We're back in class at Stupidity 101. Today's debate...whether or not the word scrotum is a "dirty word," apparently.
You know, I have three children. If I was going to teach them medical terms for their genetalia, scrotum is on the list. These days, for their own protection, children SHOULD know a certain amount of these words, and my youngest sister's school taught them the medical terms for body parts at age 5. Has so much changed in the last 17 years that we've gotten Puritan on this subject again? If so, I pity what the world has become.
Back to subject... If I was going to choose one term that my son (old enough for this Newberry winner, I might add) could repeat back to a school nurse, if he got kneed, I would rather him tell her his scrotum was injured than say one of the coarser things like, "He kneed me in my cock and balls."
I arrange promo gear for EPIC's e-Fiesta, which has to be kept PG, because we usually have kids in the crowd. There is a list of words people are NOT allowed to use on their promo gear and have it included. Those words would include cunt, pussy, fuck and cock. Okay...maybe I should have used a warning label there, but I'll assume people reading my blog are adults, since there is NOTHING here of interest to kids.
Back to subject. If some idiot out there thinks I'm going to censor EVERY possibly-offensive word to keep their children's "virgin ears" (which probably aren't all that virgin, considering what they probably hear at school and home, anyway), that person truly is an idiot. In fact, I have a list of what I consider the "softer" swear words, words that I will NOT censor someone's promo for. Scrotum is so far down the list, I wouldn't have even considered covering its use.
Are parents so scared to explain to children what body parts they posses and what body parts the opposite sex posseses that this is an issue? Sounds to me like some pretty running-scared parenting to me. Forewarned is forearmed, IMO. I'll take the Auntie Mame approach and answer questions. The thing most likely to harm a child is a lack of information when that information might save a life.
Are librarians so opposed to taking themselves OUT of the loop by pointing a child who doesn't KNOW the word to a DICTIONARY... Oh, now that's progressive! I have to teach my children to use dictionaries at home, because school doesn't do it. They'd have to answer a lot less questions, if they made the kids pull out a dictionary and look words up, in the first place. Any further questions can be directed to parents.
Hey, I am a teacher, and I had a child ask me what to call his scrotum. My answer was that he would have to ask his parents, because each family makes that decision for themselves. Is that so difficult? For pitites sake, these are the adults, saying they are afraid of telling a CHILD to go ask his/her parents a question. And, we're supposed to be fostering the idea of communication between parent and child? HOW?
Does someone really think the kids don't know worse words for those body parts already? Get REAL! Last year, I was on a bus full of eight-year-olds on the way to a class trip. I heard more swearing during that hour drive than I typically hear in a weekend of having sailors in the house. And, yes...true to form, most sailors I know swear like...sailors.
No matter what pretty or petty terms they want to come up with for what they're doing, it comes down to censorship. They can call it anything they want. They can rationalize as much as they want. Tough. It's still censorship. These are people, both parents and teachers/librarians, who are acting irrationally, because they are too scared to send a kid to a dictionary and (Gods forbid!) have him/her learn a word that is about a million times more respectable than the comparable "dirty word" the child at the next desk is using.
Another sister of mine once taught her son that there were words that people only used in company if they lacked "good breeding and good taste." I'd have to agree, but even for her, scrotum doesn't rank up there.