The best parenting style?

First off, I don’t know what it is. I don’t have kids, don’t particularly like them, and am not hugely familiar with parenting. However I’ve seen some parenting stories online and found the contrast to be worth bringing to people’s attention. On one side we have extreme, and abusive, parenting as promoted by a Chinese women and on the other end we have a Canadian study showing that physical punishments cause long-term harm.

The abusive incident occured in New York, where a Chinese couple forced their, almost naked, son to run around and lie down in the snow. The video got onto Youtube and attracted a huge amount of attention. Just as terrifying as the parents actions were the rationalisations which includes trying to give the son a “masculine temperament” and claiming that the child’s intense training, of which this snow incident was just one aspect, had cured his health problems. The first reason is sexist and contains harmful gender stereotypes while the second can’t be claimed from the available evidence. Continue reading

There She Is!!

This was supposed to have been posted on Tuesday but then it got postponed to Wednesday. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the links I needed with some sites down in protest over SOPA/PIPA. It can finally be posted today though.

In the previous post we touched on homosexual relationships which still lack acceptance in some parts of the world. In the US I only a few states recognise gay marriage while in Africa there are some countries have tried to criminalise homosexuality and others have succeeded, often with the anti-gay movements led by the religious, and even in South Africa, where gay marriages have been recognised for a few years, there are attacks directed at homosexuals termed “corrective rape.” Some in the Vatican even think the UN has a secret agenda to increase the number of homosexuals in the world.

There is the suggestion that perhaps further equality would be better pursued by making a separation between religious marriage, where the church can deny gay marriages if it so wishes, and secular civil unions which are available for all members of society and are recognised by the state. It’s actually a decent idea because it doesn’t require forcing religions to do something but it still opens up the full-spectrum of relationships for everyone. Churches will be able to make decisions on church policies and the state will make secular decisions. The complication is then tied to how religious the institution of marriage actually is and whether the gay movement is more interested in a real change or the symbolism of marriage. Continue reading