As long as I've known her I've been relating to Stinkapee's bodily emissions with glee. As a baby this looked like me always making sure to meet her little packages with supportive, happy smiles...even when they overflowed their banks.
As she grew older and we could actually talk, I made sure to let her know that stuff like farting, belching, booger explosions and the like were all evidence of her body working well.
She also got first hand views of stuff like mama's menstrual blood, which I explained in detail which led to her experimenting for a good few months by wearing pads...we bought her the light days ones which were smaller and didn't waste mama's actual supply.
She's heard conversations about who did a massive poo and how satisfying it is to have all that solid waste pass through and out.
Then she went to school, land of anal teachers obsessessed with bodily alienation projects inflicted on tiny people.
So that Stinkapee would not have too much grief, I explained to her that her family likes bodily emissions just fine, that they are important and necessary. I then explained that many people are raised to feel uncomfortable about their bodies, to hate what their bodies do, to feel embarassed about what comes out of their bodies.
I went on to explain that there are a lot of these people and that these people have something called manners or courtesy that are about explaining what they like other people around them to do and what they don't like them to do.
Some of it makes sense. I pointed out that she had already been taught some stuff that was necessary, like: please, thank you, may I, sharing, asking before you give hugs or touch someone, saying excuse me when you want to come into a conversation, how to ask for someone when you call their house. These were all great.
Some of the others, I said, I didn't necessarily agree with, but people will feel more comfortable around her if she did stuff like not fart too loudly, not laugh uproariously when she farts, puts her hand over her mouth when she belches, doesn't pick her nose...when she's out of the house. When she's at WE, she can do what her body was meant to do in peace.
Right now we're all reading:
I like it because she's so conspiratorially irreverent, exposing manners as a product of culture and as stuff "Nobody wants to see you do" rather than as stuff you're dirty and bad for doing (which was how most of us were taught).
The book sounds like her, like some big gruff-voiced kid who doesn't really get all of why we're supposed to do these things, telling a younger sibling: "Okay, this is what the adults want'cha to do. So, if you just do this people are gonna get off your back and things'll be nicer for you. Get it?"
Given what I believe about manners as a tool to control, beyond the stuff like: thank you, please, may I, excuse me and other basic human relational stuff, this book works fine with the fact that later (I guess I'll have to watch when she's ready) I'll be explaining more about manners utilized to further social control and domination not to mention as a powerful tool used to stifle dissent even inside communities of resistance.
Rude, mean troll mama signing off.