Hot on the heels of the hoo-har over the use of the word “vagina” in the Vagina Monologues comes the latest banning in America: “scrotum”.
Award winning author Susan Patron has found that her book, “The Higher Power of Lucky”, has been banned from school libraries in several states across the USA because it contains the word “scrotum”.
Because of its use of the word “scrotum”, the book, which won the 2007 Newbury Medal for Childrens Fiction, has been deemed by some parents and school librarians to be “unsuitable”.
The word “scrotum” is repeated by the story’s protaganist, who thinks it is a secret and magical word, after she hears of a dog called Roy being bitten on his scrotum by a rattlesnake.
Not the most appealing of words, nicest of tales or indeed bodypart, but banning a book because it contains the correct medical word for an essential if not defining male body part (the word was ”scrotum” by the way) is just ridiculous.
It reminds me of my schooldays when the only books I wanted to read were the ones declared ‘unsuitable’ by parents and school alike and at the risk of sounding dangerously like a Daily Mail Reader - wouldn’t it be better to limit the availability of guns in America rather than children’s storybooks? Even if they do contain the word “scrotum”.
Perhaps if she had used the phrase ‘John Wayne’s Hairy Saddlebags’ she’d have gotten away with it.