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Flogging a ‘dead horse’


Flogging a ‘dead horse’

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THIS IS RESPONSE to an article dated April 27, 2017, in which Betty Gooding responded to Faith Marshall-Harris regarding our institutionalised attitude towards flogging our children.

I have a serious problem with Gooding’s response on the following grounds:

• You stated “it was effective . . . 300 years ago”. Do you mean the transatlantic voyage when Massa beat us into subjection? That’s what we do to our children? There “is an excellent role model to follow”. Not. When do we evolve from this draconian slave-domination model?

• What is a rod? A rod can also be defined as the straight implement used to tie a young plant onto so that it grows in a straight and upright way.

It has been in use from since the beginning of plant cultivation, “over 2 000 years ago”. So, we can deduce that a rod can be “the discipline” used to “train your child in the way it should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6)?

• Three hundred years ago, a woman would not have been permitted to voice her opinion, let alone pen an article in the newspaper. We have evolved to recognising the rights of different factions. So too that evolution must be attributed to our children and our behaviour towards them.

• You are a woman as am I, yet I am ashamed to say that many of the cultural travesties are upheld by the females. Example: Genital mutilation conducted in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Coming from an oppressed group with long-standing struggles, we should be the champions of change for the better. When we rise, we should all rise together – man, woman, adult, child, the old and the young.

I do agree with Marshall-Harris that it is a practice that is ingrained in our society and we need to continue the process of education to evolve our instinctual response to flogging our children. I think that starts with knowing ourselves.

Knowing our personal limitations, like our responses to stress, because, Lord knows, children require patience and will test this patience at the least appropriate times.

Family planning has come a long way in assisting us in not having too many children that will test our abilities, especially when we can least financially afford them. Let me be clear here: by family planning I do not necessarily mean abortions.

I often hear, “That was how I was raised and it didn’t break me and made me the person I am today.” How will we know because it did break you (in like a horse)? Because for certain, aggression begets aggression.