Friday, March 17, 2006

can you boycott evil?

This post is NO LONGER sticky and will remain on top for the present. Please scroll down for further posts.

This post has been further edited below.

My last post was about spanking and was inspired by the story of a mother, following advice from a pair of child beating/abuse experts. The advice resulted in the death of the child. Apparently, when a child won't stay in bed, it is okay to wrap them so tightly in the covers that they can't move. If you end up killing the child then you must have been abusing them incorrectly.

Well, it happened. See the story HERE. I first heard about all of this at Darryl Cobranchi's site. I've become a fan of Mr. Cobranchi's writing about news stories that affect us homeschoolers.

Blogging, as it has throughout the world, has become popular among homeschoolers. The Old Schoolhouse is a magazine by and about homeschooling and this magazine sponsors a blogging site named Homeschool Blogger. The evil couple that educate child abusers and provide lessons in abuse are well represented at both these sites. These sites help the baby beaters spread their word and profit off of beating lessons disguised as books.

A boycott has been called for both these sites as well as anyone who supports the baby beaters. If you want to know more about the baby beaters follow the link to which I included in my last post. I will continue to give this link when I feel it might help.

Here's a link to the page at Stop the Rod that deals directly with the baby beaters.

The following links are part of the boycott of groups willing to help the baby beaters.

Joyce Fetteroll has a site about both unschooling as well as parenting. This PAGE has helped me immensley in the past. I keep it bookmarked because the questions answered here come up very often with me personally. I'm including this link because it can help. This page has nothing to do with the boycott or with anything else mentioned. It is a page of help for parents who need answers. I would ask that everyone read through this page because as parents, we can always use another answer from another point of view.

I am posting this for the children. For me to boycott the fundies and their crazy websites and blogs is kind of like a vegan boycotting meat. I gave up superstition a long time ago, and I usually steer clear of the oppressive majority. I've always felt in the minority as far as homeschooling goes, and I've always been okay with that. But this is bigger than me and my feelings. This is about the uncountable children who are hurt every day in this country. This is about people finally standing up for the children who can't stand up, the kids who are beaten with straps and sticks and plumbing supplies.

Pain does not teach or train. Pain drives children to develop an animalitic attitude where life is all about avoiding being hit. I know what it's like to lie and hide to avoid being hit.

This post has been edited to add:

I've taken the sticky off and relegated this post back to when it was written. I won't say that I disagree with anything that I've said, but in discussing this and pondering it with people not involved, I wonder how reasonable a boycott is. I'm not against the idea, but I can't help feel that it's sort of a token thing that is impossible to use as a true weapon. I have to ask myself how willing am I to truly follow up on all of this. If I boycott one place for one thing, how far up the chain do I go to be sure that I'm in no way supportive of something I disagree with?

I'm not questioning a boycott of anything. If nothing else, it seems as though it should work to affect a change, but I doubt it will unless you can sway a great number of people. And even then it's only use is to bring some light to a situation.

Sadly, christians are possibly the best at this sort of thing. They have great numbers and they can rouse support. Many of them also have the kind of money to make a dent when it's removed.

In the end, I know that the effort is not about the boycott or who does business with which bunch of moralistic butthole child beaters. The focus should be the children. Perhaps our efforts could better utilized in other arenas.

it isn't okay

Some people try to draw a line between spanking and beating. As far as I'm concerned, spanking is just an orderly beating. Spanking is about control and is not something that will help our kids.

I grew up being spanked. I don't know if it was of a Pearl mandated variety, but I don't doubt it was too far off the mark. In addition, I attended a small school that allowed corporal punishment most of the years that I attended. I received my share of spankings.

I have spanked my own kids in the past. It's not something I'm proud of. I really hate that I allowed that to become something I would do as a parent. But it is indicative of the power of spanking. Spanking breeds from one generation to the next.

When people spank and otherwise abuse their children, they are not loving them. What lesson is so important that someone feels the need to beat their children with a length of plumbing pipe in order to teach those children? What lesson is more important than assuring your children that you will love and support them?

Certain spanking advocates advise their sheep to maintain a supply of abuse tools and to distribute them about the house and in the car. Leave the instrument of abuse where the child is constantly reminded of the pain and degradation the parent will throw at them should they step out of line. Be sure that your preferred instrument of abuse is always within arms reach in order to train your child whenever he or she deserves a beating. Apparently you can best train children through fear, intimidation and pain.

Healthy parent child relationships cannot be forced. They can certainly be beaten out of children. Or the children can learn that the love and the relationship are completely dependant on following an extremely strict set of rules and code of conduct. Failure to comply will result in pain, true physical pain and debasement.

I've seen how many people turn out from a childhood of abuse. I know how I turned out. I'm one of the ones that eventually came to expect a certain number of spankings. I hated them, but I learned how to shrug them off. I learned to not give a shit. Some of us grow up to need that abuse because some of learn that all relationships of love also involve the meting out of physical pain. Some of us learn that we manifest our love through our offering of abusive coercion. Some of us build up walls and retreat into a place free of both pain and reality. Some of us one day crawl away from all that and resolve to do better.

I'm trying to do better. I know two little boys who deserve a hell of a lot better. And if I can't train them to be good men without resorting to violence, then I don't deserve those two boys. Anyone who thinks spanking is okay should not have children.

Here's a link to an organization that wants to do some good in this matter. It isn't a pretty sight, but the truth is often very ugly. If there is a word for amazed and disgusted, that's how I feel when reading this. That's how I feel whenever someone tries to discern between beating and spanking.