Monday, August 8, 2011

The Three Little Cowboy Builders and Maybe fairy tales should be kinder, gentler?

Follow my journey here....

From Maybe fairy tales should be kinder, gentler by Sis Bowman, dated yesterday:

When I read last week that a digital remake of "The Three Little Pigs" cartoon was being rejected because "the use of pigs raises cultural issues," I was flabbergasted.

I realized the politically correct crowd had outdone themselves in restructuring our language. But I had no idea our fairy tales also were in jeopardy.

Not only is "The Three Little Pigs" offensive to Muslims, but also to builders. That's right. When the story substituted the pigs for cowboys and was published as "The Three Little Cowboy Builders," it also was rejected.

Apparently the story stereotypes builders as cowboys who construct shoddy structures. Sounds like I am making this up? Look in "The Telegraph" published in the United Kingdom.

So I went looking and discovered the article was from 2008: Three little pigs 'could offend builders, Muslims' by Graeme Paton, Education Editor. Not cutting edge news, but an amusing article all the same. No new ground for here in the op ed piece, but the original article about the offensive elements in the Three Little Pigs remake was interesting.

Here's an excerpt from the original article, too:

They also said that the subject was "questionable for certain groups within the UK" and that "only an exceedingly creative teacher could find this innovative".

The story for primary school pupils replaces pigs with "cowboy builders" as part of a light-hearted tale designed to spark interest in reading and design technology skills.

Young children are encouraged to read the story and create their own versions using the software.

But its authors were also told that it portrays the building industry in a bad light.

Judges said "retelling a story" was acceptable, but it "should not alienate parts of the workforce", adding that builders should be "positive" role models for young children.

"Is it true that all builders are cowboys, builders get their work blown down, and builders are like pigs?" the judges asked.

Wow. Just wow. So then I had to see The Three Little Cowboy Builders. Here is the link to its product page with Shoo Fly Publishers. Which claims:

Two times ERA winner for Primary Resources and Equipment and Innovation awards 2007, The Three Little Cowboy Builders I-Fly POP-UP Book uses ICT to develop key literacy and design technology skills.

Looks interesting. And I'd never heard of it before, so that's why I'm sharing it here... Fascinating controversies and products. And my brain is too tired after all the searching to really say more than that...

1 comment:

  1. It makes me wonder where our freedoms have gone, when everything must be so vanilla. (or does that offend the other flavors?) Is no one missing that? Fiction needs to be allowed to have broader boundaries. That's what makes it fiction. Life doesn't always fit into the established guidelines, that's what makes it interesting. What's next? The wolf is offensive to canine sensitivities?

    Like you said. Wow, Just wow.