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Is This Appropriate?

December 5, 2013

Consider this scenario.  In a corporate setting, a manager assigns a subordinate a task to carry out.  The subordinate fails to carry out the task adequately, so the manager strikes the subordinate’s body in a private sexual area.

Or this one.  In an educational setting, an educator administers an exam.  After the exam, all of the students who earned a failing exam line up for the educator to strike them in the same manner.

Or this one.  A suspect is arrested in the midst of committing a crime.  The suspect is brought in front of a judge, who sentences the suspect to be punished by being physically beaten.

How can all of these scenarios sound totally inappropriate, and yet the scenario of a parent using physical violence to communicate with a child can be considered acceptable?  Especially when such violence often takes the form of striking the child’s buttocks, a part of the body that would be considered sexual harassment if one adult were to touch another adult there, or sexual abuse if an adult (even a parent) were to touch a child there in a sensual way?  How can this be anything but physical, emotional, even sexual abuse?  What is there to be learned from such abuse except “You are powerless”, “Might makes right”, “When you are bigger than other people you can use violence to make them do what you want”?

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