Posted by: eileenandrory | April 6, 2010

Suffer the Children

It’s a subject that makes me queasy, and not only because I have two young of my own.

But a recent Dan Carlin podcast has made me want to explore some of the central themes around child abuse. I may not be able to though as the matter is a bit sensitive to me.

I think that we may be able to agree that the definition of child abuse has changed throughout history. Yes? No?

Let me demonstrate, during the industrial revolution it was not uncommon for children to be sent ‘down the mines’ to do a hard days work at the age of 10.

Go back a little further, it was considered normal to beat your child with all sorts of equipment designed to elicit the most pain and possible scarring <Dan talks about a paddle with a hole in it designed to raise blisters>.

Go back even further and childern where considered chattel, used as sex slaves and generally undervalued. Think ancient Greece, and Sparta.

Hell even now nothing has changed in some parts of the world.

But I guess what I wanted to talk about was the effect on our Society, sometime in the 19th century we started treating our children as people. Witness the plethora of parenting books and the advent of child psycholgists.

 Have the intervening years made our society any better than the ages before this?

I guess what I am asking is;

 Is the way we treat our children an indicator of how ‘good’ our society is? Are we better off <or more enlightened> because we treat our children as human beings, or is there no difference between societies of today and those of yester-year?


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