May 29, 2005

What Are We Doing To Our Children?

Michelle Malkin writes here and here about a new teenage book called "Rainbow Party."

Here's a rich irony: I'm writing today about a new children's book, but I can't describe the plot in a family newspaper without warning you first that it is entirely inappropriate for children.

The book is "Rainbow Party" by juvenile fiction author Paul Ruditis. The publisher is Simon Pulse, a kiddie lit division of the esteemed Simon & Schuster. The cover of the book features the title spelled out in fun, Crayola-bright font. Beneath the title is an illustrated array of lipsticks in bold colors.

The main characters in the book are high school sophomores supposedly typical 14- and 15-year-olds with names such as "Gin" and "Sandy." The book opens with these two girls shopping for lipstick at the mall in advance of a special party. The girls banter as they hunt for lipsticks in every color of the rainbow...

What kind of party do you imagine they might be organizing? Perhaps a makeover party? With moms and daughters sharing their best beauty secrets and bonding in the process?

Alas, no. No parents are invited to this get-together. A "rainbow party," you see, is a gathering of boys and girls for the purpose of engaging in group oral sex. Each girl wears a different colored lipstick and leaves a mark on each boy. At night's end, the boys proudly sport their own cosmetically-sealed rainbow you-know-where bringing a whole new meaning to the concept of "party favors."...

...according to Publisher's Weekly, the bound galleys sent to booksellers carried the provocative tagline, "don't you want to know what really goes down?"

The author and publisher of the book seem to have persuaded themselves that they are doing families a favor...Bethany Buck, Ruditis' editor, told USA Today the intention was to "scare" young readers (uh-huh) and Ruditis told Publisher's Weekly:

"Part of me doesn't understand why people don't want to talk about [oral sex]," he said. "Kids are having sex and they are actively engaged in oral sex and think it's not really sex. I raised questions in my book and I hope that parents and children or teachers and students can open a topic of conversation through it. Rainbow parties are such an interesting topic. It's such a childlike way to look at such an adult subject with rainbow colors."

Teenage group orgies are "an interesting topic?" Is Ruditis out of his mind?...

In a small sign that decency and common sense still survive in the marketplace, a number of children's book sellers are refusing to stock "Rainbow Party." But as Ruditis's comments indicate, it's just a matter of time before the book ends up on public school library shelves in the name of "educating" children and helping them "deal with reality."...

Malkin continues:

...Those who raise even the least objection are cast as out-of-touch theocrats who need to "deal with reality."...

If "proper socialization" means teaching 14-year-olds about group oral sex, we can only pray that more parents choose to raise social misfits.

Why do we tolerate this? What are we doing to our children?


Reader Jeff Miller, in the Comments section to this posting, directs us to Mere Comments for additional and troubling information:

...I picked up a copy of Simon and Schuster’s new book for the teenage girl market, Rainbow Party by Paul Ruditis...

The book is even more insidious than I first imagined. The heroine of the book is not the party-planner, but a saintly high school sex education teacher. Ms. Barrett is described as “more of a friend than a teacher.” She is the only one to whom all the students can talk about their sexuality. Unfortunately, the heroic Ms. Barrett is silenced after the head of the high school Chastity Club rats on her to the school board, which instructs Ms. Barrett to teach abstinence only in the classroom.

Ms. Barrett is vindicated when a gonnhorea epidemic hits the high school, an epidemic that could have been stopped if only Ms. Barrett had been allowed to give the right information about “protection” to the students. In the end, Ms. Barrett “valiantly” resigns rather than leave her students unprotected. Here she stands. She can do no other.

The antagonists in this book are the parents. Now, this is nothing new...But there is something different here. It is not simply that the parents are “outdated” in their morality, or out of touch with teen culture. In this book, the parents’ lack of understanding actually leads to the sickness and potential death of their teenage children.

And who will stand up for them? Why the public school sex education teacher, of course.

This misguided line of thought is getting really old.

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As bad as the book sounds it is even worse then what Michelle presented.

Touchtone relate how the book also makes a hero out of a sex ed teacher and demonizes the parents.

Posted by: Jeff Miller at May 29, 2005 6:05 PM