At what age should children be exposed to the adult world? For the psychotic control freak mummies at campaign group Child Eyes, the answer to that question appears to be: never. Child Eyes has successfully campaigned to have newspaper covers hidden in major UK supermarkets such as Tesco and Waitrose. The covers, they say, “normalise sexualised and sexist imagery” and shouldn’t be in a toddler’s line of sight.
This bizarre demand is only the start for Child Eyes, because it’s not just newspapers and lads’ mags which are for the chop. According to their website, they also want magazines like Men’s Health banned (for “self-esteem” issues). They’re even going after women’s weeklies like Take a Break, the sort which have real life horror stories like “I was raped for a packet of Maltesers” (which the nutters at Child Eyes say, incredibly, “glorifies” rape and child abuse).
Obviously, it’s just a symbolic victory, designed to give mums something to crow about at dinner parties while achieving nothing for children. Can a two-year-old even differentiate between a picture of a woman in a bikini and a picture of a banana? Children don’t notice or pay attention to Kim Kardashian’s bottom. Nor do they notice or care about oiled abs on the front of Men’s Health. So what’s really going on?
Well, Child Eyes is an expansion of the “rape culture”-crying, censorious modern feminist movement, dressed up in mothers’ clothing. But who are they to say a picture of a woman, who looks very comfortable in her own skin, is “sexist”? It’s a wonder these women even managed to have kids, given how much they obviously hate sex. How long before panicked prudes, giant buggies in tow, are dishing out giant shawls to strangers on the high street?
You should check out Child Eyes’ FAQ page, by the way. Some of it has to be read to be believed. They shriek about gay lifestyle magazines on the top shelves of WH Smith “which could be seen by older children”. A quick glimpse at their Twitter feed reveals a sinister plan to airbrush everything they don’t like out of public life altogether.
Yet some of what they don’t like is totally harmless and has nothing to do with children. You can find several tweets from just the last few weeks in which Child Eyes wants T-shirts withdrawn from sale, pictures of toddlers trying on their mother’s shoes withdrawn, girls’ shorts withdrawn and perfume adverts banned.
They are also horrified by the presence of mugs emblazoned with swear words in Urban Outfitters. Here’s a question for these weird twenty-first century Mary Whitehouses: why are you taking your kids to a hipster clothing store that is purely for indie adults in the first place?
These are the sorts of parents that demand the entire world be made into a play-pen. No, the world is not and should not be one giant, child friendly “safe space”. What’s next? Banning nightclubs because a small child might walk past and develop a sudden craving for Bacardi and coke?
And do they not realise it’s only a matter of time before their little darlings have access to an entire internet’s worth of filth? Heaven help these shrinking violets should they ever leave the safety of Mumsnet and start wandering around the darker corners of the web.
Some of Child Eyes’ harrowing examples of real-world child trauma are… fishy, to say the least. The organisation recently tweeted a concern that one mother’s seven-year-old saw a book called All Men are Bastards at the checkout, and that this was unacceptable.
But the only books I can find with this title are a 1994 diary and a 2002 self-published number on Amazon, so I have to wonder at which checkout the sensibilities of this poor kid were infringed upon. Possibly one in the complainant’s daydreams, where clouds that look like breasts float by, part of a sinister conspiracy by the Playboy Corporation to enslave young girls in “mansion culture” and entice boys to assembling harems of purring, sexually available blondes.
In another surreal display, sparks have flown at Child Eyes HQ over the fact the DVD cover of kids’ movie Despicable Me 2 has a plug from the Daily Star. The quotation is: “Hilarious! The perfect family film”, but supporter Kayla says, “I hate that my son could read that and familiarise himself with the pornographic Daily Star as recommending his favourite children’s film.”
Child Eyes says that this is “grooming children to be interested in porn.” It can’t be too long before they’re screaming at the sight of cucumber in the supermarket aisles, reading them as some sort of deviant invitation to their daughters.
If you believe Child Eyes, pretty much everything is damaging to children and their self-esteem these days. But isn’t it a bit schizophrenic for society to venerate kids and their excellent judgment and intuition with “child-centred education”, where teachers must no longer teach but “facilitate learning” since “children know best,” and yet claim that these same children would fall to pieces at the sight of a pair of boobs, or be driven into a life of crime having seen a few minutes of The Bill?
How did previous generations of children ever manage to grow up without taxpayer-funded child psychologists tracking the poor dears’ every emotion in interminable reports and then lobbying the government to child-proof the world?
Everyone over the age of thirty should surely be a quivering wreck, having been denied the expert guidance of specialists telling teachers not to use red pen lest it damage self-esteem. How has anyone even made it to adulthood having lived through second-hand smoke, Carry On films, “sexist” adverts and giggly women with large breasts on television?
In Italy and France, children are introduced to wine with their meals so it becomes normalised, rather than a “taboo” to go crazy on when they turn 18. The result is low levels of alcoholism. The Netherlands have very liberal laws on pornography and extensive sex education. As a result, Holland has some of the lowest teenage pregnancy statistics in the world, alongside below European average incidence of rape.
So all this over-the-top helicopter parenting from the lunatics at Child Eyes has me slightly nervous. Because what’s going to happen when a generation of children who’ve been successfully sheltered from everything mummy doesn’t like discover the world isn’t all kittens and feminism?