Fifty Shades of… Let’s start with this– a feminist comic strip!

A few months ago, I was talking to my very much beloved mom friend, J., about the pros and cons of getting my daughter a Kindle or some other E-reader– which is a gadget she (daughter) wants and which I have not gotten her.  I have debated the purchase in my mind and out loud with my partner, because on the one hand anything that would make the joys of the written word and reading more appealing to my daughter gets a huge five-star review in my mind.  On the other hand, what she has wanted is not a Kindle, but a Kindle Fire with internet connectivity and I wondered if she would use it to read at all or only to find and play games that would distract her and that more importantly I wouldn’t know how to play with her and would never get good at.

In the course of my short discussion with my friend J. — she listened carefully then raised with me the fact that if you give a child a Kindle Fire, which apparently allows you to skip the step of downloading the book via computer and allows you to download directly onto the Kindle itself– that if you go that route, you have less knowledge and less control over what your child is reading.  This was a concern I hadn’t thought of the least, littlest bit.   (Do I sound like someone who has never actually been to Tokyo, awkwardly and vaguely accurately but very off-the-markedly– describing the sights and sounds and how you get from place to place?)   Then she went on to tell me that the 12 year old son of a friend of hers had a Kindle Fire and finally the mom figured out that he was reading Fifty Shades of Grey at which point my friend had to advise me about the nature– as in best seller and the nature– as in soft (or not so soft, from the description) porn– of the book.  Which I’d not ever heard of but which is apparently being read by women by the thousands and more.  Anyway, I came across this comic– this morning as I set out to write a very different post and I loved it.

So, I’m back at the blog.  I am a feminist and I’m proud.  We don’t own a Kindle.  Fire or otherwise.

2 responses to “Fifty Shades of… Let’s start with this– a feminist comic strip!

  1. Ines Anchondo

    Hi, Laura,
    Our daughter, 9 years old, has a Nook, an iPod touch, and an iPad. This is what happens: she reads book, reads, reads, plays with iPod, reads, reads, reads, and reads, looks up something in the iPad for homework or a TED talk or nature video (occasionally is a youtube video of a song she likes, she also listens to music in the iPad). She has read so far more than 120 books, we counted them the other day (I am not bragging, but wanted to give you an idea). When she is connected to the internet on the occasion that she has come across something that is ‘innapropriate’ she immediately turns off the device (I also have set up parental controls and installed software to detect and stop access, but things still go thru of course) and runs to tell me what she saw or heard (often it is just that she heard the word ‘pregnant.’ I don’t know why this word causes such as stir for her, although she has told me it is because it meant people had sexual relationships and for her at this age is totally ‘inappropriate’). Now, I understand ALL children are different and have different inclinations and things that attract their attention in different ways. I just wanted to share with you that for my daughter there is nothing like the written word in an actual book. For her the ebooks or audio books just don’t have the same allure. I hope you are having a wonderful summer!

    • It’s totally great to hear from you and to hear about your daughter– your now nine years old, tech savvy daughter. My daughter is 11 and she’s like yours. She has the parental controls set way higher for herself (more stringent standards about what is gross and inappropriate) than I do. I’ll keep thinking on this one. All the best.


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