On the Sexuality of SpongeBob

This letter to the New York Times (never published) relates to the accusation by Dr. James Dobson and others on the Christian Right that the SpongeBob cartoon series is part of an insidious plot to turn American children into homosexuals.

To the Editor:

Maureen Dowd (“A Bunch of Krabby Patties,” Jan. 23) quotes a spokesman for Nickelodeon as saying--in response to conservative Christian activist James Dobson--that SpongeBob has no sexuality. This is not accurate. Apart from the biology of real sponges, the famous cartoon sponge has a girl friend--a squirrel from Texas named Sandy Cheeks who lives in an oxygen-filled dome (a kind of reverse aquarium) in Bikini Bottom. Nickelodeon’s own web site describes Sandy as the “apple of SpongeBob's eye.” But those who are mistakenly up in arms about this cartoon series don't need to worry about interspecies kissing being portrayed on television: Sandy must wear a diving helmet whenever she leaves her dome.

--Dennis King (sent Jan. 23, 2005)