Thursday, August 06, 2009

Don't hit girls but...

All sounds good that. Apparently a national strategy on domestic violence includes teaching primary school kids that hitting girls or women is wrong, according to this Daily Telegraph report. Of course it's wrong, initiating force IS wrong.

However there are two rather important issues with this.

1. Why just girls? Isn’t a message that you shouldn’t hit girls going to imply you should hit boys? Or is the quite right agenda against domestic violence, led by a feminist blindness to boys or men being victims of violence? Young men are the most likely victims of assault. Why not simply say it is wrong to first hit anyone?

2. What of self-defence? In some cases it IS appropriate to hit, that is if someone ignore the rule in the first place. Flight or fight are legitimate approaches, but children need to know that if they are hit, they should be able to retaliate appropriately.

So wouldn’t it preferably just to say kids that using force to get your own way with someone else is wrong? Get them to find examples of when that is done. In fact, get them to find cases where people want to use force to get their own way, or get others to use force for them. Most political parties do, for example.

11 comments:

Lucia Maria said...

I teach my boys that hitting girls is wrong. It's not a feminist value - it's a conservative one. Women are the weaker sex, even if in NZ they try to act like men, they are still physically weaker. Training children while they young in this way of thinking is most likely done as a last resort, as the typical liberal ways have not worked. Eventually they'll be telling girls to save themselves for marriage...

libertyscott said...

Lucia, dare I say it is a feminist, conservative and a libertarian value. Except, for some reason, the implication (unintentional I expect) is that feminists and conservatives think hitting boys is somehow less bad? Given most feminists and conservatives I have encountered are advocates of initiating force it is not exactly inconsistent.

Brian Scurfield said...

Presumably, though LS, you wouldn't want to make it *compulsory* for all UK primary kids to attend classes explaining that using force to get you own way is wrong? Or, indeed, make any lesson compulsory, ie, involuntary?

ZenTiger said...

I think the Conservative angle is founded in positive ideals: That men and women are different (vive la difference!), and one teaches boys to grow into gentlemen and equally, girls to become ladies.

The pseudo-feminist motivation, at it's worst comes from the "all men are rapists" line of thinking, and focusing on boys from this perspective is perhaps the interpretation LS has seen in the ongoing attempts to treat symptoms and not the causes.

Whilst the message might be right, it does appear to be one sided, although ironic given that men and women do tend to respond to stress completely differently, and this feminist message appears to be recognising this at some level.

The fact they want to deliver half baked messages in a compulsory format to primary school kids with lessons on "overtly sexist media" indicates to me that the whole concept is probably going to be mismanaged, badly delivered and frankly, probably not helpful.

"Colin scored 67% in maths and is responding well to the idea that one does not beat their future wife to a pulp"

"Andrew wanted to know if he could at least punch his girlfriend in the head every-time she called him a useless, spineless ugly moron, as he was uncomfortable calling her a slag in retaliation"

"Mike was keen to buy underarm deodorant to ensure the hottest girls would want to go to bed with him. He was well prepared with the school condoms handed out, and had promised not to punch any of them if they also went out with Tommy on the football team"

libertyscott said...

Brian, I'd argue it is up to the parents as to the selection of school which offers the lessons it wants for their kids. I don't expect to have authority over someone else's kids as long as they aren't initiating force against me, my property (or children for that matter).

Brian Scurfield said...

LS - So it is OK for kids to be subjected to involuntatry learning as long as the parents have selected it?

libertyscott said...

Brian - Yes. Parents have a right to select the education for their children. The limits on parents' rights are when they use the children for criminal purposes, abuse them or are reckless about their welfare.

Brian Scurfield said...

Being within a parents rights does not make it right. Did you enjoy involuntary coercive education?

libertyscott said...

No, sometimes I didn't like maths, often I didn't like religious studies. However the former did me good, and the latter was a condition of going to the school. It may not be a good idea to forcefeed kids an education, but why should the children have the final say? If they have it on that, then they may as well have it for food, clothing, where they go to the toilet etc. You are talking about something that isn't the role of the state to police. However, it is for people to debate what is good practice, rather than what should be illegal.

After all, most kids don't want to go to school some days - should they all learn that you just do what you want when you want to, and how does that work with an employer or indeed being an entrepreneur?

Brian Scurfield said...

Agreed these are moral issues for parents and I have no desire to make coercion against children illegal. Nor do I have any desire to make parents doormats to their kids.

I come at this thinking about the future of libertarianism and how best we can instill libertarian principles in our kids. The conclusion I reach is that preaching non-coercion while practising it against your kids ain't gonna work. You have to give them a free say. You have to discuss things with your kids to arrive at common preferences. You have to treat their free will as something important that must be respected and they must come to learn that yours is too.

If you think kids are born bad or are naturally brattish, then you might not agree with my approach. Personally, what I think makes kids go bad is authoritarianism.

avanover5 said...

I completely agree with you. I don't understand why other people can't see this. People need to snap out of their indoctrination and ask "why?". Seriously think and ponder whether or not there a legitimate reason for such a proposition, or whether it should be conditional. Don't forget that there are many people who are crypto-feminists. Those are people who while rejecting the label of feminism, all the while; adhere to feminist ideologies. And when I say feminism: I mean sexism toward males. The woman doesn't stand in front of the man, nor the man in front of the woman, but rather; they stand side-by-side each with their respective roles.