Growing up, I remember my parents being concerned about the show, Power Rangers, because it was too violent. I remember being told in a Christian School chapel that we shouldn’t watch The Simpsons, because the kids were disrespectful of their parents. I remember hearing concern about Sabrina The Teenage Witch, because it normalized witchcraft. I remember the device that would mute swear words in real time to shield kids from hearing a naughty word.
Not to downplay those concerns, but man, do I wish those concerns were all I had to watch out for with my own children.
A few weeks ago, we spent some time with family and my kids were watching The Baby-Sitters Club with their cousins. I watched it for a few minutes to get a feel for it, and was pretty impressed. It seemed to be teaching kids responsibility and caring for each other.
Then, the other day, I stumbled across this Tweet from Netflix, which is the streaming service behind The Baby-Sitters Club. I’ll just copy the text of the tweet thread for readability’s sake:
“Hi, I’m @Hi, I’m @rosedommu— a writer, trans woman, and former baby-sitter … who NEEDS to talk about episode four of The Baby-Sitters Club and why its depiction of a young trans girl made me cry happy tears…
“The Baby-Sitters Club is a smart, sweet, and self-aware update of the beloved book series about preteen BFFs who start a childcare service — literal girlbosses! This generation’s BSC handle the same dramas as their original incarnations, with the circumstances updated for 2020…
“The most timely and poignant modernization is the child being babysat in Episode 4, titled Mary Anne Saves the Day. The shy Mary Anne is asked for specifically by parents who are family friends. The club isn’t down with this favoritism and Mary Anne is ICED in the cafeteria.
“It turns out that the child Mary Anne is sitting for is a young trans girl named Bailey, whose parents simply needed a sitter they could trust. Bailey is adorable, fabulous and already knows what’s tea…(tea is slang for ‘the latest.’)”
“Ready for an outfit change, Bailey explains that the closet is full of her “old clothes,” while her new clothes are much more sparkly — taste! Mary Anne understands immediately that Bailey knows who she is & has supportive parents who trust their daughter and want her to be happy…
“Mary Anne’s friend Dawn gives a thoughtful, educational, and compassionate explanation of trans identity — duh, she’s “from California.” This simple breakdown gives the show’s young viewers a powerful tool to shape their worldview. Maybe the children really are our future…
“When Bailey comes down with a fever, Mary Anne rushes her to the hospital, where two doctors misgender her. Mary Anne firmly corrects them. Misgendering is traumatic. This is one of the baseline ways cisgender people can show up for the trans people in their life…
“…You can’t be what you can’t see. Imagine the young trans children who are going to watch this & see a version of themselves who is actualized, supported, and HAPPY…
“So, we have no choice but to stan (be huge fans of)The Baby-Sitters Club, our unproblematic queens and queer allies. And more importantly: stan Bailey and all the very real children like her who know who they are. THAT is tea.”
Here’s a link to the thread if you’d like to see it yourself. It includes clips from the episode.
Obviously, if you’re trying to raise your children according to the Biblical sexual ethic, The Baby-Sitters Club is not a safe show for your kids. How nefarious it is of Netflix to take a legendarily wholesome intellectual property as The Baby-Sitters Club and use it as, in their own words, “a powerful tool to shape [kids’] worldview?”
As if that example isn’t scary enough, within minutes of my seeing those tweets, my wife showed me a Facebook video of the parents of a little girl who had brought them an advertisement she had seen while playing a game on her mothers’ tablet. When they tried to get the ad to pop back up, they realized that the advertisements were targeted to each of them. They saw different ads, depending on who was playing, but neither one could get the advertisement their daughter had seen. When the little girl was given another chance to play the game, the ad popped up on the very first time for her. It featured two men in a homosexual relationship with one lying to his wife about it. The advertisement included a homosexual kiss. It was seemingly targeted to the little girl as she was the only one able to get it to show up.
Here is a link to that video.
What a minefield parents have to walk through in these times!
We can’t afford to let our guard down for one second while our kids are in front of a screen. The only way we have control over the ideas being presented is when we know exactly what they are going to see. Nothing can be assumed to be safe.
God has given us the responsibility to raise our kids as a part of His kingdom. What a massive responsibility! Protect their minds from the world’s influences. Parents and grandparents, be vigilant!
We are grateful to God that He has moved on the hearts and minds of our friends, showing us a little of what is inside them. Your notes of encouragement, prayers, and financial support mean so much to us; without them, we wouldn’t be able to do the important work that God has laid upon us.
Won’t you prayerfully seek the Lord’s will to come alongside us again, supporting us in whatever manner you feel led? Thank you.
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