Let’s Get Naked!

naked 1
First published on 16th March, 2014 in The Star

I READ with interest about the French picture book Tous à Poil  (Everybody Gets Naked), by Claire Franek and Marc Daniau, which shows people of all shapes, sizes and ages disrobing and jumping into the sea.

This is a book that will never be sold in a Malaysian bookstore for, although it contains nothing of a sexual nature (which might be deemed unsuitable for children), I believe a naked body is considered a sexual object by the powers that be. Thus, Tous à Poil would be seen as a work of pornography – obscene and likely to have a degenerative affect on our children’s morals.

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Off With Their Clothes!

off with their clothes

I’m trying to imagine Malaysian booksellers and publishers I know in a version of this picture! I doubt we’ll ever be so comfortable with our bodies (and sufficiently free of guilt, shame and terror) to pose naked for any kind of cause. In this picture, French booksellers and publishers are responding to remarks made by a minister about a new picture book that’s filled with illustrations of people without their clothes on. Their message: “Tous à poil contre la censure!” or “Everyone naked against censorship.”Read More »

More Than One Story

First published on 21st April, 2013 in The Star


SOMETIMES (most of the time) it’s probably wiser to resist commenting on Facebook posts. However, although I am, at 46, much calmer and less of an idiot than I was at 26, I still can’t resist the chance to give my two sen worth.

In the last week or two there have been posts, written by two Facebook friends, about women who admit to regretting having children. You can imagine the responses, including to my comments saying that I can relate to such feelings*. It’s just not the done thing to admit that parenthood may not be the smartest choice you’ve made. We go on about how it’s OK to make mistakes, but heaven forbid that the mistakes should be baby-shaped. I may be wrong but it also feels like that it’s especially shocking if a woman says that she’s doesn’t like being or doesn’t want to be a mother. Why she might as well be admitting to infanticide.Read More »

Blyton Under Fire

Enid Blyton

I really enjoyed reading the comments that have poured in, in response to the Enid Blyton post (In the Land of Do-As-You-Please) on Guardian Unlimited‘sCulture Vulture blog.

The post discusses Blyton’s lack of political correctness, asks whether any offensive terms and questionable names in the books should be edited out and changed/updated; and whether Blyton’s work is literature for children or adults.

Readers who have responded range from those who believe that no child should be exposed to the evil that is Blyton to sensible people who, like me (oh, yes, I am very sensible, truly), think that if you censor Blyton, it’s just a matter of time before everything (Shakespeare, Nesbit, Austen, Dickens) has to undergo the same treatment.Read More »