Saturday, March 31, 2012

Male-on-Male Penguin Affection Still an Issue...

Book controversy shines light on obscure Rochester committee

The Committee for the Reconsideration of Resources in Rochester, MN made a decision to keep And Tango Makes Three on the library shelves, despite the dissenting opinion of one family. This is the way it should be, and the way the policy is laid out is quite clear. Unfortunately, despite the policies in place to discuss book challenges, the committee's decision "was later overruled in a joint decision by Rochester School Board Chairwoman Julie Workman, Vice Chairman Gary Smith and Superintendent Michael Muñoz. It was reversed again when, amid growing public criticism, officials admitted that they had not followed district policy governing controversial materials." It is sad when officials feel they can simply overrule the proper procedures that have been set in place for specific types of challenges. There was a possibility that because of the mishandling of the situation by the School Board officials, the challenge would have to be taken to the committee again for re-review, but thankfully the family that originally brought the challenge forward has decided not to pursue further action.

Parents won't pursue challenge of 'Tango' book

The parents of a Gibbs Elementary School student who sought to remove the book "And Tango Makes Three," the story of two male penguins who raise a chick together, have decided to not refile their challenge. 
The "temporary resolution" was reached Tuesday during a meeting between the parents and Rochester schools Superintendent Michael Muñoz, officials say. But the agreement also requires that one of the parents who challenged the book be present when their child checks out books from the Gibbs media center in the future.
I'm still amazed that this book is stirring up so much controversy so many years after it came out. Are people so seriously threatened by two male penguins who bring up a baby? Technically speaking, the book isn't even about homosexuality, so much as it is diversity in the animal kingdom, but apparently everything that has male-on-male affection of any kind must obviously be G.A.Y.

Signing off for the month of March!

Thanks for Reading.


  1. Question: doesn't the term male-on-male create a more sexualized image than, for example, male-for-male or male-to-male would? Can this be part of the problem, that male-male relationships are over-sexualized?

  2. That's a good question, and it could certainly be part of the problem if one uses that term (as I did.) But when it comes to the actual book, all one has to do is actually take a brief look through to realize there is nothing sexual about the relationship between the two male penguins. The worst that happens is that they snuggle up together in an image or two, but apparently this is enough to cause people to see the image sexually whether you call it male-on-male or male-to-male. The result is still the same, and it is disappointing, that two males showing any affection is considered homosexual and therefore just plain overly-sexual.