Sunday, November 27, 2016

Domestic Violence and Building Strength

The people who speak in favor of violence – especially in favor of domestic violence – believe that it makes people stronger.

My response is that there are all sorts of ways to make people strong without acting like a scoundrel.

I knew a man from Texas who, when he was a child, had every bone in his body broken by his stepfather and stepbrother. He most certainly was a strong person, but he was also very messed up. He had a paranoid delusion that I and my girlfriend were going to kill him and his family, which is ridiculous, as neither I nor my then-girlfriend had any violent thought in our minds, much less about killing him and his family.

You want your children to be strong? Fine, get them into martial arts, get them into playing football. Do not think that beating up on them will make them stronger. In most cases it will make them hate you. And in some cases it will result in mental problems.

In rural Mexico, it is customary for the man to come home from work to beat up his wife, who then makes for him super-hot meals that hurt him. I ask this: What did rural Mexico get from having such an attitude? Does rural Mexico run the world? Does rural Mexico even stack up among powerful nations? They hurt one another, but are completely powerless to hurt anyone else.

Does domestic violence make people stronger? Even in situations in which it does, the negative outcomes are far greater. People become vicious. People become hateful. People become envious of people who have it better than they do. It does not improve humanity; it sabotages it.

My daughter has never experienced domestic violence or anything close to domestic violence, but she is a very strong child. My younger brother also never experienced domestic violence, but he has a PhD from Stanford in nanotechnology and is working on a top-secret project for a major American corporation. When my mother was with a conservative man, he was telling her that she was raising a monster by not being violent to my brother. My brother did not become a monster or anything close to a monster. He became a responsible, hard-working, brilliant, ethical and all-around admirable young man.

Even if some people are made stronger by experiencing domestic violence, it is not the only nor the best way to build strength. There are all sorts of ways to build strength. When I was in school, I was the shortest and weakest kid in class. I am not one now. That is because I've been doing lots of rigorous exercise, and I am in a better shape now than most people my age – including many people who were jocks in school.

So no, practicing domestic violence is neither the only nor the best way to make people stronger. There are all sorts of ways to build strength that do not involve bullying or traumatization. If you want your child to be strong, get your child into hard-core sports. The child will that way become genuinely stronger. And the child will do so without growing up to hate you.


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