What on earth possesses some people to take offence at the most trivial, ridiculous things is quite beyond me.
But the King of Kids, Mr Roald Dahl, is continuing to cause offence among bored housewives across Australia.
All because of this rather innocuous book of twisted fairy tales.
Aldi, a major supermarket brand in Australia, has withdrawn this book from stock after receiving complaints about swear words in this book. The glorious offended are even threatening to boycott Aldi over this terrible, awful word.
The word in question is SLUT.
Prince Charming uses this insult against Cinderella:
“Who is this dirty slut? Off with her nut!”
Slut, in this instance, is not used as a comment on Cinderella’s sexual promiscuity, real or imagined. It’s a comment on the general filth of the girl in rags. If people can’t use a dictionary, it is not my problem, Dahl’s problem or Aldi’s problem.
1. a woman who has many casual sexual partners
2. a woman with low standards of cleanliness
Fine, if you don’t want to use that word at all, that’s your decision. But denying other people the right to read this book to their children is a bit rich. Why not simply replace the word if you don’t like it?! There’s several that work!
I don’t think the wording should be changed in the book itself either. No, I refuse to see another Faraway Tree happening. In that case, the characters names were changed from “Fanny and Dick” to “Franny and Rick” or some garbage. I don’t know about you, but when I was 6 years old, it never occurred to me to have a giggle at their names- they were just their names!
Heaven forbid your name is actually Fanny or Dick, coz if the PC police catch you, you’d better be ready to be censored. You’re a danger to society, just like these gosh darned kids books!
Thankfully, in the case of Revolting Rhymes, the general consensus is that people need to get over it. The book has been out since the 80’s and no child has become a raging homicial maniac because of it yet.
I think it comes down to reading the books you give to children yourself before handing them over. It’s simple parental supervision.
This week I went to buy the boy I tutor a graphic novel I had heard great things about. A quick flick through that book told me I really didn’t want to be the one to give it to a 16 year old. So instead of jumping up and down screaming “BUT WON’T ANYONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!?!” I put it down and GOT ANOTHER BOOK. Easy. Crisis averted.
It’s really that easy, people. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it.
For more news on how the inimitable Roald Dahl has managed to piss everyone off recently, jump over to The Resurgent Bookworm!