Should Morbidly Obese Children Be Removed From Their Parents?

Whenever the impotent social services wake up in this country and do something to save children who are getting abused by their horrible parents, there is always a bunch of idiots who start screeching that the parents’ rights to abuse their kids should be protected at all costs. Here is a recent case in point:

An 8-year-old Cleveland Heights boy was taken from his family and placed in foster care last month after county case workers said his mother wasn’t doing enough to control his weight.

At more than 200 pounds, the third-grader is considered severely obese and at risk for developing such diseases as diabetes and hypertension.

What I find mind-boggling is that this case immediately provoked a very weird discussion whether this child was in imminent danger. The main argument for leaving him with his parents was that he hasn’t developed hypertension and diabetes yet. As if these were the worst things this poor kid could suffer from. We are not talking about an extra few pounds. The weight of 200+ on an 8-year-old doesn’t just happen because of a few pizza slices here and there. There must be some severe psychological trauma going on for the kid to get to this point. And that needs to be investigated and stopped.

Co-Sleeping as a Form of Child Abuse

I want to warn everybody that this is a sensitive topic for me. So I kindly ask people not to be jerks in their comments. If you have a burning need to share the story of how you sleep in the same bed with your child and that child totally digs it, I ask you to take this story elsewhere. Here, it will bring you no applause. 

Every form of emotional abuse of children comes out of the parental incapacity to see children as separate human beings. There is nothing more dangerous to a child’s psyche than a parent who sees that child as an extension of him or herself. Parents often invade the personal space of their children in ways they would have never allowed themselves to employ in respect to other adults. Putting children to sleep in the same bed with themselves is one of the most egregious invasions of a child’s personal space that a parent can come up with.

Children start exploring their bodies and masturbating early in life. Obviously, it cannot be very healthy for a person’s developing sexuality to experience his or her first instances of sexual arousal in the same bed with the parents.

At the same time, adults normally have erotic dreams. (Whether you remember them or not is, of course, completely immaterial.) It is also hardly a good thing for a child to wake up and observe a parent who is orgasming in his or her sleep.

One of the greatest challenges on the road to a healthy sexuality for both men and women is to learn to select partners exclusively on the basis of their own sexual desire. Parents who drag children into bed with them exercise their authority over the children in order to service their own tactile needs. Later on in life, such children have absolutely no idea how to reject unwanted tactile contacts.

There is a mile-long list of justifications parents who practice the so-called co-sleeping have come up with to excuse their invasion of the personal space of their miserable children. I read such lists a couple of times and they made my hair stand on end. There are people who seriously say that sleeping with children is acceptable because it allows them to save on heating. Truly, the hypocrisy of child abusers knows no bounds.

The only real reason why adults drag children into bed with them is because they are incapable of developing a relationship with another adult(s) to satisfy their tactile needs. To put it bluntly, they can’t persuade anybody to touch them as much as they need and to share personal space with them, so they use the only people who cannot refuse them, their unfortunate children. And if those children then have to spend the rest of their lives trying to deal with the emotional and sexual problems they develop as a result, who cares?

I know that this post will make many people very angry. But as long as there is a tiniest chance that I might persuade at least one person to get out of his or her child’s bed, I have to use it.

Hypocritical Much?

I just discovered a blogger who is appalled at the barbarity of parents who pierce their newborn girls’ ears but supports the parents’ “choice” to lop off parts of their newborn sons’ penises. According to this blogger the “particular gender-stamp” of pierced earlobes “is particularly abhorrent”, while chopping off bits of somebody else’s penis is not a big deal.

I agree completely that piercing a person’s earlobes without her consent is atrocious. However, in our Western civilization an earlobe and a penis carry very different sets of meanings. Inscribing your will on a child’s genitals is really not the same as doing it on her earlobe. This is a symbolic act that allows the parents to appropriate their newborn son’s sexuality in the most direct and indelible way imaginable.

It is really disturbing that some people believe in selective respect for bodily integrity. This kind of hypocrisy makes all of their pronouncements very suspect.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

I just discovered here that in the US there is opposition to the Convention which guarantees that most basic rights of children. These rights can be summarized as follows:

Children have rights to life, identity, nationality, knowledge of and care by hir parents, self-expression, thought, conscience, religion, free association, privacy, access to health care, access to resources to allow children with disabilities to fully participate in the community, education, and leisure. Signatory governments have obligations to protect children from neglect and abuse as well as to provide financial, development, and psychological support.

Do you know of anybody who would object to any of these rights being granted to children? I think that all these things are so obvious and so basic that no reasonable individual can possibly object to adopting the convention and practicing it in full.


Rape Victims and Child Support

An interesting post has been placed on ethecofem (which is a great blog that I highly recommend, by the way), and I want to address it here. Blogger Danny writes:

Kris Bucher is being held up for child support. However he says that he was raped by the mother of the child and should therefore not be held responsible for child support.

Alright we’ve seen cases before where under aged boys were held up for support of children they had with adult women. Or even worse sometimes said under aged boy’s parents would be held responsible to pay it (can you imagine being ordered by a court to pay child support to a woman that statutorily raped your son?). In this case though Kris is saying that the age difference is not the issue (and I’m inclined to agree since he was 17 and she was 18 at the time of conception) but rather that he said no to the sexual encounter that conceived the child.

As a quick reference I’ve laid out before that a woman can rape a man, so there is no need to try to question that. The hard part to think about is was he raped (he never pressed charges) and should he be held responsible for supporting a child that was conceived through rape?

I agree that a woman can rape a man, so for me, as for Danny, this is not something that needs to be questioned or discussed*. Now, my opinion on this issue is that such a person is, indeed, responsible for paying child support. I hope, of course, that every rape victim presses charges against the attacker and removes any possibility that a child would end up being raised by a criminal.

Child support, however, is not about either parent or the process of how they ended up being parents. It’s about ensuring that a child – a separate human being who never asked to be brought into this world and who in no way influenced the circumstances of his or her conception – has adequate means of support. It is the role of the justice system to defend the person who is the weakest and who cannot even speak for him or herself, namely, the child. A justice system that prefers to deprive a child from adequate means of existence in order to avoid being unfair towards an adult is no justice system at all.

The fact that a person was created during the commission of a crime in no way reduces that person’s need for food, clothing, medical care, and education. Imagine baby Anna and baby Jessica. Anna is a product of a passionate loving consensual sex act. Jessica is the product of rape (whether by a man or by a woman). Is Jessica going to eat less? Will she be less deserving of visiting a dentist? Should she have fewer toys than Anna? Can anybody reasonably argue that one of these kids should be punished because she has a criminal for a parent?

People seem to think way too often that child support is money that is given to the other parent instead of to the child. This way of thinking comes from their inability to see a child as a separate human being with rights of his or her own. What everybody needs to remember is that the moment a child comes out of a woman’s body and takes his or her first breath, s/he stops being a woman’s body part and becomes a person.

* Reader Christopher Marshall pointed out to me that the man went to the police 2 weeks after the incident and they refused to follow up on it. This is what we need to fight: the prejudice against men that positions them always as the perpetrators of violence and never as victims. Here is the real injustice in this case. A statement that a crime has been committed is dismissed by the authorities.