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Irregular Jonathan Speaks: Challenge

You have selected the following challenge:
Explain why it's not ok to hit a grown-up, but it's ok to hit a child.

Use the form below to respond to the challenge. We'll post your contribution for others to read within a day or two. If you'd like, scroll past the form to read and respond to the comments of others.

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Status: Challenge Not Met to Date

Readers' responses to date:

Response #1: May 15, 2000

Nope, can't be done. It's not okay to hit grown-ups or children.

---Pete Inconnu

Response #2: May 31, 2000

It's not ok to hit a grown up or a child.

---Virtual Queen

Response #3: June 30, 2000

When you say "hit" in both phrases, you imply that the same type of "hitting" is going on in both cases. The type of hitting that is inappropriate for adults is usually something with a lot of force, such as causing a lasting injury. If you "hit" a kid with that much force, even if you scale it down, to make it proportional to the size of the child, you would be hard pressed to find someone to say that it was okay to do that. The kind of hitting that constitutes corporal punishment is usually only painful enough that the child has only a memory of it later, not a bruise or a broken nose. If the hitting of the child is as severe as a lasting injury, it is not deemed acceptable, but Abuse.

---Amanda A

Response #4: July 3, 2000

Simple psychology. Adults believe in teaching dicipline to a child. The child may or may not respond to repremands and the threat of being spanked may make the child not repeat a certain action. If a child hit an adult it is a matter of authority. Children are traditionally seen as inferior to adults and are seen as something that can be controlled. Adults want control over any situation so they decide culturally to have the right to hit a child but not the other way around.


Irregular Jonathan Interjects...

Tina offers half of a solution: it's "ok" for an adult to hit a child because we do not value children in our society. This is an answer that criticizes rather than justifies the act. Still, why isn't it "ok" in the same society for adults to go around hitting other adults?

I thank those who have contributed so far and look forward to future responses.

Response #5: July 14, 2000

Only a very negligent parent would not punish (hit) a child that ran into a busy street! If you are opposed to punishing children who do something wrong (like pulling their sister's hair) are you also opposed to punishing criminals?


Irregular Jonathan Interjects...

Bob, you're confusing punishment in general with physical violence. Get counseling.