News of the Weird Politics Religion

Hide the children! It’s the attack of the dreaded scrotum of doom!

Apparently some librarians and parents are upset that a children’s book (which happens to have won the Newberry Medal, the most prestigious award in children’s literature) has, within its pages, the use of the word “scrotum.” The book, The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patronhas, been banned in some school libraries, mostly in the South.

Money quote:

“I think it’s a good case of an author not realizing her audience,” said Frederick Muller, a librarian at Halsted Middle School in Newton, N.J. “If I were a third- or fourth-grade teacher, I wouldn’t want to have to explain that.”

Really, are there any third or fourth graders who don’t know what a scrotum is these days? And even if there are, what’s the big deal about simply saying what it is? It’s just a body part. Little kids pretty much know what a penis is. So what’s the big deal? Someone, please explain it to me. It’s not as if this book described any sexual acts or was in any way pornographic. It just mentioned a body part. Indeed, the use of the word “scrotum” came in the context of a character saying that his dog had been bitten in the scrotum by a rattlesnake.

Our country is truly messed up.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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