Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mind Fuck

This morning my girlfriend was telling me about Lena Dunham's book where, among other things, she talks about being raped. Apparently she has received  a lot of flak from people for it with some of the reaction claiming the event was her fault. My comment was that no matter what the situation (spouses, partners, one night stands), if someone says "no" or "stop", continuing is wrong and self serving. The premise of rape is wanting what you want regardless of what anyone else does - to feel powerful and satiated. 

The religious culture I grew up in taught that you needed to break your child's will (or spirit) through harsh discipline. As I considered my statement about rape I realized that breaking someone's will is basically a mental rape or if you will, a mind fuck. You are saying to the child "I don't care that you are an individual, you are here to do what I want". I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that many people who grew up this way had parents who were also sexually abbusive. 

Most parents I've seen fall into two camps: they either let their kids run all over them till they've had enough and then explode or they rule with an iron fist to discourage any uprising. Instead of terrorizing children into submission, parents should in a matter of fact manner explain their position and then be willing, if appropriate, to hear their child's feelings (obviously you aren't going to have a debate about why they should get out of the street while a semi is bearing down). Kids need to be taught that they have a voice and be given freedom to make choices. For instance if they don't like what is for dinner, once they've tried a little, let them come up with another healthy option they can make with what's on hand. You are still being firm and holding to some guidelines but are also teaching them to think, cook and prepare them for independence. 

While I think many things in the world are subject to situational ethics, something I am rock solid on is no one deserves to be made an object for someone else's enjoyment against their will. It doesn't matter if people think they are just trying to keep their kids out of trouble. Your offspring will make decisions you consider mistakes at some point and its best to understand that from the get go. Anyone who can't accept that probably had kids because they wanted to feel better about their lives: they needed love, respect, fulfillment etc. Kids are not toys. Kids are meant to be guided not fucked. 

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