Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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Well, amba... I consider myself a Womanist. That's kinda a 3rd way. A woman in a man's world and proud of it. I wear pants and milk cows and do all the things necessary, but my Husband is physically stronger and I don't feel I need to prove myself to him. Most of the time, i guess.

I think that you say w/age because that's what's expected of our younger women. That's how society or this culture is shaping and washing their brains. Who, exactly, has the power? Hell, women can't even parent their daughters w/out input from laws such a the parental notification Law.

Find yourself in reproductive flux... don't go to mom, she'll tell you how bad you are and daddy will kick you out. Come to PP and we'll keep it a secret, no one has to ever know... esp your mom.

That's Feminism, to me. That's narrow of me, self-rightous and judgemental is what most see, but I see a breakdown in a personal family decision by ... the Gov't? Other women? Society?

I am willing to bribe my 14 yr old (tomorrow!!) daughter w/$ to say *NO* to every guy that asks her out. Kids don't date anymore, they just become and item. They don't even know e/other besides seeing e/other in the hallways at school. I feel it would empower her to say no. To know that she is admired for her looks and her wit, and can say "thank you, but no." To know she doesn't owe a guy for his attention.

Having a boy to go out w/gives status. "See, I'm wanted."
She doen't realize, for the majority, that's it's just for her warm, curvatious body.

Okay, maybe I'm getting too personal, but I believe it's a man's world because we play by men's rules, and that if women could just be themselves, they can get power, as well. It isn't the same power as men wield, but just as effect. We have to first start by gaining respect.

Kids listen to a lot of Pop music. I hear so much smut and sexual preying in those songs. Get Low comes to mind... Candy Shop. Gwen Steffani has a song that actually tells girls the opposite. Respect yourself and make those horny boys work for it. Course, sex is the end result. It usually is, isn't it?


Far be it from me to tell another parent how to parent, but Karen, paying one's daughter to say 'no' to boys at fourteen strikes me as asking for big trouble when she's seventeen and even bigger trouble for her when she's thirty.


I know you're right, Imeade. i don't really remember saying that to her, but she says I did. i feel desperate for her not to make the same mistakes as i did, obsessing and clinging to the approval of a male for my self-esteem and identity.

I would like her to wait and actually get to know a fella before she kisses and gets involved w/one. That's all.

I want her to be stronger than I was, I was a wuss. I'm still a wuss. I talk the talk and in the end, people choose for themselves. i'll respect that.

But, if it would work, I'd pay her. I don't think 10$$ impressed her much :).

Yeah, I should use my head. She'll be ok, I'm thinking. I don't mind you're advice. Thank you.


I read your comment on AAlthouse's thread, Imeade. What did you say in your first comment? Do you think Bill Clinton was rightly *impeached* for his actions? It wasn't really his actions that got him *impeached*, though... it was his lying about said actions, right?

He raped a woman, too.
And feminists still defend him?


Karen, for whatever it's worth, I think your daughter will be fine. Having parents with principles and a sense of humor goes a long way in today's world so she clearly has that going for her. The conflation of love, sex, money, and power seems overwhelming at times, my only point was that young people can use all the help we can give them in maintaining the integrity of each of those things.

I'll admit that Bill Clinton's serial sexual harassments and, more important, the willingness of many self-styled feminists and liberals to give him a pass on such patently un-feminist behavior has become something of a hobby horse for me. A deal was made with Mr. Clinton's devil and Democrats who, as Ann Althouse put it 'closed ranks around him' over that issue, continue, in their tacit approval of 'just a blow-job,' to belie their own stated sense of civil rights. Power, sex, love, money.

The House voted to impeach Mr. Clinton for committing perjury before a grand jury and for obstruction of justice. The Senate voted to acquit him of those charges. Out of court, he settled the lawsuit by the former Arkansas state employee who accused him of violating her civil rights. For that, he paid an undisclosed sum of money and made no apologies for his actions. Almost no one on the left held him to account and so I split from the Democratic party in disgust.

You asked about my first comment over at the Althouse thread. It was the same as my second comment only with a bunch of typos. Thanks for noticing.



Some potentially dubious advice from a highly atypical parentless male on parenting. However, I still feel relatively in touch with my adolescent years.

I think it is important to have kids do things because they want to. Discipline in response to external rewards will vanish once those external rewards disappear. Now external rewards can be useful is they are used to "sweeten the pot" or possibly as a delaying manuever until the child grows older, but if you can get it so that she really wants to remain celibate then you've accomplished a lot.

The typical parental strategies of invoking "because I said so" or its metaphysical analog "because God wants you to behave that way" are usually ineffective with adults and even more so with teenagers--unless you happen to have a particularly pious teenager.

I would stress that she should wait for her. And I would also really drive home the myriad risks she could face. I would admit that it is true that they might not come true, but the costs of raising a child or getting an STD are incredibly high. I would encourage her to wait at least till college. Also I might mention that while the peer pressures of high school seem so overwhelming right now, they will disappear in a few short years.

Given male propensities, it would probably would be good to keep her away from guys unless the guy is a sincere conservative Christian. It is also good for her to sort of role play through any potentially pressuring situations, so she's not caught off guard. A crass, but possibly effective response, would be tell the guy that if he's so horny, he should go beat off to a porno movie, but he ain't getting anywhere with her. Perhaps, it might also be effective to stress that her long-term needs far outweigh the transitory hormonal fluctuations of some dude. She may get some flack for it, but she'll be a more successful individual. Also, one could discuss the value of learning self-control and self-discipline--that it will enable her to suceed in life and make a lot of money if she so desires.

To summarize, stress internal rewards rather than external. Give her lots of reasons to remain celibate, so in case one reason seems sketchy in a particular situation she's got a lot of them to back her up. Have her really imagine the potential consequences of her actions. You could cite how many hours of time it takes to raise a child, or what's it like to live with an STD. You'll have to use your intitution and tailor your instruction to your child. And the sooner the better, rebelliousness is likely to increase.

And unless she's deeply to committed to celibacy, she's going to have to learn to use condoms some time, unless you want her popping out kids left and right. Which is more important, church doctrine, or your child? In teaching about birth control, I would stress this is not so you can go off and start doing it right now, this is so when you begin to have sex--MUCH MUCH LATER, say late college--you won't be in the dark. I don't know the quality of vermont sex education.


I think everyone would be better off if the cultural norm -- not the law, the accepted cultural norm, no stigma attached to it, stigma attached to violating it -- was that you didn't even think about having sex before age 18. Of course a few would do it anyway, but the vast majority who really weren't ready could gratefully take shelter behind that norm, and have time to become themselves, and mature their brains, and discover their interests, and just get steady on their feet before being hit by that tidal wave.


Yep I agree, amba. Oh and Karen, I probably ought not to have got caught up into the condom thing. The point about fostering internal motivation was the critical issue. Since we don't have Amba's cultural norms in place, you have to really fortify your kids if you want them to remain celibate.

My mind just keeps going from one connection to the other. I was just thinking if you're child decides to have sex in college and you don't want her getting pregnant, birth control seems to enter into that equation. In a perfect world, maybe we wouldn't have birth control, but the earth can only handle so many humans. Sometimes I think Catholics don't understand exponential growth. They think God will provide. Well, I think new technologies will enable more humans to live here, but I would rather have the technologies first rather than just blithely assume that God will provide. After all, there are lots of starving people even today. To me, birth control is a lesser evil than overpopulation. And I don't see why the rhythm method is okay, but condoms not. In both cases, people are aiming NOT to get pregnant. And in both cases, the method of contraception may fail. If God can squeak through a hormonal opening, why can't he break a condom? True, one is more "natural" (if you consider carefully monitoring your body natural), but I don't see why condoms are so taboo among devout Catholics. To me, a starving child is far worse than a piece of latex over a wiener. But believe what you want. Fostering internal motivation and self-control was my main point.


Adam, your statement, "Given male propensities, it would probably would be good to keep her away from guys unless the guy is a sincere conservative Christian." doesn't sound right to me. Are you suggesting she would be less safe than if the guy was a sincere liberal Christian???


"...was that you didn't even think about having sex before age 18..."

Interesting musing, Amba. But why 18? Why not 19 or even 29? If we could engineer, without harm or risk, the biological hormonal tidal wave to hit on our own terms, would you approve?


18, lmeade, because the brain is more mature by then (on average), impulse control is better, people have some sense of who they are, have things in perspective. You know this if you had kids, or nieces and nephews -- they lose their sanity around 13 and start getting it back around 16-17. By 18 they're actually human. The biological hormonal tidal wave hits earlier all the time, but the second tidal wave of having sex and dealing with all the feelings and interpersonal complications it brings with it is something most 15 year olds aren't ready to handle. That wave is discretionary, we can build a levee to hold it back. Most young to mid-teens are more driven by popularity and cool with peers than by their actual sexual feelings. And when they have sex they are usually trying to score points in the hierarchy, not to feel good or express feelings for another being.


Am I mistaken to assume that by "sex" you mean "coitus?"

Unlike President Clinton, my wife and I, in rearing our daughter, took Dr. Joycelyn Elders' advice about masturbation and teens to heart: "Nobody needs to give anyone a demonstration. What we need to do is stop telling them you're going to go blind, you're going to go crazy. We need to be honest and tell them, well, it's a normal part of sexuality, and if you're going to do it, do it in private."

Our daughter was 6 when Clinton fired Dr. Elders for her statement. At 12, when her biological hormonal tidal wave began to surge in earnest, we reiterated, repeated, and reenforced Dr. Elders' wisdom whenever the opportunity arose. The levee we encouraged her to build for herself was more than just metaphorical: until you are an adult in an adult, committed partnership based on trust, do not for even a moment allow a breach in the physical barriers between your bodily fluids and those of others'.

Now 18 and a college freshman, I'm happy to report that the message seems to have gotten through: - enjoy appropriate sex, respect it's power, trust and take care of yourself - advice the former president of the United States more than once would have done well to heed.


By "sex" I mean "coitus" and other exchanges of bodily fluids (not kissing). I second Joycelyn Elders, too. I applaud what you did. Each of us has our portion of the awesome life force tossed into our lap. It's life's, but it's ours, too. Masturbation is how we get to know it. For girls it may be particularly important, because without it they may never discover how their bodies are made to work.

Somewhere else I wrote a line I kind of like -- "If God hadn't wanted us to masturbate, he would've given us shorter arms."

In Promiscuities, Naomi Wolf (of whom I'm no huge fan, but this struck me) wrote something interesting about "petting," about how when it comes to the gingerly exploration of interpersonal sexual feelings that adolescents also inevitably do (unless rigidly chaperoned), the "culture of petting" was much, much friendlier to girls (maybe to boys too) than the awful culture of "hooking up" and oral sex.


I don't want my daughter *petting* either!!! (Although, what a great thing it is :)) I remember when I was 14. I had a 17 yr old boyfriend. He was a *sincere Christian*, or so I thought.

it starts w/kissing, and petting and pretty soon after, you are a slave to his whims out of *love*. Every no is really a YES, isn't that so?

No one ever talked about masturbation to me, either and I'm surprised I didn't wear it out. There's a name for what I did when I was a kid, starts w/an *f* and I made well damn sure no one caught me!! By the time I was 10, I outgrew it.

Adam, thank you for your input. And About the Catholic BC thing. When a couple marries, they are supposed to give to eachother 100% of themselves. if one w/holds fertility, that isn't 100%. Not to mention the open to new Life thing.

When we take care to stay apart during ovulation (I hope), we aren't doing anthing to come between us sexually because there is no sex. We aren't preventing a birth, because we aren't doing anything to create a life. i wish I had an analogy handy.

Spud, guys are horny in all shapes, sizes and denominations. Adam just knows I'd feel safer having her in a relationship w/a fella I can relate to that may respect the same boundries as i... or my gal. Un-Christian guys rock, too.

i don't want her to have the same depressing yrs I had w/my choices... I want her to have INFORMED choices.

isn't the population thing getting crazy? Aren't some countries paying their citizens to HAVE babies? Isn't the fact that we feel compelled to CONTROL such natural things as pro-creation totally screwing and skewing such things as gender ratios and age differences? Aren't you even amazed that this great country could kill(abort) 45 million unborn children and still say there are just too many people in this world? Maybe if we took care of the earth and allowed citizens more power from certain types of corrupt governing, things would stablize. Less paved parking lots and more organic fields!! Wrapping one's rascal is only going to give more false security to kids and tempt them farther into a reason WHY to have sex.

Eventually, she'll do what we all do, but if i can keep her thinking and knowing that guys intentions aren't formed from love, maybe she'll think twice before it does happen.


Well, Spud, if our goal is a teen boy who will refrain from sex, then he has to be a least sexually conservative, by more or less definition. But remember Spud, doctrinally liberal Christianity isn't liberal enough for me. They'd have to be include the Bhagavad Gita and the Dhammapadda (eastern scriptures) to satisfy me.

While I'm very much against sexual repression and victorian style prudery, most religions encourage celibacy, and that would include masturbation, for their most devoted practioners.

Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Catholicism recommend it among others. In esoteric teachings there is the idea that if one is celibate, energy that would normally be directed into the genital areas will eventually be redirected and awaken the higher centers. The whole kundalini thing. Instead of repressing it and having it pool in the lower chakras, the sexual energy can be redirected upwards. I think Ramakrishna described the end result of such abstinence as the experience of gods and goddesses making love on every point on your body, i.e. supreme bliss.


Karen, thanks for explaining the rhythm thing. Yeah, I do see a difference. Being strongly Buddhist-influenced, I very much believe that a central goal of life is to gain self-control, self-mastery. So in effect the rhythm method is a way for people to learn to control their sexual desires. Nonetheless, I don't see condoms as that bad a thing. If your daughter decides to have sex before she wants a baby, wouldn't you rather the dude wear a rubber, as at least a partial precaution? I mean, what if this dude slept with a girl who slept with a guy who slept with a girl who has AIDS and then gives your daughter AIDS? To me, it is an important precaution for people who aren't married and who haven't had blood tests.

I haven't heard of any countries who were trying to increase their numbers but I have heard of many who were trying to decrease them. African countries, India, China, and probably a lot more. I have heard of situations like in the former Soviet Union where mothers were required to put out more "workers", but I think that's mainly a thing of the past. As far of gender inequity, I don't support screening based on sex, but that's a separate issue. Controlling population need not entail gender selection. I'm favor quality far more than quantity. I'd rather a world where everyone has great opportunities and a clean environment than an overburdened one. I'm sure there's a happy medium, but I lean to the fewer people side of that line.


Canada pays women for their births. it may not seem as such to some, it does to me. So much for their first kid, so much for the second... even paid time off to stay home w/them. Germany has a similar plan, i've heard, but am not sure of that. It's because of the enforced control that women feel compelled to select gender due to cultural preferences. We stick our noses into something, mess w/the Natural rythms and the repercussions are ripples of instability.

Also, Adam. Catholics have a name for that which enables celibacy. It's called Grace.


Karen, I seriously doubt that the Germans and the Canadians are attempting to increase their population via rewards. They're just engaging in standard liberal government practices to create equal opportunity for all. I'm sure they pass out condoms and are very pro-choice as well.

Maybe these policies could have an unanticipated side effect of increasing the population, but I would be utterly shocked if increasing population was the policy goal of these very liberal governments. You'd have to provide a link to back that up. I think you're likely confusing the issue.

Well, I guess Buddhist monks share in God's grace as well. Speaking of which I would imagine that Buddhists might have better techniques of maintaining celibacy than the Catholic Church, given uhm, "recent events." Not that I totally reject the notion of grace, but I think you know what I mean.


And what are you talking about with preferring gender? It's not hard not to. Just don't base a decision to abort on gender. The Chinese may have difficulties with that, but I haven't heard of a similar problem in western countries.


On second thought, maybe these governments are trying to increase their population because there aren't enough people paying into the system to cover the social benefits of their aging population. But that doesn't seem entirely reasonable as they have a large unemployment rate as well. I'd still need a link though.

Besides, the developing world has the opposite problem: too many young people, a lot of starvation. Those countries, at least, certainly need to put some brakes on their growth until their economy can handle them.


It's funny you equate Liberal with the ability to let every do as they wish w/no control involed. That's what comes to my mind:champion of the underprivilaged, supporter of the down-trodden, would never manipulate to get desired results.

I told Spud yeaterday that I was the Liberal because I champion the unborn and refuse to dope my daughters w/hormones to control reproduction. He laughed at me.

The Anchoress has a FANTASTIC post today about gay priests and celibacy and the recent (albeit very old,like 40 yrs) sex scandal. It's very informative.

I don't know about a link, I believe it is because the population of workers is aging and ,yes, $$$$ for Liberal gov't is at stake.

Do you remember me talking about an African country that used the Abstainence method, I think it was ABC. It was Uganda and I cannot remember the Prime Minister's name for crap. I wrote it done, so I'll have to search. It worked and cut AIDS spead by a great %age. I think I may google Uganda to find it.


By "sex" I mean "coitus" and other exchanges of bodily fluids (not kissing)

A hopelessly risk-taking romantic. ;-)

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