U.K. dad blogger who runs the Facebook page Man vs. Pink posted this picture of a page from Growing Up for Boys.
“What are breasts for?” it reads.
“Girls have breasts for two reasons. One is to make milk for babies. The other is to make the girls look grown-up and attractive. Virtually all breasts, no matter what size or shape they end up when a girl finishes puberty, can do both things.”
According to Frith, one of the purposes of girls’ breasts is to “make the girl look grown-up and attractive.”
Are all the things wrong with this statement pelting you in the brain right now? Yeah, us too.
First of all, breasts are in no way inherently sexual. Their purpose is to feed babies. The fact that they are considered “attractive” is an entirely socialized phenomenon. Second of all, girls’ breasts should in no way be considered attractive by anyone, let alone a pervy male children’s book author.
Shudder. Up the spine. Seriously.
While the book was published in 2013, its infamy is new.
And people’s thoughts are reflected in the book’s Amazon reviews.
“This book tells boys that breasts are for making milk and also ‘to make girls look grown-up and attractive,'” one reviewer wrote. “While their growth does indeed signal sexual maturity, their purpose is feeding babies. To suggest that they’re some sort of ornament, there for SOMEONE ELSE’S benefit is horribly sexist and only serves to perpetuate the myth that women’s bodies are not their own. Do better, Usborne.”
"This book is ill written trash by Alex Firth who thinks boobs are to make girls look attractive to men," wrote another reviewer.
“Not to mention to sheer ignorance and sexism that we shouldn’t be instilling in future generations. It shows a lack of actual knowledge on the subject of puberty, which brings into question why it was even published in the first place.”
"Utter trash," yet another wrote.
“[If] your intent is to raise a son who respects woman then skip this one.”
A spokesperson for the publishing company released a statement that said, “Usborne apologises for any offence caused by this wording and will be revising the content for reprinting.”
How about revising the way we think about girls’ bodies altogether, eh?
Still, there were some who didn’t get what all the fuss was about…