I came across an article today on CNN that somehow managed to grab the headlines. It was titled: "Go the F*** to Sleep" not funny. Normally, it would just be an opinion, but Karen Zacharias managed to make the leap of the entire article that people who enjoy this book are abusers, while quietly dispelling that in a one off sentence. (An example of her leaps is equating Lady Gaga's charity theft to sexual abuse by Bishop Eddie Long.) An excerpt:
As the title suggests, "Go the F*** to Sleep" mocks the parental frustrations of trying to lay a child down to bed. Crass in concept and execution, this is an expletive-filled bedtime story intended solely for the amusement of parents.More after the jump - click on the headline.
She then goes on to quote an exper... no, wait - it's a friend of hers, an attorney whom she's been working on for her new book about the murder of a child.
Joan Demarest is an attorney in Corvallis, Oregon, and the mother of three young boys. Demarest told me that initially she thought the book was funny. That was before she read it. "Now I find it unsettling. I don't like violent language in association with children."Okay, so this "attorney", I'm sure she is but how does prosecution make one a parenting expert... I digress... this "attorney" saw the title, said it was funny, without reading it, read it and talked about violent language? F*** was in the title! Hypocrisy to the nth degree here folks. You'd think an attorney would know to get all the facts before judging something, not to mention the fact was right in front of her face!
"Imagine if this were written about Jews, blacks, Muslims or Latinos," says Dr. David Arredondo. He is an expert on child development and founder of The Children's Program, in the San Francisco metropolitan area, which provides consultation and training for those working with troubled youths.
I actually find the good doctors statements more racist than anything. Where did this book imply it was for suburbia white moms? This wasn't even "American Children" and is in print in other countries in the world! I'd be terrified the children this man is working with are getting a sense of entitlement and his racist attitudes. He saw race, where there was none. This is the ONLY person I have yet to find, whether loving or hating this book, that actually tried to put it into a box check-marked white, then tried say that if it was "written about" a minority, there would be an uproar. How... I.. this is baffling! We hear all the time an issue that could, by way of a dozen Kevin Bacon moments, be connected to race. This has absolutely nothing to do with it! This man is dealing with troubled youth!
Karen then proceeds with:
For far too many kids, the obscenities found in Mansbach's book are a common, everyday household language. Swearing is how parents across the social, educational and economic strata express their disappointments or anxieties, their frustrations and outright anger at their children. Sometimes the biggest bully in the neighborhood lives in the same house you do. Sometimes it's your parent.Yep, it's an everyday language around here. I even give my child time to openly go "off the good boy record" and get his frustrations out, by cussing here and there (which was also agreed a good idea with several of his therapists and psychiatrists for treatment of bipolar disorder). Words only have as much power as you give them. We never use hate because of the power it wields over people. We do use most of the curse words daily, not only do I see it as just a word, but I see it as a teaching tool to show my kids what is inappropriate for their age in daily conversation. Just as gay people (excluding GLAAD who is up in arms over everything these days) started being called gay, they just embraced it. I'm gay, so what? Gay people are okay with being called gay. (Forget the original use of the word... the whole word morph of history is another story.)
When my son gets a chance to get it all out with words, he is calmer. He gets that frustration release. Is it the right thing for every child? Obviously not. A strict Christian family may not allow it. To pretend that replacing Damn with "darn it" and shit with "poo" doesn't make it any different. There are studies today that show a release of anger in curse words when you kick something with your toe actually has a pain relief effect.
Now, that said, Karen is the biggest hypocrite as they come! You know how she drummed up interest for her article? By cursing. She makes the case that all curse words lead to violence and bullying, yet manages to sneak in her own cursing!
There are many tweets in which she makes nasty, sarcastic comments and there is a plethora of evidence showing that sarcasm hurts much more than just curse words. Many label the overuse of sarcasm as passive aggressive behavior, intends to bully the people around you and assert control while looking like "the nice guy".
She claims on Twitter:
As I say in the essay, I don't think it's the humor that's echoing with people... I think it's the truth behind it.
This book is funny. Period. We, as real parents, know the frustrations in dealing everyday with kids. There IS truth behind it because we all have those moments where we just wish they'd go to sleep. Does it mean we smack them around and throw them into walls to do so? No.
As a child who has seen her fair share, and much more, of regular abusiveness, I say this with confidence - correlation is not causation.
Other gems from her Twitter:
- Okay. That's why we call it Freedom of Speech but profanity directed at a child is abusive. (Ed: This book is directed at adults.)
- Why if someone take a different viewpoint can't you discuss it reasonably without resorting to abusive bullying language?
- (Ed: But wait.. what's this?) Sensitivity training can't overcome Stupid
- Just heard Bristol Palin has a book out!! I must run go grab a copy before they sell out. #Title:MommieDearest (Ed: So insulting Sarah Palin by sarcasm is okay?)
- Of course I just saw a gray mullet Walmart where else?
As she's pointing fingers at parents: Quit calling each other names and pointing fingers all the time.
I'll end this with the most ironic Tweet from Karen who may do well to heed her own comment:
Reading is one thing. Reading with comprehension on the wane altogether.
Looks like Karen is feeling the heat a bit too much. She's making even more hateful, stereotype comments in defense of her stance "all parents who cuss or read a cuss word are child beaters". She's in the process of putting hundreds on block... but still making comments like this:
- @DanFriedman81 you should seek help
- If you have to be a foul-mouthed drolt in order to be considered funny, go ahead & bring them stones out, Bubba & Bubbette. #CNN #GTFTS
- You ever feel like you're the only human living on a planet among unfriendly aliens? (Ed: Nope just you, there's at least someone everyone gets along with but thanks for admitting you have no friends.)
- I'd have a lot more respect for what they were saying if they were appropriately outraged about actual child abuse. Their language is abusive and their defensiveness over it is telling.