Too Much, Too Late: Thoughts On The Father Beating His 12-Year-Old Daughter For Having Sex
There’s a video going around of a father beating his twelve-year-old daughter with a belt. While the video itself provides no context, the story is that this little girl was having sex and the beating was his retaliation. It’s certainly not the worst beating I’ve seen on the internet still, it was hard for me to watch. In addition to her screams, as he follows her around the room, you can hear him asking her over and over again, “Do you want to be a hoe?”
The video has sparked an interesting discussion because most people don’t want their 12-year-old children, daughters specifically, to be having sex. And if she was doing it in their house, that’s even worse. But is beating your child the proper punishment?
It didn’t sit well with me for several reasons. I know this is not everyone’s experience but I’m grateful that my parents were of the mind that my father shouldn’t hit my sister and I because they didn’t want us to be accustomed to the idea of a man hitting a girl or woman. So it’s always jarring for me to see a man hit a girl, even if he is her daddy. But even if men administering physical punishment is a part of their parenting, it’s clear that he shouldn’t have been the one to enforce punishment in this particular situation. When it comes to a young girl, discovering or being coerced into her own sexuality, it would be best for a woman to be the one to discuss it with her. A man doesn’t know what it’s like to have sex as a woman. It’s clear that for this father, it’s only concerned about protecting his daughter’s purity.
This girl’s punishment, should have started and perhaps even ended with a conversation. And it’s clear that it was a conversation they should have had before she started having sex. At this point, the beating is too late. If a man is insinuating that his daughter is a hoe because she’s engaging in sex, then there’s a good chance that he hasn’t had a healthy, rationale conversation about sex and sexuality. Now that she’s experiencing it, what exactly is the beating for? The truth of the matter is, there’s a strong chance that she will have sex again. It could be next week or it could be several years from now. Either way, if she has sex again, as she likely will, her father has demonized a very normal and natural part of life.
Yes, sex at twelve is not great at all. She’s a child. Children don’t even have the capacity to weigh out the long-term consequences of their decision. But there’s a fine line between telling kids about the consequences of sex and demonizing the concept of sex going forward. No, his daughter won’t be a hoe if she has sex. She’ll be a human being. And there are ways to tell her that sex should, while enjoyable, should be taken seriously.
Perhaps the most disgusting part of this whole thing is the fact that this video was placed on social media. I don’t understand the point of punishing children in a public forum, particularly when the offense happened in private. How does public shaming make the situation any better? And if his father was concerned about his daughter being labeled as a hoe, putting her on the internet, exposing this part of her sexuality in this way doesn’t do anything to bolster her reputation. In fact, if people know and are able to identify her, this video would be hard for her to live down.
What do you make of the viral video? As a parent, how would you handle your 12-year-old having sex?