Child Welfare Run Amok

April 17th, 2006 · No Comments
by Booksquare

The library-that-yanked-the-manga story has been circulating for a few days now, showing no signs of dying. This is, sadly, a fairly typical story in our culture. Paul Gravett’s Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics was pulled due to, ahem, sexual content. Needless to say, a mother of a 16-year boy started the ball rolling.

This leads to one of our favorite rants. First, of course, we’re going to point out the obvious: true Japanese manga is not kids’ stuff. While there are certainly manga geared toward the younger audience, this stuff is read by adult men. Manga is racy stuff. A history is naturally going to include adult-oriented images. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist — no, indeed, it just takes a modicum of research — to know this.

Like television and music, books can contain many levels of content, some of which seems fine for kids, but might not be (one would also think that a 16-year old boy was fully aware of the content and was doing, partially, what 16-year old boys do). Parents should absolutely monitor their kids, but parents should also consider that real adults might have different needs. Take the book away from your child; don’t take the book away from the rest of us.

We spend so much time protecting the kids of this nation from bad stuff, and so little time wondering when the kids took over. It’s easy enough to turn off the television, switch the station, find another book.

File Under: Square Pegs