Don’t be violent towards little Violet.
Children are directly and indirectly affected by patriarchal violence. A society that has been desensitized to patriarchal violence condones a dangerous misunderstanding that force or punishment is needed in order for a parent to obtain respect in a parent child relationship. In other words, the need to coerce a child is more about the parents ego driven need to have recognized power.
A culture that glamorizes patriarchal violence creates a violent group of people that are accustomed to seeing revenge and violence as a method for earning respect and power. In this sense, power is corrupt because you are subjecting someone to respect you whereas people should want to respect and follow you through example. If you have to resort to exerting aggression to gain fellowship and authority, you are not earning it, you are demanding it like the Red Queen.
Let’s make this article more personal and pretend that you are an angry parent that has a six year old daughter named little Violet with shiny locks, big brown eyes, and who is 3 feet tall.
Why shouldn’t you be violent towards little Violet? Well… studies have proven that violently disciplining her would do more harm than good. Better yet, question and analyze why you feel the urge to scream or hit little Violet when she clearly is much smaller than you.
“men are not the only people to accept, condone, and perpetuate violence, who create a culture of violence” — bell hooks
We often associate domestic violence with fathers, but mothers also commit patriarchal violence. This video shows a mother aggressively disciplining her little girl on the train. You could see that the child was not understanding the mother’s demands, but the mother persisted in an attempt to control the little girls crying. In doing so the little girl cries louder. The mothers aggression depicts the influence of patriarchal violence, because through her physical force and domineering tone of voice, she exhibits power over her little girl in a sergeant like manner. As she disciplines her child in a patriarchal, violent manner, she is sending out an unspoken message to those nearby that it is Ok to act in this manner. A better approach, using the Montessori method, would have been to problem solve with her child. Without being aggressive the mother could have asked the little girl questions and engaged her in a conversation. A matriarchal method of dealing with a tantrum would have worked better so that the little girl is not taught patriarchal violence through example. A parent and child working together without hierarchy is a healthier option for the child who will grow up to reflect the same lessons that were taught to her. Thus, a cycle that starts without patriarchal violence will perpetuate a less violent culture.
We need to get rid of patriarchal violence especially as role models to the children we raise. Patriarchal violence ends when parents begin to understand that their sense of power is not important in a parent to child relationship, but rather the lesson that the child learns through parental example. Making the child feel as an equal increases a child’s confidence and mental health which will lead to a better problem solver as an adult — not resorting to patriarchal violence for respect.