Use every man after his desert,
And who would escape whipping.
A good whipping will always keep a bad boy in line. That was the saying back in the day, and I daresay it still applies in many quarters to this very day. But the recipient of that whipping certainly doesn’t like it, and that’s why the last line from that quote said… ‘and who would escape whipping’. Yes, if you could escape it’s a good day for you.
But whipping goes as far back as Bible days, the Good Book said, ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child,’ referring, of course, to the whipping of children to discipline them.
Parents were encouraged to pile on a good ass whupping on wayward children in order to keep them on the proper path. In many instances it worked too, for the fear of the tamarind switch or leather belt would drive the fear of God into many a wayward child. Even now there are grown men who give thanks that they got whipped when they were young, for it’s what made them who they are today – disciplined adults.
In high schools it was the norm to be caned by the headmaster, as lashes would be administered either in the palm of your hand or on your buttocks. Some boys would stuff rags in their back pockets to cushion the blows of the marauding cane.
Now, those days are long gone, and boys aren’t caned anymore, resulting in a society where our young men are all well-mannered angels, paragons of virtue, law-abiding citizens, disciplined and cultured of which we are all proud. And oh yes, they don’t abuse women either. I hope that the sarcasm isn’t lost on you.
Should we have kept the rod of correction, or should we spare the rod and spoil the child? We’ll see which way to swing, right after these responses to my take on ‘Age appropriate’.
What you have stated is true, but I wonder what yardstick is used to measure and determine the current level of age appropriateness. Usually a man in his 70s with a woman in her 20s, or vice versa would be considered to be inappropriate. But what about that man with a woman in her 50s? Personally, I would consider the latter scenario to be appropriate, but a man in his 50s with a woman in her 70s, not so much age appropriate. Why? Is it because it is from a male perspective? Is age appropriateness in the eye of the beholder?
That age appropriate issue with men and women not acting their respective ages is a very good point. I guess some of my younger friends might say that about me, not that I’m not dressing age appropriately, but more so my activities. At age 52 I had my first mixed martial arts class and never looked back. I run the 5K and half marathons and still do Zumba and dancehall sessions and frequent the gym. Age is but a number.
This issue of corporal punishment has been in the news, with it even reaching Parliament where the call is being made for it to be abolished. All this is on the heels of the story of a child who was allegedly beaten by his stepfather and ended up dying after the incident.
There have been other sad, horrific cases of children being beaten by parents until they were badly wounded. But I have to say that those incidents were not corporal punishment, but brutal acts of child abuse.
When a man beats his woman, is that corporal punishment? When a man uses a stool to batter a woman, is that corporal punishment? When a woman takes a two by four piece of board and beats a man in public, is that corporal punishment? No, no, no.
When I was a young boy attending St Aloysius Primary School on Duke Street, corporal punishment was administered on boys who were rowdy, out of hand, disruptive, disrespectful, undisciplined and downright bad. Boy pickney is boy pickney and can be bad nuh yaws.
I must add that the Common Entrance, now PEP, passes for St Aloysius were 100 per cent every year. Now, I’m sure that many modern-day parents would frown on that era and say, “Nuh teacher not beating my pickney.” But we are none the worse for it, and none of us grew up to be bad men, gunmen, woman beaters or worse. We all matriculated to high school and became model citizens.
That being said, I don’t believe that girls should be flogged, but boy pickney can get a lick or two to discipline them. Oh, now you’re going to say, “There must be a better way, why not talk to them, reason with them?” Oh yes, the same way that you can talk to or reason with a rambunctious puppy.
My mother, who I loved dearly, would whip me with a strap or tamarind switch if I got out of line, but five minutes later I was cradled in her lap. That’s because there was no malice or evil intent in her action. What often occurs nowadays is that many parents and teachers are downright abusive towards the children and beat them mercilessly.
Sometimes this is born out of frustration on the part of the adult, who vents this pent up rage on the hapless child.
“Eat all yu food, yu know how much grocery cost nowadays?”
“Do yu homework and stop waste time in school, I’m paying plenty to send yu to school.”
All this is punctuated by blows.
But the rod has been used for centuries with great effect to control undisciplined people. Why do you think police carry batons? At least they used to. Even recently I saw where police in India whipped people on the streets for not wearing masks in this COVID time.
Flogging, sometimes publicly, is still administered in some countries and there was a time when rapists were flogged at the beginning and end of their prison sentence. The judge would decree, “Five years and 20 lashes, 10 going in and 10 coming out.” So they felt it while entering and also when leaving, just in case they forgot the first lashing.
Now, the human rights justice people will say that is inhumane and barbaric and should be left in the dark ages. But I wonder what human rights and humanity those vicious rapists afforded their victims? Now they are pampered, spoken to, reasoned with until they are released and do the crime again.
Studies have shown that boys who were brutally beaten when they were young often grow up to be violent men. Of course they would, as they harbour the memories of being abused by their parents forever. They didn’t receive corporal punishment, they were brutalised and battered into submission and now live with anger and resentment. Many who were abused by their mothers now become abusers of women.
So the call is to eliminate corporal punishment from schools. So how do you discipline and punish the little horrors? Oh, take away their privileges, their Game Boy, their Nintendos, TV time, their cellphone. Yeah, right. I wish you luck. That may work for girls or mildly mischievous children, but when it comes to the vicious, hardcore, bad pickney, those methods do not work. Eventually the parents can’t manage and the children end up in reform school, wards of the State.
The USA has abolished corporal punishment for many years now, and look how many American children are rude, disrespectful, and violent. No country has more mass murders than America, often committed by children still in high school.
Britain is reputed to have the most terrible young football fans in Europe who’ve often been banned from other countries. Are those examples of sparing the rod and spoiling the child? In the USA a child can report a parent if he or she is slapped, and they use that to their advantage, as nobody can’t talk to them or discipline them.
“Touch me and I call the police.”
Again, I’m not saying to brutalise any child, for that is wrong, but there has to be some form of discipline, even in the early stages to let them know that there are consequences for really bad behaviour.
Look at the societies that offer time-outs and other ineffective ways to discipline children; it does not work for the really bad ones. Some children you can talk to, reason with, show them the way, but others need a good slap on the rump to let them know that badness don’t pay.
Aha, but this is not the era of discipline, for human rights are being trampled on. So now we have a society where people do as they please with no consequence, not even a slap on the wrist.
Look around, here and abroad. People can do anything they want with impunity. Is it a case of people being more aggressive, or that the rod was spared and the society got spoiled?
We are paying dearly, and taking away forms of punishment will only make matters worse.
Footnote: COVID-19 is still here and wreaking havoc. When you watch news from around the world and see the devastation, it’s mind-numbing and scary. And yet, some people aren’t scared enough, as they continue to flout the protocols and act as if it’s business as usual. The facts do not lie, as the areas in the USA that see an increased infection rate are those with the least vaccinations. Ninety-nine per cent of those hospitalised are unvaccinated, and as one official stated, “It’s a war between the unvaccinated and the virus, and the virus is winning.” People hospitalised are now begging for the vaccine. Too late. Even faced with those stark statistics, there are people who still resist. What is it going to take to heed the science?