Thursday, January 05, 2006

Pataki repeats one of the great American myths

In his State of the State address, New York Governor George Pataki said something to the effect of "Every single person agrees that one of the worst things you can do is intentionally cause physical harm to a child." There was wild applause.

What a joke. Thousands of children are whipped, shaken, punched, thrown against walls, and sexually assaulted by "ordinary" citizens every day. Many Americans believe that more whipping is the answer, and that teachers should be allowed to hit their children.

And among those who really do believe that it is wrong to cause intentional physical harm to children, almost all agree that it is acceptable and desirable to cause intentional physical harm to non-humans. If they did not, there would be no factory farming, no laboratory animal testing, no rodeos, and no circuses, and there would be real punishment for animal abusers.


God, yes. Over and over again, every semester, I get essays about how parents "ought to" be allowed to "spank" their kids. (Like they aren't now? And by "spank," or course, what every one of these students meant was beat.) I'm considering banning the topic because I can't take much more of it, only then who would point the students to the studies showing what sort of damage they're inflicting on their kids?

Every single person believes that, my ear.

By Blogger delagar, at 8:09 AM  

I remember the first and only time that I took my children to a rodeo. You would think that I would have seen many rodeos growing up in Arkansas, but I always disliked the local cowboys, therefore, I avoided the entire sport. My son was around 12 or 13 and we watched the parade around the rink, it was okay. Then we watched the clowns, and we applauded with gusto. But then, they let a little calf run out of a gate, and a huge horse and man on the horse began chasing him and roped him and slammed him on the ground and tied his feet up. My son and my daughter and I all gasped and my daughter and I covered our eyes and my son yelled out, "Mom, he's hurting that baby cow." Needless to say, we left and my son took a lot of teasing and bullying for a long while after that, well, until he started growing. When he topped out at 6'4" in the eighth grade, the bullies thought it best to leave the little tree-hugger-wannabee alone. We live in Tyson country, which means Tyson's poultry farms are all over the farm lands and the huge overcrowded trucks drive up and down our highways with dead chickens hanging their heads out of the cages. Some of the chickens and turkeys actually get out and run for their lives. That is what I say when I see them on the side of the road, "Run into the woods and hide, the hawks will get you if the hillbillies don't." Sad world we live in, and I'm doing so much better with the doing without meat and poultry. I think I have found a farmer who might sell me eggs and milk. That will be great. Of course, I will have to pasturize the milk myself, but it's just boiling. Right? By the way, the hitting children, way off, I don't even tap my grandson's hand, nope, not going to do it. I just won't hit him. Even though, hitting is perfectly okay in my family, hitting, pinching, twisting ears, and even pulling hair. By the way, my sister used a huge belt on me. The last spanking I got was when I was 14 and I swore if she ever hit me again, I was going to run away from home. My offense, alledgedly wine drinking. I did, in fact, drink wine.

By Blogger zelda1, at 9:59 AM  

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