It All Starts when We Punish our Kids, #5

It all starts when we punish our kids.

What “all starts?” Well . . .

  1. Rape.

First and foremost, rape is violence, so for that aspect of it, see Part #2.

Second, rape is misogyny, at least man-on-woman rape is. That is Part #3.

The analogy of rape to punishment is pretty straightforward, it’s a stronger person forcing their will on a weaker one, and there is often a lot of victim-blaming: the punished child has “brought in on his or her self,” and the rape victim “was asking for it.” But it doesn’t stop there, this analogy has more.

There is the issue of force, the issue of implied violence. We would say of a large number of instances of parental punishment that it isn’t violent, that children simply take their medicine, apparently willingly, just as the male dominated criminal justice system may often judge that a woman who wasn’t severely battered may not have been raped, that she may have been willing, perhaps that she “was asking for it.” Implied violence is invisible, of course – well, “of course” in certain circumstances anyway. Especially so in these circumstances, when we have all been raised in the system of punishment, when we are all willingly blinded to the “invisible” implied violence of that system, when we have all been subjected to it, threatened throughout our formative years, and with primal memories of force and violence from our baby and toddlerhoods, when threats were ineffective because we lacked language skills – and this is the best case scenario, this describes people who were never actually struck or manhandled during the majority of their early years. So very many of us believe there was no violence behind our parents’ discipline, or at least we believe it doesn’t matter. Of course, we must, there isn’t really much choice, and by the time we can safely choose to see it, we need not to again, so we can take our turn dishing it out upon our own children. The window in which we might face that truth is pretty short, and missing it is what we call becoming a grown up, achieving maturity.

In those circumstances, when needing to be blind to our parents implied violence and then to our own, when that needful blindness rules our lives, in those circumstances, the implied violence of rape will usually be invisible.

Here’s the rest of the series:

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