Abuse and sexual assault.
These are all topics that would, or should, normally be taught by parents to their children. Instead, the responsibility is on the school. Parents don’t have to go through any training, awareness courses or evaluations whatsoever to help prevent their children from learning bigoted and racist views, getting emotionally, physically or sexually abused or learning how to be self-sufficient with driving and job skills. Teachers are expected to be not only educators, but babysitters. Dare I say that teachers learn more about parenting than parents themselves?
Without the necessity of having to talk about uncomfortable topics with their children, parents will inevitably fuck up, and fuck up big-time. For one thing, children won’t feel trusting enough to talk to their parents about any problems or questions they may have about such topics – they never did before, so why start all of a sudden? Another thing is that in the absence of these topics, parents will project a bunch of fearmongering to shelter their children, hinder their curious nature, and increase their risk of harm; for example, that sex is ‘only good for getting pregnant or an STD’. Conservatives and other bigots and abusers are free to brainwash their children as they please; they were free to have them in the first place, so it follows that they can impose their harmful views on a new, helpless human they have complete control over.
I have been reading about one kind of fearmongering known as ‘stranger danger,’ and it is alive and well. On the tumblr end, a form it has taken is pretending that the blogs of lg subs in dd/lg relationships on the internet ‘promote pedophilia and glorify incest’ more than the parents, relatives, family friends and other familiar people who hide their fetishes and actually molest, rape children, expose them to porn and kink and violate their boundaries in incestuous ways, spanking increasing the odds of children becoming kinkshits as adults, or the ‘feminine’ values females are conditioned with, or the normalized age gaps of older-man-young-woman relationships. Here, like everywhere else, ‘family values’ are a sacred cow.
‘Stranger danger’ started decades ago (if i remember correctly, it has its roots in one woman’s homophobic campaign against gay teachers – “you wouldn’t want a gay teacher coming onto your child, would you?” conflating pedophilia and homosexuality) and one would think most people are aware that crimes and abuse of children is perpetrated by those known to them, but here we are.
This is just one example of parental fuckery, and I think it’s an obvious sign of patriarchy that people are expected to reproduce as a necessary stage in life and then their children become others’ problems to deal with. Parents are only responsible for material and not emotional needs, and even then, only the minimum to survive. After all, you can’t sue your parents. If you’re an adult, then too fucking bad, because you’re on your own – you’re not cute and completely helpless anymore to appeal to others’ sympathy and help. Your parents ‘did the best they could’…or something.
As the end of this post, below are quotes and articles relevant to debunking this fearmongering.
“I agree that children need to be taught to be careful, which means making sure they are aware of what constitutes improper behavior whether it be from clergy, teachers, police, clergy, relatives, etc…; however not talking to strangers should not be a rule. It is by talking with strangers that we learn how to read people, and to understand and expand horizons. “Don’t talk to strangers.“ makes children fearful; arming them with the knowledge and the confidence to question the appropriateness of the behavior of adults provides a defense against all but the most violent and determined molesters that they can carry with them throughout their adult life as well.” – Bill McMillen
“Generally, the suggestion is that many of the scenarios end up with the child being murdered, but few openly discuss the potential for both psychological and physical damage caused by sexual abuse.
Criticism arose then, and remains today, concerning “Stranger Danger” campaigns for many reasons. Articles have appeared for over ten years suggesting that the campaigns, in fact, deter children from playing outside. Many other critics argue that the externalisation and misrepresentation of the threat to children is most problematic because it encourages society to normalise the family as a haven from danger. This tends to ignore how any disruption in, or disintegration of, the family leaves children vulnerable to abuse. It also ignores overwhelming research and statistics into child sexual abuse. More often the threat begins in the home and, rather than ‘strangers’, abusers are in fact friends or family.”