Double digits! Woohoo! I was telling my counsellor last week about how this blog was helping me sift through and process my feelings. I’m not sure why it feels different to writing for myself, because I still do that, on a daily basis. Maybe it’s the validation from strangers reading it that makes me feel less alone in my feelings? Anyway, you – reader – are making a difference in my life and I thank you for that.
Today I’ve been thinking about the words we consume. In my Children’s Literature paper, we spend a lot of time discussing what it is that makes children’s literature, literature for children. The books that sit in the children’s section of bookshops – why have they been put there? What are the characteristics of a story that make them for children and not adults? Why do we distinguish children’s literature from literature in general?
Something that keeps cropping up is the idea that children’s literature, in general, is more didactic than adult literature – there’s usually some lesson to be learned, a moral to be discovered. And we see this all the time – children’s literature is rife with stories of good and evil, of winners and losers.
So if children are supposed to learn something from these books they’re reading, what is it saying when the majority of happy endings involve a male and a female, that the females are usually helpless and need rescuing? What are the books teaching children if the majority of the ones we read still have white male protagonists?