Innocence is remarking how sad it is that people have to know about things like child molesters and kidnappers and so now have to think about ways of protecting their children. Or how terrible it is that they have to be knowledgeable of rape culture and so have to be concerned for themselves when they walk to their car. Which is implicitly shaming survivors for daring to speak and breaking one small piece of their precious little innocence.
Or how horrible it is to tell your children that gay people exist, or trans* or maybe one day (heaven forbid!) that people who defy these neat categories also exist.
God forbid anyone who isn’t straight or cis or white or financially comfortable or non-abused not live in fear and shame and silence for the sake of your own comfort and innocence.
I’m not saying, “CHILDREN SHOULD BE TOLD EVERYTHING FROM BIRTH.” But I am saying that innocence, as a concept and as the way it is reinforced, comes at the expensive of trampling on those that aren’t innocent. It is as though by families shielding their eyes from the wounded bodies lying on the ground, they can walk all over them and claim good intentions and innocence as their excuse. And sometimes? In fact, far more than sometimes, it’s your own kids that you’re walking over.