Lock up your daughters…

…and your sons, for that matter. 

There has been a complaint.  About me.  My crime?  I, Marsha Klein stand accused of disseminating unsuitable reading material to under-age children.  How do I plead?  Well, guilty – no point in denying it -but, in my defence, I will say two things:

1) I didn’t even give the the book to my daughter, she borrowed it from a friend.  The fact that she then passed it on to another friend (whose mother complained) was nothing to do with me either, your Honour;

2) It was only a Jilly Cooper* novel, for God’s sake, not hardcore porn!

I would like my previous good character and community work (years of jam-making for playgroup jumble sales) to be taken into account.  Case for the defence rests.

I’ll pack my things now and enter the Anne Robinson Correctional Unit for Unfit Mothers, where I shall await your verdict.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Blogosphere, my fate is in your hands.

* I haven’t actually read any of Ms Cooper’s oeuvre (ooh, get me!) so I’m not actually qualified to assess its suitability for a 15 year-old, a fact which didn’t go unremarked upon by my accuser.

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12 Responses to Lock up your daughters…

  1. realdoc says:

    I was told off for allowing the kids to watch Harry Potter. One mother thought it spread satanism. The fact that she is clearly insane meant I brushed off this criticism. My two have had an early education into sex via the fantastic book “Mummy Laid an Egg” by Babette Cole.

  2. marshaklein says:

    I’m carrying on a fine family tradition. My mother was once berated by the mother of one of my classmates for allowing me to bring the Ladybird book “You and Your Body” into school.

    Why do so many people think that early sex education is a sad reflection on the society we live in but don’t feel the same about, say, the war in Iraq?

  3. pleite says:

    Oh god, this has got me into a barely governable rage. Who the eff has complained? I LOATHE this sort of thing more than anything else in the world (OK, apart from war, famine and pestilence). But it’s a deeply philosophical point. You are being unrestrictive. Letting folk do their own thing. Explore. Expand their minds. Whereas the complainant thinks the world is to be shut out, hidden from, kept at bay. You are so in the right. I want you to go to (hypothetical, not actual) prison, become a martyr, then be released in a hale of praise and the person who made the original complaint to be ridiculed and made a laughing stock of for being the utter arse that they are.

    Darling, I do apologise. I don’t know what’s come over me. You’re just so obviously in the right.

  4. Sylvia says:

    Good grief, I hope you told her to fuck off.

    I’d so much like to do that to some of the parents I’ve come across in my time.

    And these youngsters are 15? Hardly five year olds! Mind you, maybe she was complaining about the quality of the writing and not the content. On that point, I’d be with her on that one….

  5. Urban Chick says:

    off-topic, but reading your comment elsewhere: there was a blogmeet last saturday in da burgh, although i couldn’t make it

    but hey, let’s have another anyoldhow!

  6. Mangonel says:

    I read a Jilly Cooper once, and a Barbara Cartland. They were unremittingly horrible, but I needed to be able to say I did know what I was talking about.

    As far as I can remember, I think being 15 is practically a requirement for reading this stuff.


  7. marshaklein says:

    UC: Obviously haven’t got my finger on the pulse at all! I’d be up for another – where was the last one?
    BiB: I think I might make quite a good martyr (in fact, I often practise at home!) Thank you for your comment – it reassured me a great deal. I think this woman is in very real danger of driving her daughter away altogether.
    Sylvia: I’d like to have but, apart from anything else, I was frankly rather stunned by the complaint and couldn’t manage anything more vitriolic than “Oh” and “I see”! As for the quality of writing, I hoped that by letting her read this book and not making a big deal out of it, she’d come to the conclusion that it was trash and would move on to other things. As she’s currently reading Phillipa Gregory, has just bought a Haruki Murakami and is planning to read Ian McEwan’s “Atonement” before seeing the film, I’m not too worried!
    Mango: I tried to read the offending book for myself, after the phone call, only to be told by my daughter that she didn’t want me reading it as it “wasn’t suitable”! Eh???

  8. Lulla says:

    Hi. Used to work in a bookshop and got this sort of thing all the time. They look normal on the outside and often their first sentence disguises the non-sequitous (googled that word 309 people agree with me!) rant that’s to come.
    What pleite said!

  9. marshaklein says:

    Hi Lulla, I’ve seen you over at Cultural Snow.

    Yeah, she looks a bit off-the-wall, but what I’d previously had down as “mildly eccentric” turned out to be sooo much more!

    You live and learn, eh?

  10. Liz says:

    Bah. Nothing wrong with a bit of torrid romance novel when you’re an adolescent with seething hormones. Which one was it? The ones about polo players in tight jodhpurs were all the rage when I was her age.

    I was alarmed and cheered in equal measure when on holiday with another thirty-something female last year to discover that we’d read them at about the same age as your daughter, but still had near-total recall of certain passages (and still had a bit of a crush on Rupert wossisname). Books like that are a bit of a rite of passage, and I think my own experience of growing up was enriched by them. They certainly didn’t harm my intellectual development, or my love for ‘proper’ books. I feel horribly sorry for the girl with the censoring mother.

  11. marshaklein says:

    Liz, it was indeed “Polo”.

    You’re spot on as well about it not dampening her appetite for “proper” books.
    I also feel sorry for my daughter’s friend, especially as I get the impression that her mother isn’t keen on reading generally, considering it too dangerous, leading as it does to the formation of ideas and opinions – clearly NOT a suitable activity for the young!

  12. Mangonel says:

    Hello? Anybody here?

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