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Everybody Poops

July 30, 2010

No – this isn’t a blog post about “pooping” – although it is true that everyone does.  This is actually about the Burglington County NJ Public Library ordering the removal of Amy Sonnie’s Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology, which the library director labeled as “child pornography.”

As I read the story I was reminded of a call I received from a close friend who was outraged about an LGBT book in her child’s elementary school library.  She was challenging me (and Woodhull) to explain to her how we could condone a book that was positively pornographic in content being available to children in school.  Had she read the book?  Well, no, it turns out that she hadn’t read it herself but she had gotten a whole series of emails from her fellow church-goers sounding the alarm about the book.  When I asked what, exactly, was thought to be pornographic in the book this person related that a young child talks, in graphic detail, about having gay sex and encourages other children to do the same.  Oh my gosh, I replied.  I can see why that upsets you.  Can you send me that particular portion of the book so I can address it with some of my colleagues?

I’m pretty sure that anyone reading this post isn’t shocked to hear that no passage was ever delivered and that, in fact, it never existed.  So – back to pooping….

Wikipedia describes the book “Everyone Poops” in this way:  “Everyone Poops is the title of US editions of the English translation (by Amanda Mayer Stinchecum) of Minna Unchi (みんなうんち?), a Japanese children’s book written and illustrated by the prolific children’s author Tarō Gomi and first published in Japan by Fukuinkan Shoten in 1977 within the series Kagaku no Tomo Kessaku-shū (i.e. Masterpieces of the friends of science).  The English translation has been published in the US by Kane/Miller, within the series “My Body Science”, and by Scholastic. In Britain, the book is titled Everybody Poops and is published by Frances Lincoln.
The book tells children that all animals defecate, and that they have always done so.  The book has also been translated into Spanish and Thai.

The emphasis is mine.  Is it such a stretch to admit that Everyone Loves?  Is it such a stretch to admit that everyone is a sexual being?  Imagine a time when being gay or being straight or being a hobblygook is a non-issue and a book about the wide diversity of how Everybody Lives and Everybody Loves is translated into languages other than English and sells millions and millions of copies?

In the meantime, everybody DOES poop – and this time it was the NJ Library system!




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