A coworker was relegating to my husband at work about an incident he had experienced with his teenage daughter the night before. He had been yelling at her for something when she said something he felt was in a disrepectful tone – backtalk, at which point he slapped her across the face hard. I can only imagine what my husband’s face looked like at that revelation. His coworker went on to explain that he hated to do it but that it had to be done. My husband made a sarcastic comment about training daughters for how they should be treated by men and then said he wanted better for his daughter.
Children come into this world unknowing of the world or its inhabitants. They haven’t yet learned of social graces or how to interact with others. They learn these things by watching us. How we treat others, especially the ones we love, has a lasting effect. It shapes not only how our children treat others but also how they allow others to treat them.
A strong, confident, loved woman doesn’t suddenly allow a man to hit her and accept that that is the way of life. Abused women, and those who abuse them, have learned somewhere along the way that it is acceptable or that they are an undeserving exception. Most fathers would protect their daughters from some other man hitting them, and yet many of these same men are teaching their daughters that being hit, being belittled and degraded, by a man is acceptable.
This is so true! I tell my dh all of the time that he is our daughter’s first boyfriend, and that he is to treat her as such. That she will learn about how boys are supposed to treat her by the way that he treats her. She is only 4, but I can’t imagine either of us ever slapping her across the face for something she said! And then people wonder where kids learn to treat people that way.
This is a topic that needs to be explored more fully. I was not physically abused as a child, but I was constantly berated verbally. I am one of the fortunate ones who recognized how wrong it was and refused to settle for less than the best. I cringe to think about all of those women who didn’t figure that out. Let there be peace on Earth.