Monthly Archives: December 2005
This started out as an idea for a progressive children’s book that would incorporate contemporary scientific knowledge about sexual orientation, intersex conditions and other issues regarding sexuality and gender that are rarely discussed in high school level courses, and discuss them without bias.
Unlike some children’s books that explain human reproduction, I wanted to strip away heterosexist mythologies underlying and compromising the objectivity of the explanatory discourse. For example, even some progressive children’s books will anthropomorphize the sex cells, and explain the union of egg and sperm cells in terms of a heterosexual romantic narrative complete with gender roles imposed on the cells; in one book I researched, the cells were given cartoon faces, and the egg cell was pictured as a rotund woman waiting passively for the charging, masculine sperm to battle their way toward her. I tried to find a way to keep it simple and colorful so as to keep kids’ attentions, while avoiding the assignment of fairy tale elements and human-like attributes to what in reality are unthinking cells. It was a good idea, except I couldn’t resist adding some sexual humor that is perhaps a bit too mature, transforming this into a sort of ironic children’s book for adults.