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Corporal punishment


Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Moor's abused by some most villainous knave….

O Heaven, that such companions thou'dst unfold,

And put in every honest hand a whip

To lash the rascals naked through the World.

— Shakespeare, Othello, IV, 2


I think that Othello is my favourite Shakespeare play. Maybe it's because the central figure, Othello, was a Moor, a strong black man who had lusty passions and strong romantic leanings. It was he who declared that he had loved too well, but perhaps not wisely.

Whatever the reason was why I loved that play, it doesn't matter, the fact is, it resonated with me for its strength and passion. Just take a look at the last two lines of that quote, “And put in every honest hand a whip, to lash the rascals naked through the World.”

Lash the rascals indeed, whip them, flay them, punish them, don't let them escape any form of accountability, administer corporal punishment to them. Corporal punishment or the physical beating of people, whether they be children, teenagers, men, women, boys, girls, has been a feature of civilisations since the birth of mankind.

It served us well as it drove the fear of punishment in those who broke the rules or had thoughts of breaking the rules. Now suddenly, the very notion of whipping has been thrown up in the air and is the subject of many a debate. It's now deemed uncivilised, even as mankind becomes more and more uncivilised.

We'll see where it leads us, right after these responses to 'Needs or wants'.


Hi Tony,

The question of needs or wants is purely a Western one, fuelled by the materialistic lust of modern, hedonistic societies. People who are poor only have needs, whereas persons who live in the affluent, money-laden western world have more wants than needs. Desiring running piped water or a warm meal is a need, while wishing for a bottle of Perrier or Evian and a filet mignon is a want. Needs or wants are strictly societal.




Hey Tony,

Your footnote regarding reading reminds me of my youthful days when we were too young to be exposed to Playboy magazines. We would scour National Geographic magazines for a hopeful glimpse of a photo of a bare-breasted woman in the Amazon or an African country. Back then we really needed to read, but a picture truly was worth a thousand words.



Every naughty boy deserves a whipping to keep him in check. At least that was the conventional wisdom among parents for centuries. If a child did wrong, he or she was whipped, and that was that. It was accepted as the norm and children were none the worse for wear with the occasional whipping.

That's the way I grew up. My mother would take the strap to my rear end if I did anything wrong. Long talking didn't impact much with a spirited, overactive, rambunctious, mischievous, sometimes downright rude and hard ears boy. “Go and bring the strap, you know what you did.” Even after a whipping I still loved my mother, and that did not diminish. I did wrong, I was punished.

The same applied in school, where at KC the principal or vice-principal would administer six strokes of the cane to the open palms or on the buttocks of boys who broke the rules. I got caning, as did my classmates, and I am still a balanced, non-violent person. In fact, I never hit any of my children. My daughter started to do karate but couldn't get used to the notion of me roughing her up, so she quit after a while. I felt strange throwing kicks and punches at her too.

Also, I don't believe that girls should be flogged, plus I never had a cause to hit my son. I remember breaking a concrete block with my bare hands in his presence when he was very young, and that was enough to keep him well behaved from that day on. All I had to do was show him my block-breaking hand and he would calm down.

Now everyone's gone all scientific, analytical, philosophical, psychological, and declared that corporal punishment is detrimental to the well-being of children. Studies have refuted that claim.

Well, you can see how our children are behaving nowadays, mostly out of control and wild, as there is no consequence to their terrible actions. A colleague of mine shared his research and findings about corporal punishment that make fascinating reading. He asked me not to publish his name, but I can still share some of his thoughts and findings.

He pointed out that the same people who cry down corporal punishment all agree that a stint in the military is good for young men. “Do they know what happens to an army recruit in basic training?” he asks.

Plus, “Where are all the major psychological issues that those of us who grew up being spanked are supposed to be displaying?” What is important to note is that there is a big difference between outright abuse and responsible, structured punishment as a legitimate part of enforced discipline.

The fact is folks, boys need discipline, and taking away privileges or this 'time out' nonsense does not work with rambunctious boys who are hell-bent on being bad. A 2010 study by a noted professor at Calvin Coolidge University in the USA indicated that those teenagers who were physically disciplined performed better than those who were weren't, in a wide range of categories, including school grades and the ambition to attend college.

A 2005 study found that occasional spanking does not damage a child's social or emotional development. Again, note, there is a difference between spanking and abuse. If you look at the countries that don't believe in spanking you'll see how the kids are abusive towards authority and their parents. Just recently I saw a foreign news clip of a child slapping her mother in public. As we would say, 'Only in America.'

Sweden imposed a ban on spanking over 30 years ago, and studies show that physical child abuse as well as teen violence have both skyrocketed by alarming levels. Punishment needs to be unpleasant to be effective and corporal punishment is a consequence. There have to be consequences.

Do you remember when rapists were flogged with the cat-o'-nine' upon entering and leaving prison? “Six lashes in, six lashes out,” was the punishment. It's a lesson they would never forget. Now that's deemed to be uncivilised. In fact, most punishment for criminals is considered uncivilised nowadays, much to the relief, delight and amusement of wrongdoers. “No capital punishment, no corporal punishment — let's just reason with them in a civilised way.”

Discuss issues with them, take away certain privileges, put them in 'time out'. The fact is, children do not fear losing privileges, but they fear being whipped. I remember when we were children, my brother would just go to sleep if he got 'grounded' for misbehaving. It didn't matter to him one bit.

Too many modern-day children are spoilt brats who, on more than one occasion, abuse their parents, teachers and anyone in authority. They respect no one, for they can do anything and get away with it. Not even the police they respect, and I'll always remember the news story of this schoolgirl who slapped a police inspector when she was being counselled by the officer. “She shat de police one big box inna her face and nutten come out of it.”

We have become civilised, we do not believe in punishment, we allow the twig to be bent and grow up crooked. There is no consequence for terrible actions. Teachers cannot even reprimand students, and the animals have taken over the zoo.

We have become soft and are reaping the whirlwind with children who are out of control and pay no price for their wrongdoings. Ever so often, parents will take their children to my karate class and say to me, “Fix him for me. Please fix him, I cannot manage him.”

There is a reason why boarding schools like Munroe are so successful with boys; they have a strong disciplinary programme that works. I certainly do not advocate beating children willy-nilly, but if a boy gets out of control he has to be disciplined.

So those of you who are against structured corporal punishment, talk all you want. I sincerely hope that you aren't confronted by any of those out of control children who know not the meaning of consequences for actions. Give them 'time out', take away their cellphones, seize their iPads, shut down the Wi-Fi and see how much it affects them. They may slap you and wrench it out of your hands.

More time.


Footnote: Well well, blow me down and knock me over with a feather. All of a sudden the 'experts' in the USA have decided to adjust the parameters of what constitutes high blood pressure. For centuries a normal blood pressure reading was 140 over 90, but now they have decided to declare that the new normal is 130 over 80. What this essentially does is instantly make half of the USA hypertensive. Multiply this to other countries and suddenly millions of people are now declared to be suffering from high blood pressure.

Naturally, blood pressure medication sales will increase hugely. It's those same scientists who every year come up with new findings. First eggs were bad for you, now they're good, for you. Then milk was also bad, but now it's good. Drink eight glasses of water every day, then don't, then they messed with coconut milk. It's all a marketing ploy, folks, to sell more products.