Book Denounced by Bolsonaro Means to Protect Children, Says Author

Hélène Bruller says there is a 'little Jair' within the presidential candidate who is grateful for her book

Gabriela Sá Pessoa
São Paulo

If for Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro (PSL-RJ) children's book "Willies: A User's Guide" is an "open door to pedophilia" and "a collection of nonsense", for coauthor Hélène Bruller, the work is not about sexuality, but "the fear of growing up".

"The main topic is not about telling the children what sexuality means for them today, but to tell them that sexuality will be a part of their adult lives, and learning it in an unstressed way is the best path to experience it in a healthy manner," she said. 

Autograph session with Hélène Bruller at Salon du livre 2008 (Paris, France).Credit Georges Seguin / Wikimedia Commons - Folhapress

"I believe extremism poses an increasing disquieting danger to our children. It never turned out well, in the whole history of mankind."

The candidate tried to show the book on TV, during his interview with the popular broadcast news daily program "Jornal Nacional", on Tuesday (28th). He presented it as part of a so-called "gay kit", that was supposedly given out to public libraries by the federal government. Brazil's Department of Education never ordered the title for any kind of widespread distribution.

Bruller said that her book was one that she wishes she had when she was a child - and she thinks Bolsonaro feels the same.

"I feel that within him [Bolsonaro] there is a small boy, a little Jair, that would have loved it if his parents had given him "Willies: A User's Guide", instead of yelling at him: 'Jair! If you masturbate you will go to hell!"

For the French writer, the Internet has made pornography much easier for children to find. She says the book takes the exact opposite direction, by telling teenagers that sexuality is a healthy thing.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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