[Trigger warning: violence against children, murder]
From a Conservative Party leaflet rife with other goodies like “changes to alliances … should only be done after careful consideration” and “It’s fact that quality time, baby with mother (or sometimes dad), in the early years is enormously significant …” the winning sentence has to be:
It’s time to get back to common sense and acknowledge that reasonable force is necessary and sometimes beneficial for some children.
Mr Q and I were watching an episode of Forensic Files or some other generic crime show. Two teenaged boys murdered their parents, and threw a party with their parents’ bodies wrapped up in plastic in the basement. Yet all the members of the community who were interviewed were just shocked and puzzled, just couldn’t think of a reason why these kids would do this. The parents were good parents, you know, brought those boys up right, it was all just a huge mystery.
When the kids talked about the murder, one of the things they said was that they waited for their mother to leave the house, then turned on the stereo. Because they knew the very first thing their mother would do on entering the house would be walk over to the stereo, turn it off, and yell at them.
You can either take from this that maybe our society can have a slightly fucked up idea of what “good parenting” constitutes, and maybe we have a tendency to label some kids as “bad kids” [before they murder their parents] and thus justify parents being “harder” or “stricter” because “the kids need discipline”, so maybe take a slightly dim view of the idea that two teenagers just magically became homicidal against their saintly caregivers …
… or, you know, you can believe that from the moment they are born, some kids are just so inherently evil they need to be struck by their parents.
I normally don’t like to make these calls, but I’m pretty sure I can assume which side of that argument Jesus would have been on.
… on the matter of the laughably predictable response by the
Beat Your Kids To Prove Your Authoritah Kiwi Party to Adoption Action’s campaign to drag our adoption laws kicking and screaming into the 21st century. (And props to Jacinda Ardern for taking up the cause.)
There is no evidence to show that children require two (2.00) parents and one must have a diddle and the other a fanny. Sure, there’s evidence that children do better with two (as opposed to one or none) committed parents in a stable relationship, but there is not a shred that suggests that the gender or sex of the parents is of fundamental importance, and there’s certainly not the tiniest scrap of evidence to suggest that children do any worse when raised by same-sex parents.
Yep, I know who I’d trust my [hypothetical] kids with.
(BTW, Larry, you’re probably the last fucking person on this planet who should try to pull the “logic/ideology” dichotomy.)
[TW: family violence, dehumanisation of children, Bob McCoskrie]
Bob McCoskrie’s boner has reared its ugly purple head again, for the right of parents to treat their children like mindless chattels is being threatened … by the little shits themselves.
You see, Bob and his boner commissioned what I’m sure was a totally neutral and bias-averse poll … from Curia … about our vile anti-twisting-the-law-to-excuse-beating-your-children-with-jug-cords laws.
An independent poll has found that almost a third of parents of younger children say that their children have threatened to report them if they were smacked.
I’m guessing the notion of “so don’t smack your kids” or even “so don’t smack your kids to the extent the Police feel compelled to investigate you” or even “don’t do anything worse than this dude who managed to get acquitted, for fuck’s sake” is so utterly alien to Bob that of course he decided it was somehow cause for panic that under-12s can be mouthy bastards who also sometimes watch the news.
“These are disturbing findings, and shows just how damaging the anti-smacking law has been to parents trying their hardest to raise great kids”
And by “parents trying their hardest to raise kids” Bob actually means “parents who are so fucking insecure they instinctively resort to violence against children when their authority is challenged”.
“By passing the anti-smacking law, [politicians] have completely undermined the authority of good parents and given children a weapon to use against their parents.”
And what’s this “weapon”, again? Oh right, the ability to have the Police investigate whether a parent’s “discipline” has crossed a line which even this fucker managed not to cross in the eyes of a jury.
We were not surprised that the level of opposition to the law remains.
[Because “we” have spent a year broadcasting misinformation from “our” basement.]
This was a highly flawed law opposed by an overwhelming majority of NZ’ers, yet rammed through parliament by politicians who were more concerned with their respective party leader’s mandate and the interference of the UN.
Funny, I didn’t release that the 113 MPs who voted in favour of the third reading of Bradford’s bill were all from a single UN-sympathetic party. I am so not up with modern politics the way Bob is.
[TW for child abuse and Bob McCoskrie]
… now apparently include tying a child to your wrist and washing his or her mouth out with soap.
Thus speaketh Bob McCoskrie, defender of families if by “families” we mean “the right of men to use violence to control their partners and children”. [ETA: updated link because Stuff doesn’t believe in archiving]
The lesson to take home from here? This is why we do not fucking compromise. We do not fucking say “this law is wrong and we will repeal it, full stop”, and when faced with a barrage of patriarchal and religious fundamentalist abuse, say “okay then, let’s make it a bit softer so the mainstream [who have been convinced by fucking liars like Bob McCoskrie] think it’s okay.”
Because all you get is a law under which this shit continues to fucking happen.
Just to round out the fuckwittery, Bob added this to a media release exported directly from his basement:
Family First NZ* says that parenting is being put on trial as a result of the anti-smacking law, and that it is being used as a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ in custody battles
Ignoring the really shitty grammar which seems to imply that parenting is the WMD … what the fuck.
Bob, this may come as a surprise to you since your entire life is focused on your own navel and complaining that bitches need to get back in the kitchen and kids need to be seen and not heard … but WMDs are fucking awful things with a capacity to kill and maim millions of people.
Not, in fact, in any way comparable to “shit that your ex might bring up in a custody battle”.
And frankly, if I had an ex who had forcibly shaved my child’s head as a punishment (there are absolutely no bad connotations there at all) and washed his mouth out with soap you fucking bet I would raise that shit in a custody case.
… And since the parent was fucking acquitted anyway, why the fuck are YOU complaining?
Oh, right. Because this has never actually been about ensuring that actual child abuse get investigated properly. It’s about investigating child abuse except when the parents doling it out are good, white, middle-class people who sometimes like to punch their kids in the face, in which case the police and CYF should just assume that nothing could have happened because to even check that shit out is a horrific abuse of power or something.
*Membership: Bob McCoskrie and his boner.
1. To Larry Baldock, my sincere thanks for furnishing Granny Herald with a photo that makes anything I might write about your lust for child-punishing redundant.
2. To the 88%-of-54% who voted “no”, many of whom thought they were just being practical, and fair, and don’t want “good parents” punished, I invite you to consider that people like Larry Baldock don’t actually care what you thought, because all they wanted, and all you’ve actually done is given them more credibility when they say “oh, and not just light smacks, but rulers and wooden spoons too.”*
3. Finally, to anyone who thinks a referendum based on such a loaded question actually means anything, I can do no better than leave you with Sir Humphrey:
Any no-voters reading this? Please feel free to preface your comments with a single incident of a parent being “criminalized” for a “light smack” or GTFO.
*What next? People with intellectual disabilites? Oh, but only when they’re endangering themselves and you can’t reason with them and it’s just transitory (which would seem logically inconsistent with having any disciplinary effect anyway) and sometimes you just get frustrated and lash out but that doesn’t make you a bad person EXCEPT IT DOES.
Via No Right Turn, a man has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for beating his daughter over the head with a lump of concrete. This was apparently in the aid of good parental correction when she refused to go to his church, or something.
And this is why I will vote yes, and this is why I will forever be fucking pissed off at people who complain that “there’s a difference between a light smack and child abuse” and “I never hit my kids, I just smacked them“.
I mean, first of all because they’re wrong, but that’s a whole ‘nother flamewar.
Because here’s the thing, pro-smackers.
Sure, you see the magical line between smacking and hitting.
You’re the kind of parents who don’t abuse their kids but just sometimes give them taps on the bottom as part of loving discipline.
So it seems totally kosher to you that parents should be legally allowed to defend their actions as being reasonable force.
But when you stand up and say “parents know what’s best for their children, and sometimes physical discipline is the only recourse”? And when you say “the nanny state shouldn’t interfere with the parent-child relationship” and when you say “look, this guy is a good parent, he was just at the end of his tether“?
Thinks you support what he did.
Lyndon Hood’s spreadsheet guide to voting in the forthcoming [insert ideological slant] referendum is amazing, and offers a great reason not to write rude things on your ballot – it’s not the little orange person’s fault the question’s stupid, is it?
Great list of suggestions for alternative questions in our upcoming “child discipline” referendum over at The Dim Post. I’m a particular fan of:
Should a smack as part of good parental driving out of devils be considered a criminal offense in New Zealand?
And the commenter who extensively cited Lewis Carroll gets ALL the e-cookies.
So far the leaders of our two major political parties have variously indicated that they agree the question is stupid (but seem to have determinedly avoided pointing out that this is due to our CIR procedures being rubbish in this regard) and probably won’t vote.
Well, I’m going to vote. Because the people who put forward questions like this are not overly swayed by facts. If only 80,000 people actually fill in their ballots correctly and 75% are no-votes, which of those numbers are we going to hear about? The pathetic turnout or the “75% of people think section 59 should be put back into effect!” spin?
Voting yes, for me, isn’t just about supporting a law that is working or making a stand against all violence in New Zealand families. And it’s not just a way of saying “fuck off” to Bob McCoskrie and his ilk (though that’s a bonus). It’s a way of showing them hey, you do NOT speak for the majority of New Zealanders, you do NOT speak for “normal” or “mainstream” or “middle” New Zealand, your ideas are BAD and you should FEEL bad.
What people occasionally do to it isn’t.
Exhibit A: “good parental correction”, as in “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offense in New Zealand?” Because, you know, that’s a totally objective standard, contains no inherent assumptions, and will totally yield an accurate account of to what extent New Zealanders support beating kids.
Oh wait, no, see, what I did there was probably “twist other people’s words” or “condemn all smacking as violence”, which … well, no apologies, ’cause it fucking is.**
Unless you’re Exhibit B: “I smacked my children, but I’ve never hit them.” Which is fine if a) you’re a former rugby player and thus get an automatic hall pass on anything you do, and b) if you honestly think the only definition of “hit” is “hit really hard and not in a manner I thought was justified at the time”.
Sorry, who’s messing around with language now?
Oh, right, it’s our naughty, naughty Government, which, in Exhibit C, is refusing “to acknowledge any sex.” Because an evil lesbian conspiracy* has decided to change official court language: “Foreperson” instead of “Foreman” of a jury. Now, sure, there’s a bit of life in the idea that we could just use Foreman or Forewoman as appropriate (I really don’t want to be the one to try to tell Bob Jones about the fluidity of gender), but even putting aside identity issues, I can’t wait to see Rodney Hide get bitchy about the amount of money it’d cost to print two versions of every single pertinent document.
TWELVE-YEAR-OLDS CANNOT CONSENT TO SEX YOU FUCKING ASSHAT.