When my Daughter and Nephew were eight, I rented what I thought was a kid’s video from the video shop [yes, it was that long ago]. The cover of the video featured creatures similar in style to the Dark Crystal type puppets. My eye caught on the puppets and didn’t even register the R classification [adults only content here in Australia].
I put the video on for the two kids and went off to cook dinner in peace. Eventually the kids came out to the kitchen with…questions. That was when I discovered they’d been watching puppets have sex.
To say I was shocked is an understatement. I’m no prude, but I don’t consider a kinky puppet-sex video to be appropriate sex-ed. material. I explained to the kids that I’d made a mistake, and we talked about the content. Then they wandered off to play, leaving me bright red, and cursing my inattention.
Were those two kids horribly scarred for life? Nope. The only one who ended up scarred was me – because they’ve never let me live down that mistake.
Which brings me to the Kobogate debacle. Apparently some kids in the UK got their hands on erotic material at a well known bookshop known as ‘Smiths’. The Daily Mail got wind of this, and ran a sensational campaign about it. Kobo, which partners with W.H.Smith in the UK, caved to pressure from its partner and apparently yanked all self-published ebooks from the UK site.
I believe the correct term here is ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water’.
If you are like me, and have only just heard about Kobogate, you can read all about it in an excellent article by David Gaughran – here.
I don’t have an axe to grind on this Kobogate debacle because my ebook wasn’t affected, however I do think the whole thing has been handled badly. A simple declaration of content at the time of uploading an ebook could have saved Kobo, and thousands of self-published authors, a lot of grief. After that, I believe it’s up to parents to monitor what their kids watch or read, not some corporation.
I don’t read, or write, erotica. Nonetheless, I believe erotica has a place in the world of books, just like any other genre.
What do you think? Yes? No? Maybe?
p.s. I apologise for the scrappy nature of my posts lately. I’ve been working hard on my assignments, and haven’t had the time, or the creative energy to come up with interesting things to write about. Still 6 weeks to go so please bear with me.