By Ruth Littmann Ashkenazi
A feisty friend, whom I’ve known since my mid-twenties, identifies as a Hollywood Republican. He’s the producer of several popular films, he’s a vocal pro-Trumper, and he’s the supportive father of a teen-age boy who identifies as a girl.
My friend is no prude (his rapid-fire ability to drop f-bombs makes me wince) but recently an X-rated book sent him over the edge, and he’s screaming foul: “This is being read in a California high school,” he wrote in a Facebook post that elicited nearly 300 comments. “Required material. [My older son and his friends] are telling me about it now. Warning. Graphic. I am appalled beyond disbelief … Any parent should be beyond insane.” The book is called Gender Queer. It includes illustrations of sex acts couched within a narrative that author Maia Kobabe says was intended to help her come out as non-binary. (Non-binary or gender queer is an umbrella term for gender identities that are not solely male or female—identities that are outside the gender binary. – Wikipedia)
Maia Kobabe said in a March 2022 interview with Dan Kois of Slate magazine: “I put in everything that I thought was relevant to the story of gender, and there are mentions of masturbation, and period blood, and a very brief encounter with a sex toy… But they’re only lightly touched on because what’s important is how they helped me think about my gender identity and that’s what I was really trying to focus on.” My Republican movie-producer friend living in La-La-Land doesn’t buy Kobabe’s pitch. He contends: “It’s a picture book of child porn. Two examples… Non-binary person who has a vagina having sex with another girl with a dildo. Two guys jerking each other off then having anal sex.”
If you think this situation is just a “crazy California thing” and doesn’t happen within the school districts of saner states, think again: South Carolina: https://www.fitsnews.com/2022/01/25/porn-on-south-carolina-school-library-shelves/
The list of examples goes on… Nevertheless, there are still parents who believe what many educators and proponents of “woke” are telling them. To whit: These books aren’t pornographic. They are, in fact, essential to helping non-binary youth navigate the challenges of fitting into a society dominated by straight white men who “marginalize” them –relegating them to the realm of “weird” and “creepy.” Don’t buy into this Orwellian shame game!
- Acquaint yourself with these books. Porn is porn. Those arguing otherwise want to redefine concepts in order to push their radical agendas (as noted in the previous two articles that I wrote for the Zip-Line). - Don’t assume that teachers will ask parents to “opt in” or “opt out” of lessons that contain graphic material. Do your homework, which means: Review everything your schools assign.
- Speak out publically against pornography in schools. Don’t be afraid of backlash, but if you are, at the very least report your findings to groups like the Arizona School Board Watchdogs. https://azschoolboardwatchdogs.com/
- You will be accused of being homophobic, trans phobic, and insensitive to the plight of non-binary youth. Reject these accusations.
As my Republican Hollywood Producer friend & father to a trans daughter demonstrates: We can be loving, respectful and supportive of individual differences without pedaling porn in school.