Saturday, September 12, 2009

Is Dilly a ...


I know, I know -- A New Job for Dilly is a children's picture book. However, after watching a recent show on Fox about what's in children's textbooks, it got me thinking. They discussed how certain words have been removed from books, especially ones with the word "man" in them. You can't say "craftsman", for example, because it's sexist and excludes women.

How do you feel about this?

Basically, what I got from the show is that a lot of people think it's ridiculous and that it hasn't made any difference by eliminating these words. I can understand certain things, especially religion and politics, because those get people's blood boiling. Some words just aren't a big deal to me -- not as a reader, not as a parent. It doesn't bother me to read about someone being a "policeman" verses "police officer", or a "fireman" verses "firefighter". I don't know. I'm old-fashioned, so maybe that's why it doesn't bother me. It seems petty. There are a lot of bigger issues to worry about.

However, in my book I did use words like "mailman", "garbage man", and "weatherman". I guess my book could be considered too sexist for the school system. But, I'm fine with that, if it ever got to that point. I suppose I could have used "mail carrier", "garbage collector", and "weather reporter" if I wanted to be politically correct. In all honesty, the thought never even occurred to me. As a child, I wouldn't have thought twice about the terminology. I wonder if today's kids think of these things, or if it's just brought on by adults. What are your thoughts?


  1. I personally think that kind of thinking is totally stupid. Yeesh people, get over it already. Those have been words or descriptions for a hundred years. I think your book is perfect and things like that don't, obviously, bother me at all.


  2. hmmm
    First of all Dilly is a boy so it only makes sense that you would use the 'male' terms. Had you been talking about Dolly the rat, then the generic or female terms would have made some sense.

    To be honest though, I have an issue with people who make these things an issue! If I have a fire, I want a fireman to come knocking - if they turn out to be male or female, I don't care... as long as they put out the fire.

    Sometimes I think our society worries too much about being politically correct and not enough about the important issues that people and kids face each day.

    Let's put all the funding used by these 'experts' to determine the (non existant) effects of these terms into something more useful. (like battling abuse, bullying, etc!) Real problems.

    OK, rant over. I am going to find my significant other to ask if he and the offspring would like to join me on a trip to see the Dairy Queen ice cream provider for a Blizzard. (hm - politically correct enough... should I say Dairy Royal Person?)

    OK, rant really over now. :)

  3. In a nutshell,I think it's silly and petty to worry about the wording of such terms. People should be smart enough to figure out those terms could be referring to either gender. Like you said there's much bigger things to be concerned with in life.


  4. My kids tell me I'm a sexist whenever I ask for help around the house. So, I'm cutting Dilly a little slack and you can send him my way if he'll help me take out the garbage.


  5. I think adults are thinking too much. That's ridiculous.

    Think about the Richard Scarry books we read as kids with the firemen, policeman and garbage men in them. Did any of us turn out sexist as a result???

    GO Dilly!

  6. Thanks for your comments! I have some more on my Facebook page and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks this is over the top. On the show the books in question were mostly school textbooks, so maybe that is the main reason for it. People from Houghton & Mifflin and McGraw Hill were interviewed. I suppose, if I really think about it, changing or not using certain words is a lot better than eliminating or changing the facts in our kid's history books. Thanks, again.