Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Something to Cry About

"Spankings: Effective form of punishment for children or physical abuse."


Now, my mother's black so that means that as a child I was spanked. And today I don't hold any resentment towards her for it. I think I turned out okay. It can be an effective form of punishment to let a child know they fucked up and I've seen plenty of children in need of some stiff correction; time outs just don't cut it sometimes. I know time outs just bored me, they didn't show me that what I did was wrong.

Clearly there's a line to be drawn between spanking and whooping your child's ass, the two are not the same at all. Child abuse is kicking a toddler in the head, punching them in the jaw, depriving them of food and water, telling them they're worthless. A stark difference between that and a firm hand on the butt. True child abuse leaves children traumatized and scarred for years, being corrected with an open hand simply doesn't do that. At least not to me or anyone I know.

As far as spanking turning a person onto rough sex and BDSM later in life, I don't even know where to begin with that.

Teach (Citizen of the World)

The research shows that children who are hit even just occasionally are more aggressive with their peers than those who are never hit by their parents. Which also makes intuitive sense, because the clear message with spanking is that the way you control others or get what you want is to use physical force. Additionally, the research suggests that it may be effective in a short-term way, but does not work in the long run.

There has been extensive scientific research on physical punishment. Just one example - about a third of male children have a lack of a particular gene, which is only linked with later violence if they are physically abused. 85% of those boys, the overwhelming majority, go on to commit violent acts. It isn't clear yet what level of corporal punishment triggers it, but reason Both the American Academy of Pediatrics the American Psychological Association have taken an official stand against any use of corporal punishment. The U.S. stands out among Western societies for their reluctance to let go of hitting children as a means of punishment in the schools. The UN is working to ban the use of violence (and yes, this includes spanking) against children as a form of punishment.

There are philosophical reasons to be opposed to the use of spanking. It's a shame-based punishment. Imagine what your life would be like if your boss were allowed to "correct" you by hitting you? It would be humiliating. Why should children be subject to that sort of humiliation? Some people argue that the Bible advocates physical punishment. Indeed, there are some examples of this in the Old Testament. It condones slavery as well. Jesus, however, never advocates the use of corporal punishment. Quakers, as part of their peace testimony, advocate against hitting children.

On a personal note, my boys are 14 and 11 and neither their father nor I have never hit them. Not once. They are well-behaved in school, academically successful, sociable and compassionate. I know others will disagree with me on this, but when I work with parents in my practice, I always try to help them find other means of discipline. I can't think of a single justification for hitting a child. Here's a link that summarizes some of the research:

Friday, August 15, 2008

When Harry Met Counselor


Harry and Sally explored this concept in depth in the 80s. Since then, many people have taken opposing sides of the argument. I, for one, am certain that men and women can't be friends. Now...I know there are a lot of people who disagree with me---which is why I will take the time to formulate the specifics that Harry and Sally's conversation never explored. The question really isn't can ANY woman and ANY man be friends--that answer is yes. The REAL question is can a man or woman be platonic friends with a person of the opposite sex with whom they are attracted? The answer to that question is HELL TO THE NAW (a technical term that only ethnic people or really cool Caucasians understand).

Okay, the basis to this theory lies on the following premise: Whether you are a male or female, It is impossible to be a truly platonic friend to someone with whom you are attracted (note: being attracted to someone is different than considering a person to be attractive). There is something that either person will do at one time or another to cross the line of what a truly platonic friend would say or do.

Now, as far as I'm concerned....none of this makes a difference unless you add this concept around couples who are dating seriously, people who are married, or those who are engaged (i.e. if you're single and the person you're trying to call a friend is single--it becomes a moot point--as you both are only fooling each other).

However, if a person is in a relationship and they have someone they consider to be a platonic friend and any one of the following examples exist....I hate to tell you, but you might be proving me right...

If you have a friend that you're attracted to and you
consider them a truly platonic friend because they are in a relationship too---I win. Why? Because you're using the fact they they have someone else in their life as a shield to either stop your feelings from developing and becoming inappropriate or to stop their feelings from developing and becoming inappropriate.

If you have a friend that you're attracted to and you think they're a truly platonic friend because you both "tried it and it didn't work"--I win. Why? Because truly platonic friends never get the urge to "try it".

If you have a friend that you're attracted to and you consider them a truly platonic friend just because you both have "never even talked about liking each other" and you feel it's okay because you've never made your feelings known--I win. Why? Because its NEVER unknown. In time, one of you will say something or do something that shows that you think of the person in more than a platonic way...or others will begin to question--what seems so very obvious to the general public.

p.s. the only exception to this rule is if one person isn't attracted to the other. Any questions?


I think the question is intent. Men and women can be friends with each other regardless of if there's an attraction as long as they both have the same intentions. Rarely in LIFE will you find a situation where two acquaintances or "friends" have never or will never have some level of attraction to each other. A number of things could happen, the attraction could be fleeting or eventually evolve into something else, like a long lasting "real" friendship.

"if you're single and the person you're trying to call a friend is single--it becomes a moot point--as you both are only fooling each other"... human nature is never going to change at least no time soon and it is human nature to be attracted to the opposite sex. The ability to be friends doesn't have anything to do with your "feelings" but rather how you respond to those feelings.

Man (meaning mankind) is naturally selfish and instinctively wired for self preservation but most of us law abiding, morally conscious folks don't walk around allowing our "instincts" to dictate our actions. In other words, if the question is, "can a man and woman be friends without either one being attracted to each other?" then my answer would definitely be no. But do I believe that those same people can ignore or repress that attraction for the sake of a healthy, happy, functional friendship? Absolutely.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Paz vs. "Hoopla"


Political scandals can be some asinine shit! John Edwards told his wife about this affair two years ago, so this "scandal" is a non-issue for me because the people who needed to know, knew before anyone else. Case closed! I think that it's completely conceivable that the Edwards could have an open relationship and that his wife condoned this "affair" and all this hoopla is deserving of as little media coverage as possible.


I think that these days, in this society, there is no such thing as "private" or "personal" for any public figure whether they are a politician or movie star. It's not right but it is what it is. As for Mr. Edwards, he screwed up (no pun intended) and if he confessed his sin to his wife, good for him. But he should have known that in the real world he is accountable to more than just his wife. His wife didn't elect him a Senator and his wife doesn't get paid to dig up and report dirt on the rich and powerful.

Oh, and forget about the fact that she has BREAST CANCER. Maaaaaaaan, that's a different kind of "low down" but that also makes it tabloid and talk soup worthy. And even if they did have an open marriage and she had some dude on the side (a BIG "if") then that too is newsworthy in itself based on the standards we govern ourselves by these days. And he can't be/shouldn't be surprised at the attention he's being given especially since he's only mere months removed from trying to run for President.


The privacy issue is just the point. He may be a public figure and his private life may be subject to scrutiny, BUT it's still his private life. MAYBE he came clean privately to his family to avoid this public spectacle. MAYBE denying the affair hoping to protect the private "secret" so his wife wouldn't have to endure all the media attention in the waning months of her life. MAYBE she said, "Hey John, this cancer thing is a pain. I want you to go out and have a good time with another woman." Elizabeth Edwards could come out tomorrow and say, "I ALLOWED him to have this affair," and give very sound reasons, but then SHE looks bad and the attention turns to her. To top it off, he's not even in a public office! This isn't a sitting president or a senator, he's just a handsome guy who's just hanging around these days. It may be "newsworthy" by today's standards, but that just shows you how low our news standards have become!