23 July 2006

Child abuse by any other name

A friend of mine sent me this link yesterday: http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411419/792057 Can I just say, right here right now for the record, I can't even freaking believe we still even have to have this conversation in the civilized world??? Maybe this is just another in a long, long series of things that proves to me that I and my parenting just don't belong in this culture. Somebody wake me up and send me back to wherever I came from, cause it sure as hell isn't here. In my freaky little fringey world, the primary job of motherhood is physical nurturance, followed by spiritual nurturance, followed by social nurturance. The main thing being, uh, nurturance. It's my job to keep them fed, clothed, sheltered, rested. Attending to the basics until they can take those functions over reliably themselves. It's my job to be my child's best advocate. It's my job to believe the best of them, to attribute positive intent to them until I find out otherwise. Not that I don't blow it, mind you. I get tired and crabby and hungry and pissy and intolerant and impatient and dogmatic just like every other human being. But fifteen solid minutes of beating my own flesh and blood for their tiny little transgressions? That is pathological. There is no other word for it. No sane human being could possibly watch their own child sleep and manage to still deny that the Hand of the Divine rests upon them all. But then again, I also think it's ridiculous to believe that an omnipotent being could be so offended by the sins of us mere mortals. It's precisely the same issue of scale, to my mind. My God does not beat his children, and neither should I. They use the term "smacking", a cute little dimunitization of a word. The word, friends, is CHILD ABUSE, in case you're unclear on the concept. Just like a pedophile is hardly someone who "loves children" as the latin derivation suggests, fifteen minutes of physical abuse is hardly "smacking". But opressors since the beginning of recorded history have managed to get away with lessening the impact of the reporting of their horrors by twisting the language. I suppose the drive to commit physical violence goes deep. I know what I'd do with 15 minutes behind closed doors with one of those goons... not that it would help...

6 Comments:

At 7/24/2006 09:11:00 AM, Blogger LadySeduction said...

It keeps happening to me too....
I work hard to find community of like minded parents and it is HARD dammit. B/c of this crap....smacking...just the word freaked me the hell out. Yet it still surprises me b/c I spend time with those who would never in a million years think it was OK.....Long ago I alientated those of my old friends who still spank b/c of my so called "radical" views like your own about nurturing my children by being with them....ALL the time.....

Fight the Good Fight!

 
At 7/25/2006 12:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we don't recognise what is good in others, and lift it up, we will continue to bring out the worst in others.

 
At 7/25/2006 12:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wen Hei, upon seeing Master Goshu arise from his morning meditation, took the opportunity to ask the Zen Master a question. "Master, is it propitious to strike a child hard across the face when the sun strays from its course in the heavens?" Goshu remained silent. Overhearing their conversation, a passing disciple replied for Goshu, "What the master means to say by remaining silent, is that it is more in accord with the way of Zen to first kick the child in the stomach, shortly thereafter to then box the ears of the child, and finally to strike the child upon the head with a large piece of wood." Goshu struck Wen Hei hard across the face. The disciple laughed and elbowed a passing child in the ribs.

 
At 10/25/2006 10:35:00 AM, Blogger Sandra Dodd said...

In case anyone's wondering if the "Master Goshu" story is bullshit or not, it is. It's from a collection of such here: http://bovineinversus.com/zen.html
(I didn't light the link because they're not worth going to see, really; just juvenile male humor.)

 
At 10/27/2006 01:18:00 PM, Anonymous Colleen said...

If you look up the word "smack" in the dictionary, you get "a slap", if you look up slap it says "to strike with an open hand", if you look up strike, it says "hit", so what's the difference? To smack, to slap, to hit, it's ALL wrong.

 
At 3/04/2007 01:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't feel alone. I also live in the San Francisco bay area I am most definitly against spanking. I have raised my three children without spanking or punishing. I do not ground my children. I do not make decisions for them. I only hold the right to dictate a decision under absolutely necessary conditions. My kids are doing great, so far 17,16,12 they are straight, educated and competent individuals who attend college classes, play and work hard. No need to hit yell and punish. If the confidence of that child is built up and they are educated in a positive way they will grow to make there own decisions in a healthy manner. My favorite books are the positive discipline series

 

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