Who perverts our children or Tsvetka is not to blame!

It finally became known on November 1, 2018, who teaches our children masturbation and homosexual relationships! SHOCK! MAXIMUM REPOST!!! God have mercy! Where are true values?! Parents, don’t be silent!!!

These and even more emotional exclamations and wishes follow the post on Facebook with several photos of the Tanya Malyarchuk’s novel “Tsvetka and her I”, printed in the textbooks of Ukrainian literature for 11 grade (Kharkiv, publishing house “Ranok”, compiler Alexander Borzenko).

The screens appeared on Oksana Fedorenko’s Facebook page, who gives the following description in the section “About myself”: “public figure, political expert, lawyer”, according to Google search she’s director of the charity foundation “Fundatsia Rozvytku” and judging by additional information of her account, she likes conducting beauty contests for girls. I don’t know how the textbook appeared in the Oksana’s hands (the picture on the cover – the classically-Soviet “Mother of the Partisan” by Serhiy Gerasimov, which traditionally illustrates the novel “Mother” by Alexander Dovzhenko, – testifies that this edition first met the world in 2011), but she managed to stir up clamour: the status has more than two thousand reposts, and hype moved from social networks to the media.

“Ministry of Education of Ukraine, recommends!!! I’m shocked and speechless… In the opinion of the Ministry of Education of Ukraine homosexual women (lesbianism) is trendy. I recommend reading the textbook “Ukrainian literature” (11 grade). Parents, remember that, unfortunately, only you need your children, didn’t find time today, tomorrow will be late. Be involved, take part, control, watch, talk, explain, read and most importantly don’t be silent – they’re your children and future”, Oksana Fedorenko writes and hundreds of commentators support the “public activist”, sharing her indignation of lesbianism propaganda and incest, which will unequivocally conquer the hearts of eleven-graders and force them to reject traditional family and they will enjoy dangerous and repellent perversions straight away in the classroom!

The parents and concerned suggest slaughtering propagandists in different ways (represented by Borzenko, Malyarchuk and the Ministry of Education of Ukraine). Among the most attractive suggestions – to rip off the skin, plug the ass with champagne corks or vagina with Tampax with hot resin (the male’s auditory cries… from happiness). In any case, the common idea is that this horror should be immediately forbidden, removed from the curriculum, removed from the textbooks, condemned in all senses, and just in case to rip off the skin!

Basically, it could be funny, if it wouldn’t be so sad because it seems that with these parents we plan to build Ukrainian society on the principles of tolerance and mutual respect. The chances are small: any attempt to speak about otherness is perceived as an aggressive propaganda, aimed at straying “poor children” from the right path. And that the bulk of the “children” in high school are sufficiently aware (and not only theoretically) of all aspects of sexual life including homosexual variants – this isn’t taken into consideration (I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out that parents think Borzenko with Malyarchuk perverted their children). Of course, in this situation, it’s easier to imagine the teenagers to be fantastic beasts, who live in an informational vacuum, learning only from the textbooks of Ukrainian literature…

A lyrical story of a girl who adores and at the same time hates her older sister Tsvetka, is included to the volume of Tanya Malyarchuk “From Top to Bottom: A Book of Fears”, published in 2006. The full novel is easy to read: the text is on the site with an expressive name “Narodna Osvita” and the whole textbook can be found in the networks (I suspect in pirate copy, but now not about that). The sketch is from the times of the Soviet childhood, the problems of maturing and physiological changes, family relationships, and relationships between the sexes – this is the circle of topics in the story, and you could hardly find more relevant text for the 16-years old (the only unfamiliar thing might be the mentioning of Alla Pugachova’s songs). Taken out of the context pseudo-lesbian scene scarcely shock the generation which has free access to the Internet, instead, the main conflict is up-to-date for many: every day rivalry, which in extreme situations turns into support; striving for success at any price and emotional insecurity; the loss and parting with the closest person – these are the thing about which the “curricular” texts don’t talk and if they talk, it’s completely obscure language of the past century.

It’ll be appropriate to reassure those who are surprised HOW??? could this pornography get into the curriculum (!) and a textbook (!!!): “Tsvetka and Her I” didn’t get anywhere. Before distributing this fake, it’s well worth getting acquainted with the curriculum itself. It also could be found within the click of the mouse – to ensure that in the approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine curriculum of Ukrainian literature for the 10th-11th grades (standard level, academic level) 2 (two) hours are given for studying the modern period, during which the themes are reviewed: “Historical and cultural picture of the literature of the end of the XX – beginning of the XXI century (on the way to a new renaissance). Literary groups (Bu-Ba-Bu, “Nova Degeneratsia”, “Propala Gramota”, “LuGoSad” etc.). The works of G.Pagutyak, Y. Andrukhovych, O. Zabuzhko, I.Rymaruk, V. Slapchuk and others. Creation of AUW (Association of Ukrainian Writers). Elite and mass literature. Postmodernism as one of the artistic movements in the art of the 1990s, its features. Modern magazines and almanacks. In result, the students have to “understand and be able to explain the expression of postmodernism in Ukrainian literature in recent years. Remember the most prominent figures. Remember the definition of the notion “postmodernism”. These requirements are duplicated in the program of preparation for external independent evaluation in the Ukrainian language and literature. Since modern Ukrainian literature is mentioned only in one, traditionally the last task with one right answer, the whole studying is limited to the answer “the end of 1990 – the beginning of 2000” and “postmodernism”. And actually: literature? in May? no, didn’t hear 😉

Accordingly, “everything that was after the Sixtiers” usually remains unknown to students and their parents who are sincere in their obscurity of who is Tanya Malyarchuk and why she was “included to the textbook” (we know Lesya Ukrainka, Lina Kostenko, but we don’t know Malyarchuk…). Meanwhile, this author is one of the brightest Ukrainian female writers of the last decade and her works are marked with authoritative awards (Joseph Konrad-Kozhenovsky Literary Prize (2013); literary prize “BBC-2016 Book of the Year”, the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize (2018)). Of course, it won’t be an argument for those who are already warming up the resin but I pray and hope for the sound sense of the majority.

After all, the hype over Tsvetka can’t be limited to the fact that homophobia thoughts dominate the Ukrainian society. The problem of curricular contents has been posed a long time ago. “Do the oxen roar while the mangers are full?” is a wonderful novel for its time, but nowadays it’s incapable to either evoke interest of the modern young reader or to give answers to important questions for him. So, as for me, the need to increase the proportion of modern Ukrainian literature in school has long been urgent, as well as the change of educational discourse in general.

The repeatedly anathematized textbook which from the morality defender’s perspective can be seen as a whirl of postmodernism and perversion is an extremely conservative book, starting from the design and illustrations, and the “dead” language of the state textbook that cannot evoke interest. So, it isn’t surprising that after reading the introductory section that “modern literature is a living process, complex and diverse” in which “despite the diversity, the spiritual continuity of several generations is preserved and a strong link with the national cultural tradition is maintained”, someone will be struck with the scene of erotic kisses between the sisters, understanding the continuity of generations in a different way and not recalling such in the national cultural tradition… I won’t comment on the absolutely nontopical statement for today about Lyubka Deresh, Serhiy Zhadan, Irena Karpa and Tetyana Malyarchuk as representatives of “youth literature” – obviously that it wanders from one publication to another from the beginning of 2000, without undergoing critical analysis.

The only thing is left to put a rhetorical question why novel known from 2006, added to the textbook in 2011 didn’t bother the progressive auditory for such a long time (shudder to think how many students would have read it). I assume that the anti-discriminatory examination of Ukrainian textbooks aroused vigilance, which has been carrying out by the Ministry of Education of Ukraine since 2017 and caused a fiery dispute over the conclusions of the commission on human rights violations and incorrect formulations. However, Tsvetka is not to blame!

Tetyana Trofymenko

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