Children’s book The Tiger Who Came To Tea 'could lead to rape', says women's rights campaigner
The Tiger Who Came To Tea is a book loved by children – and parents – across the globe.
The children's classic, written in 1968 by Judith Kerr, tells the story of a young girl named Sophie, who has to stay home with her mum because it's too rainy to go to the park.
Fortunately, the day takes an interesting turn when a hungry tiger turns up at the door and asks if he can join Sophie and her mother for tea.
Spoiler alert: he ends up eating far more than his fair share. And if my own children are anything to go by, little people find the cheeky tiger's antics hilariously funny and want to read the story over and over and over again.
However, now a women's rights campaigner has shocked us all by saying the classic book really sends a message to children that could cause “domestic abuse, rape and sexual harassment."
Rachel Adamson, a member of Scottish women’s rights charity Zero Tolerance, is campaigning to end men's violence against women, and this week, Adamson took a swing at The Tiger Who Came To Tea, saying the book is “problematic” because of its “old fashioned” portrayal of women and family dynamics.
Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, Adamson said:
"We know that gender stereotypes are harmful and they reinforce gender inequality, and that gender inequality is the cause of violence against women and girls, such as domestic abuse, rape and sexual harassment.'
Adamson also questioned the tiger's gender and why he was not female or gender-neutral, and highlighted the 'old fashioned, stereotypical' ending in which the father comes home from work and 'saves the day' by taking his family to a cafe.
"We need to recognise these aren't just stories… I know this will make a lot of people unhappy, but one of the books is The Tiger Who Came to Tea... Judith Kerr is a wonderful author."
Despite her comments, Adamson bizarrely did not call for the book to be banned but told BBC Radio Scotland that it could be used to “raise a conversation” in nurseries.
"The book is reflective of a society that we need to think more closely about."
She added: “We know that gender stereotypes are harmful and they reinforce gender inequality, and that gender inequality is the cause of violence against women and girls, such as domestic abuse, rape and sexual harassment.”