Teaching Our Children Violence is Okay

So I’m scanning my Facebook news feed this past weekend and I happen to notice a post that my young cousin shared. The blogger posted an advisory statement for parents of boys who apparently are at the bra snapping stage. She told her little princess that if a boy does that to her, punch him in the throat. Just as calmly as she was stating that the sky is blue. And then she would take her daughter out for a hot fudge sundae to celebrate little princess being violent.

You know what? If my son is the one who is punched in the throat, you and princess will deal with more than the school’s policy on violence. You and Princess will both be charged with a crime and get to do some jail time. Had your daughter simply slapped him silly, I wouldn’t have batted an eye. Had she taken care of the situation in almost any other way,  I probably wouldn’t have said a word except he had it coming.

Let me be perfectly clear: I do not condone bra snapping, skirt pulling, or any other disrespectful behavior. Ever. I do not consider it to be “something that boys just do”. I do not think that “boys only do that to girls they like.” That’s bull. It’s not cute, it’s not funny, it’s just plain wrong.  But. It does not warrant a potentially life threatening response. Violent behavior like that only escalates to more violent behavior. Blog Mommy, perhaps you should rethink your answer to Princess and tell her that “throat punching” is best reserved for when her life or that of her own child, is in danger. If someone is attempting rape, she’s being kidnapped, that sort of thing. In those cases, all bets are off and she can do whatever she wants.

I know my answer won’t be the popular one and I’m okay with that. I don’t have daughters but do remember how (some) boys are. My husband and I have always taught our son how to behave around girls and women in general. If I had a daughter you can bet I would be teaching her that it is okay to defend herself when she is attacked but that violence of that nature is just as wrong as a twelve year old boy who snaps a bra.

I get what Blog Mommy is saying there. I totally understand that she wants her daughter’s message to be perfectly clear. But I think instead of empowering  her daughter, she’s teaching her daughter that violence is the answer.

Indeed, I think that the idea of “throat punching” someone is one that comes too easily to mind. I hear that phrase constantly, even from a few Southern Christian Women, one of whom is a preacher’s wife! And  before you open your mouth to glare and point at me and proclaim “Judgemental!”, yes, I’ve said it too, in the heat of the moment. And it shocked me. I don’t want to be that person.

I know that women and girls should never have to be a victim. Neither should a 12 year old boy be the victim of a girl with an overzealous mommy. Is this what we want to teach our children, that it’s okay to react with violence to every situation?  No, she shouldn’t just put up with that type of behavior. No, she shouldn’t just let it slide. But resorting to that much violence is not the answer.

Just take a look at the news in this country. Too many don’t like the answer they’ve been given so they lash out in anger and cause destruction and death. And it just continues. And others justify those actions. Why not? Violence gets attention. Violence gets approval. Violence gets ratings. Violence brings death.

But yeah. Teach your children, male or female,  that violence is always the answer. After all,  might makes right.Intelligence and use of language mean nothing.

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