Won’t somebody please think of the children? Their agency is ignored in the moral panic around drag storytime

Fri, 19 May 2023 22:57:43 +1000

Andrew Pam <xanni [at] glasswings.com.au>

Andrew Pam

"Protesters derailed a Monash City Council meeting on Wednesday, demanding the
cancellation of a sold-out drag storytime event at Oakleigh Library in
Melbourne’s south-east.

This is just the latest in a string of drag performances for children
throughout Victoria being cancelled or postponed in response to protest.

The central message of these campaigns (accompanied by varying levels of
vitriol) is the same: “let our kids be kids”, “protect our children” and “hands
off our kids”, while simultaneously labelling performers and supporters of the
events “paedophiles”.

This is part of a global backlash. Similar protests and cancellations have
happened in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The argument in support of drag emphasises the impact on the performers at the
centre of these events and queer community, arguing that the cancellation of
these events is a form of discrimination and a contravention of human rights.

But the debate so far overlooks the agency and rights of the events’ intended
audiences: children and young people."

       *** Xanni ***
mailto:xanni@xanadu.net               Andrew Pam
http://xanadu.com.au/                 Chief Scientist, Xanadu
https://glasswings.com.au/            Partner, Glass Wings
https://sericyb.com.au/               Manager, Serious Cybernetics

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