Total Pageviews

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Parent's rights versus child abuse

In some beliefs I’m quite liberal, in others quite conservative. I support a woman’s right to choose to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, but I believe teenage girls ought to give their babies up for adoption, since they are unable to support themselves, let alone a child. That’s what birth control’s for, girls. Can’t feed ‘em, don’t breed ‘em. High school dropouts make lousy mothers and even worse breadwinners.

I support gay marriage, but my philosophy on marriage is “for better or for worse, till death do us part.” With a few exception clauses, such as physical or emotional abuse or chronic infidelity (if infidelity bothers the other party). Choose your partner carefully and then work at making your marriage into what you both want it to be, whether it‘s traditional or not.

I could see multiple marriage, trios or quartets, as long as women have equal rights to have more than one husband. What I can’t wrap my brain around is the rash of polygamous sects that seem to be organized very much like lions’ prides. In both cases, the Master Male basically fucks every female around, and drives out most of the young males. Since the gender ratio of babies born is only slightly more female than male, they have to push out most of their own sons to keep the female-to-male ratio high so they can have twenty teenage brides.

And that’s another argument against polygamy the way it is currently practiced in America: teenage girls, underage in fact, being told It’s God’s Will that they marry men old enough to be their father or grandfather. I guess the polygamists’ god really LOVES pedophiles. Of course the girls born into these sects think that’s perfectly natural, and evidently just can’t wait to Fulfill Their Destiny by popping out a baby a year.

This brings the argument around to a real hard one. Few people would argue that parents have an absolute right to bring their children up as they see fit, teaching them the values they hold dear. And everyone’s against child abuse. So where’s the line? Bringing up daughters with the value that their only purpose is to serve men and pop out kids is their family value. To me, that value equals child abuse. They also believe the biblical line of “spare the rod and spoil the child” and therefore beat their kids as punishment. Few would argue that beating a child is child abuse. But if your family value says that every word in the Bible is true?

Of course, atheists bring their children up to believe Jesus is as mythological as Santa and the Easter Bunny, and Christians think that’s child abuse. Christians teach their children to love/fear Jesus (depending on their denomination), and the atheists think THAT’s child abuse. Muslims bring their daughters up to believe their femininity is inherently sinful, and their body isn’t their own but belongs to the husband they will one day have, and Westerners think that’s abuse. We bring up our daughters to be independent and own their own bodies, teaching them how to be attractive, and the Muslims think we’re abusing them.

So, where do we draw the line between parent’s rights over their children, and child abuse? Hey, don’t even get me started on cutting up little girls’ vulvas to “prove they can stand childbirth” and “keep them pure.” Again, family values versus abuse. An accepted custom and traditional rite of passage to millions, the very thought it horrifies everyone else.

Even practices that were once common in America now sound abusive, such as putting children in “stays” (corsets) to keep their posture good. I can’t help wondering how, a couple hundred years down the line, what our descendents will think about some of our current beautification customs? For example, having bags of plastic poked inside the skin of our chests to turn our lovely soft breasts into giant hard globes, or injecting poison into our faces to reduce our laugh lines? At least we don’t do that to children. Yet. So far, we just let them have nose jobs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree totally and completely! There is a fine line in many areas of modern culture. Drop by sometime: