed to finish remain undone. By the same token, I’m blue because summer is not done yet, and I’m impatient to start TTC in September. I’ve made the big decision, so how come I’m not pregnant yet? Baby, get in my belly! (I’m going to be a real picnic during that 2WW business, no doubt.)

Ages ago, the very marvelous Musings of A Fat Chick was kind enough to tag me for a wee meme, Six Silly Things. At the time, I was feeling too blue to think of anything, but I’m going to make an effort to pull myself up by my boob-straps and cheer the heck up. It’s a beautiful day, I have a cookie sheet of perfect biscuits cooling on the stove, and Sugar and I are going to have a picnic in the park. There is no call for gloom!

Without further ado, here are the rules:

* Mention and link to the person who tagged you
* List Six Silly Things That Make You Happy
* Tag six of your favorite bloggers to play along

1. My very serious cat:

What?

2. Making inanimate objects talk, puppet-style. I enjoy it more if the object in question is resolutely un-puppet-like, say, a salt shaker or a coat hanger. (This is why we have a house full of junk. Every time Sugar tries to throw something out, I make it talk to her. I am going to be so good at mother-guilt!)

3. Sneaking up to and petting the night toads that hang out near the beach on Fire Island.

Night Toad of Pine Walk

4. Nicknames. I rarely get them, maybe in part because my real name is uncommon in my generation, and I cherish the ones I do have. I also LOVE making up new ones for Sugar, but I’m sure she’ll do me grievous injury if I share the best ones here. Most aren’t…conventionally complimentary, though they aren’t conventionally insulting, either. Maybe she’ll tell you one if you ask nicely…but I doubt it.

5. Clothing that seems “circus-y” to me. Or piratical. Or both. Big stripes, big dots, overblown fishnets, black and white, bright red, fancy shoes and mismatched parasols. Japanese silk haori bound with an obi, tiered skirt, t-strap high heels, hair bound up in ribboned braids like Frida Kahlo. That kind of thing.

6. The soulful stuffed animals Sugar makes when she’s feeling crafty

Sweater Bird and Monocle Pod Are Friends

7. Breaking the rules.

Speaking of breaking the rules, I’m not nearly bold enough today to tag individual bloggers, who could ignore my tag (entirely unlike how I’ve been ignoring Musing’s) and prove my worst ideas about the world and my place in it all too true. So how about this: if you’re reading this, and you have a blog, be tagged. If you put a link in the comments, I’ll come check it out and love up on you for doing it. I can put you in my blogroll, if you want, too.

xoxo,
Bionic


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On Dedication

Stop what you’re doing. I don’t care what it is; this is too important. Stop it. (Oh, not you, sir. You just keep at that transplant surgery and come back when you’ve sutured.)

Go to (New! Improved!) Musings of a Fat Chick and read this post, now. If you’re in the kind of office where you shouldn’t be laughing out loud, take appropriate precautions. Close your door. If you’re in a cubicle, gag yourself.

If you have a story to beat this, please post a link in the comments, because DAMN.