Retailer ALDI Australia has received a barrage of criticism for stocking a book written by UK comedian David Walliams entitled, The Boy in the Dress.
ALDI posted an advertisement on Facebook promoting the children’s titles that they would be stocking in September—but not everyone was happy about the inclusion of the book that teaches kids it’s OK for boys to wear dresses.
One Facebook user wrote: “Aldi— we are so disappointed in your decision to stock a book within your store related to transgenderism in children!
“We would ask that you reconsider your choice to sell it! Family and children must be protected in times where there are those whose agenda is to groom & sexualise them! We ask that you have a conscience in this matter!”
Another said: “Excuse me, ALDI Australia, but why are you peddling the child abuse that is 'The Boy in the Dress', a novel that promotes children cross-dressing. Are you joining the genderless bully brigade?"
One person argued that Walliams’ alleged sexuality was reason enough to for the kids’ book to be pulled from shelves.
“Yes, google this author who wrote THE BOY IN THE DRESS admits he is pansexual ??. Aldi should NOT BE SELLING HIS BOOKS. Aldi is joining the bullies. Shame on you Aldi.”
However, the Facebook post has also attracted support from ALDI shoppers, who have praised the decision to include the title alongside Where’s Wally and Slinky Malinki.
“We have this book in our school library that I work at and I have read it,” wrote one supporter. “It is a lovely story. Don't judge a book by its cover. You must be so bored to post something like this - maybe you should read more…”
“The fact people become so angry or threatened is ridiculous to me,” wrote another Facebook user. “The pope wears a dress, Scottish wear kilts. I'm sure we could find a million examples... its just a piece of clothing…Imagine waking up every day being so passionate about stopping children from wearing an item of clothing.. get a grip."
One mother wrote: "Regarding the book about a boy in a dress... Go ALDI!!!
"If you don't like it, don't buy it... but I for one think it's great - if the 'worst' my kids do is dress or behave in ways that don't conform to gender norms I'll be a happy mum indeed, and if these books help a child struggling with their identity find some comfort (whether it my child or yours), I think they're worth their weight in gold..."