Perhaps hitting children really is too horrible to contemplate

There’s a new parenting book out by Sue Edgerley, urging mothers to stay home, telling parents to run their families like army units, and advocating smacking children. It’s self-published: evidently no self-respecting publisher would go near it. The Murdoch papers are all running stories about it. Whatever, really. What intrigues me is the picture my local paper, the Adelaide Advertiser, has chosen to run with the story.

Small blonde girl, smacking her doll, which is face down over her knee.

Child hitting doll.

(Description: Small blonde girl, smacking her doll, which is face down over her knee.)

Click here for the story, and the comments. But I wouldn’t bother reading the comments if I were you. Seriously.

The picture tells its own story. Evidently it would be too horrible to see an adult hitting a child, even though it is not illegal for parents to hit children in South Australia. So instead of showing what Sue Edgerley is advocating, they sanitised it by getting one of her proposed victims a child to act it out. I wonder how many people would continue to support hitting children if they could see what it really looks like. It is *not* small, blonde and cute.

I don’t understand why newspapers are giving free publicity to this writer. What she advocates masquerades as “tough love”, but that’s a misnomer. Hitting children is not love at all. It’s violence, perpetrated by big people against small vulnerable people who are perhaps the most powerless group of people in our society. And by giving her air time, Rupert Murdoch and his papers are supporting her. It might be a little different if an established publisher was backing her book, but given that this is a self-publishing effort, otherwise known as “vanity” publishing, I don’t see why it merits any particular attention from the mainstream media.


5 responses to “Perhaps hitting children really is too horrible to contemplate

  1. It never failed to astound me how many people opposed the section 59 law change and how adamant their ‘right’

  2. I suppose a photo of a burly parent swinging an electrical cord at a mucky-faced kid would put readers off their morning coffee and toast.

  3. That picture looks seriously creepy to me

  4. Someone else yesterday had a picture of an actual child over a parent’s knee (male child and male parent I think) with the parent’s hand blurred as if in motion. I spent all afternoon worrying that the child had actually been hit, but I suspect some neat photoshopping was used instead. I hope so. Smacking isn’t about discipline, it’s about losing your temper and trying to prove that you are boss. I read someone say yesterday, ‘yes but animals do it’ but isn’t the point that we are supposed to be better than animals?