Dear Dads: Beating Your Daughters Won’t Make Them ‘Good’ Girls

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Just in time for April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, there’s a new clip making the viral rounds of an angry black dad wailing on his child with a belt.

In a video partially titled “Father Whoops on His 13-Year-Old Daughter Dressed Like Beyoncé After Missing for 3 Days“ a scantily clad black girl is being swung around by her long hair as her father mercilessly beats her in public. The girl, who never cries or makes any noise at all, holds on to her purse and tries to protect herself. There’s a woman in the background—hopefully not the child’s mother—calling her a “bitch” and a “ho.”

Some viewers were shocked to discover that the man doing the hitting was the girl’s father. “[This] video is disturbing,” wrote one commenter. “This is a bit far. I thought it was a pimp and one of his ladies.” If I had not seen the caption before I watched the video, I would have reached the same conclusion.

Comments declaring the dad’s actions “a bit too far”—or any negative criticism—were few and far between. I’m not surprised, because whenever we’ve seen these types of “discipline” videos before—most infamously with the angry father who caught his daughters twerking and the disgruntled uncle who discovered his nephew was posing as a thug on Facebook—it seemed the majority of viewers applauded the parents for taking action and not sparing the rod. Either that or folks just laughed and went on with life.

Those same folks who applauded, though? When this girl is 16 and pregnant by the first boy who offers “love” and a sense of security/safety—and if she was missing for three days, I’d bet money she’s already found that guy—they’ll wonder how it happened. Or better yet, they’ll blame the girl for being “fast” and “irresponsible.” And no one will look at this beating incident as a display of where it all went further wrong, when that’s exactly what it is.

I watched this most recent video and had the same thought I had the first time I watched the father going H.A.M. on his twerking daughters with an extension cord: This is how black girls get lost.

In both instances, you have young girls who are dressing too sexy and acting “too grown.” Part of that comes with the age—being “womanish” is a phase some teenage girls go through—and not fully understanding the consequences of presenting themselves that way. Part of it is desperation for attention, particularly male. And part of it is low self-esteem. The shocked and angry fathers address the issue by trying to beat some sense into the girls, but they never seem to get that they’re making the situation 10 times worse. No one’s self-esteem or confidence—two real issues here—ever got higher after being beaten.

 

In this most recent video, it’s a 13-year-old girl who hasn’t been home in three days. Something is already very wrong at home if the kid has run away. And given her stoic reaction to being beaten, it’s not a far leap of logic to guess this isn’t the first—and probably won’t be the last—time her father’s lost control and called it discipline. If you were getting beaten like that and tossed around like a rag doll—and also being called a “bitch” and “ho”—wouldn’t you want to run away from home, too? Or better yet, when you got beaten like that, did you want to be at home?

Exactly.

Running away is an issue that a beating doesn’t address. And by beating her like he did in public, the father has practically assured she won’t be in the house very long. Wherever she was for those three days, it was probably with someone who she feels treats her better—and she likely will be back there soon enough.

 

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This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. spunkyspice says:

    If we had only seen the daughter was missing and dressed inappropriately first question is, “where are her parents?” And I also DO NOT condone calling a lady out of her name -ANOTHER FAIL on the parents behalf. Surely there must be a medium. Present in her life in without making her feel like garbage.

  2. You are so right. Sharing this on facebook.

  3. Thank you so much for writing about this. As a Black young lady who was spanked growing up, I watched this clip in absolute shock. It hurt and enraged me. There are so many things to evaluate. How did the family get to this point? The fact that the family saw it fit to call her a “hoe” or “bitch” is terrible. My parents did spank me, but they never called me out of my name. They knew that as a black woman, I’d receive enough of that in the world. Instead, they built up my esteem, but corrected me when I was wrong. What is she to expect from the world, if this is what she hears from her own mother?

    I also think that at a certain age, it is inappropriate for a man (father, uncle, etc.) to place his hands on a young lady. As you stated, Ms. Lucas, what is this young woman to expect from men if her own father beats her like that?

    Also, I am completely against this new wave of parents publicly humiliating their children via social media. These parents are bullying their children, in hopes that they’ll do right. What a disdain this will leave in the hearts of children who experience this abuse, from what is, supposed to be, their support group.

    I understand disciplining your child, but this is abuse.

    • Understand that this young lady had been missing for 3 days can u
      Understand what must have been going threw her parents
      Minds, these days our children are under the assumption that it is beyond a parent rights to discipline them, that they hold all the cards.
      It is in my opinion that this young ladies parents had the right to whip that tail, not a lot of fathers would have bothered to take the time to discipline their children let alone to even be around to do so.
      Now I will say that I do not approve of parents men women anyone calling a child young woman or any woman a Bitch or a Whore, this young lady was clearly out of line would you have her parents not say or do anything to drive home the point that they would not have that kind of behavior from their child remember that her parents are not your parent children have to be handled individually some kids you can sit down & reason with others it take
      More extreme methods.
      Understand that her parents did what they thought was best for that situation with that child some parents do nothing.
      At least they did something.

      V Casey

      • Ellie says:

        If this is what you thought to do when you found your child you don’t need one. If hugging them talking to them and celebrating the fact they were okay wasn’t your first instinct ….give your child away. Get a plant.

  4. Quay says:

    Damn B, you are so right. I saw the title of this video on Facebook and didn’t even have to watch it to know what was up. The fact that people “applaud” this behavior is astonishing and tells the true tale about just how backwards many disciplinary methods in the black community (and the world in general) truly are. This child needs therapy and her father needs to be in several sessions as well. And you are right Demetria, her running away demonstrates a whole lot more than just a “fast” girl. She’s hurting about something and home isn’t the healing place for her–so obviously proven by this terrible video.

    Also, parents better understand and never take it lightly that as “young” as their kids are—they understand a whole lot more than they communicate. Kids don’t forget things and move on as easily as so many adults believe they do. As adults even, we all maintain a few (if not all) thought patterns and beliefs about things that somehow stem from childhood. Impressions will get made upon children whether you mean to or not–so you’d better make sure you’re making the RIGHT impressions that will rear the RIGHT changes in your child. This video, unfortunately, is not it.

  5. Kassie says:

    I’m a little disappointed, Belle, in your assessment on why the girl was dressing the way she was. As a woman who has identified with feminist ideologies in the past, it’s disheartening to see you say she was dressing that way because of low self esteem or the such. That’s shaming and presumptuous. You started to touch on it, but at 16, she’s at that age of self discovery. That’s when everyone, all of us, started to feel ourselves out. And in our very sexual world, part of that is coming to term with our own sexuality and how we wish to express it. And, again as you touched on, her feeling out her own style. I mean, who can say they had the same style sense at 16 as they do in their 20s and 30s. As you grow up, you start to come more and more into your own and realize what is more comfortable for your own personal image that reflects your maturity a bit more.

    I’m not saying parents should let their daughters dress in next to nothing, but assuming that a young girl in a “scantily clad” outfit (which in my opinion is just a very fashionable outfit most youth my age and younger would wear) has a low self esteem or confidence and is doing it simply for the attention of others is very presumptuous since we know nothing about her other than how she’s dressed, that she disappeared for a few days, and is being abused for it. A woman can walk around in nothing but a thong and have more confidence than a woman who dresses “modestly.” And vise versa; confidence and self esteem cannot be determined by what a woman wears and it’s misogynistic and shaming to insinuate otherwise.

    With that said, you’re 100% right that spanking isn’t going to stop a kid from running away again. In fact, it may just make the next disappearance go on for an even longer amount of time. Next time, it might be a week or a month instead of three days. Too many Black parents treat kids as problems that need to be beaten into submission instead of human beings (and adults-in-training) that need to be guided into responsible, self-sufficient adults. They order instead of teach. Demand obedience without explanation and then wonder why our children are so “lost,” and unsure in life.

    For a child to run away from home, that would often mean that there is something going on in the home that they cannot stand. From an emotionally abusive household myself, I have never ran away. Instead, I took my anger and frustration from my home life out on my body with self harm and eating disorders. Other kids will run away. My brother, raised in the same abusive household, spends his time outside the house. And while he never “ran away,” he will often disappear with his friends on trips for days with little word to our mother. He’s doing the closest thing to running away as he can without actually running away; spending a lot of time away from home with school, work, and friends.

    So for a child to actually get so fed up that they just run away, especially for three days without word to their parents and knowing that their parents probably would beat them once they got home (as you mentioned, Belle, her response to the beating suggests that this wasn’t the first or only time she’s been beaten by him like this)? I think there is something horrendous going on in that household. And until that gets taken care of it, all he’s doing is hurting his child, showing her that she can never turn to him when she’s in trouble, and sets the bar for how other men are allowed to treat her which could lead to abusive relationships in the future. Spankings/beatings don’t do anything for our youth, and seeing so many people applauding this man is just disturbing. If there is anything wrong with our youth, it’s that no one cares about their thoughts and feelings and are too busy demanding parents beat them into submission in lieu of raising self-assured and confident adults.

    • belle says:

      She’s 13. Not 16.

      And given that her dad drags her by the hair and some woman, maybe her mother, is in the background calling her a “bitch” and a “ho”, I doubt her self-esteem is high.

      The outfit is inappropriate for 13, or even 16 .

      • Gloria says:

        Completely and totally agree 100 percent with you on this one Ms. Belle; the dress is clearly inappropriate for a 16 year old, let alone a 13 year old. I understand the frustration the father had when she has been gone for 3 days with I’m assuming no word; it is scary. Trying to raise a daughter to be more than just eye candy and what is portrayed in a lot of media is difficult, but the situation could have been handled differently, and these parents will never see positive results if their reactions are like this. I agree, this is clearly not the first time this little girl has been spoken to in that manner and beat in such a way. Not only did that seem embarrassing for her as they are screaming “ho” and “bitch” at her, but they should be embarrassed for themselves. Not only do they look foolish with their actions in public, they are screaming to her they are going to put it on FB…clearly you do not want your daughter to be home because potentially the little girl can be taken from that home for this type of RECORDED public abuse.

        I got whooped as a child and I did a lot of things my parents didn’t appreciate, far worse than being scantily clad at a young age and never once did my mother or father BEAT me like that. There is a difference between discipline and abuse, personally this crossed the line to abuse for me. I can not tell someone what to do in their own home, but I do not think this will make that girl stay in this situation. Exactly like Belle said, if some one feels like they are being treated better in one situation over another, they will most likely good back to where they feel comfortable.

        He was dragging that little girl by the hair, in the street, while some woman potentially her mother yells obscenities at her… that is not going to change the behavior, and now she probably has resentment toward them, if she didn’t already.

        The few spankings or any type of discipline I received in front of others only let me know that my parents had a certain level of respect I needed to hold myself to and that they would not tolerate certain things. I gained respect for myself and others. Those were also things I never did again when I was disciplined for them. Not everyone is raised the same or hold themselves to the same standards. No one knows what this young lady goes through with people like that in her life, I personally hope that things are not like this all the time for her

  6. AMarie83 says:

    Violence begets violence. I typically don’t watch tv because I don’t have time, single mother and all, but with the video phenome on facebook I have seen more fights than I have ever hoped too. Watching popular tv shows this week I have seen about 8 simulated killings, of innocent people, one of which was a child. Entertainment is one thing, but what this father did was his reality. I would like the world to not become immune to violence. War is dirty, painful, and scarring. No matter who you are, a part of you feels wrong, broken and beaten after a fight, physical or verbal. Even the fights that I have participated as a child/young adult are not worth it, I feel better when I am capable of not letting someone push to brink of insanity. I need the world to know that its not right, and you are responsible for your actions and the choices you make. Maturity allows you to fight with different ammunition, words, motivation, acceptance, forgiveness, and love. But this is taught, your animalistic reaction is to attack, but an evolved animal knows that one moment of violence is never the solution to any problem, it simply intensifies and sets the stage for war. As adults we have to step up and mediate, teach our kids how to express themselves and give them the avenue to feel comfortable in doing so. This is ridiculous, we can do better, we have too!

  7. Jillian M. says:

    The young teenage girl, by the way she was dressed, was obviously searching for something that nobody knows about except her. What I mean by that is she is expressing herself in such a way that she may want some sense of relief or acceptance. There is a reason she ran away for three days (as Belle pointed out) so she may need to figure it out on her own or go into therapy. The abuse and the insults was not the way to address this situation. The father and the adult female exacerbated the situation rather than remedying it.

  8. Quay says:

    I agree with B. That outfit is just NOT (and I’m speaking as a young women here, 22, who did TONS of experimentation with fashion, was a fashion student and still experiments with my style as most women into clothes do) her simply “feeling out her own style”. In fact—that’s not even the trending fashions of this generation’s youth. A tight skirt, bra and simple shoes isn’t exactly a new trend of the youth. It’s what people have been wearing for years and years. She isn’t experimenting with Dr. Martens or wearing transparent rain boots here or wearing those little book bags on her back that kids these days are sporting. She’s scantily clad in a club outfit in the daylight. That hardly represents her following trends or experimenting with new fashion.

    • Kassie says:

      I disagree about the part regarding fashion. It’s a typical fashionable outfit for a party/clubbing scene. And I doubt she was walking around or trying to leave the house in that to spend the entire day in that outfit. She likely came back from a night of partying. And while I agree that it’s very inappropriate for a 13 year old (and maybe even a 16 year old), that’s still the age girls start feeling themselves out. And if she’s in a party scene (which with her disappearing for days/running away, I would think she probably does party a bit), that sort of outfit is typical for girls going out. Especially older ones (what 13 year old parties? She was likely out with 15-17 year olds, maybe even older) who she would likely be emulating.

      I just don’t like the association with scantily clad outfits as the determining factor on her self esteem or self worth. No matter the age. Because 13-20 ish is the age most girls and young women are feeling themselves out. Exploring looks, etc. I’m 22 as well, and remember being 13. And I wore some short skirts that I would roll up even shorter once I got to school and showed off my chest, the likes. So to me, the way to handle her outfit is to, as someone else commented, have a good, open line of communication. Not shaming her, or even (in the name of helping/sticking up for her) tell her that the way she’s dressing inherently means she’s insecure or has no self respect.

      I feel like it would be one thing if it was her outfit in combination with the beating and the horrible things you hear these people calling her in public no less that made you come to the conclusion that she has no/low self esteem. Not JUST her outfit.

  9. I only scanned quickly over comments, but I think part of the story here also lies within the larger society and how young women of ALL ethnicities carry themselves today.

    Am I the only one who feels that the Disney darlings dress WAY way way too provocative? I mean…at this point I can only see the still of what she is wearing above (and an aside, as a parent of a 17 year old daughter, I get his fear, but do not condone ever reacting or carrying out discipline in rage…) I digress…beyond finding herself or having potential low self-esteem (which, I tend to agree with) part of her actions might be symptomatic of the status quo…?

  10. KL says:

    Belle your post was right on the money. These parents have been highly successful in teaching this girl:
    * how to take a beating from a man
    * it’s ok for a man to say he loves you drags you by your hair
    * how to be publicly humiliated
    * how bitches and hoe’s get treated

    Teenagers are a GIANT pain in the ass. I know because I live with one. Living with them in a never ending lesson in patience and faith. When they act out it becomes a teachable moment for the entire family. These parents, sadly, have failed.

    I feel sorry for them and for this girl. My greatest hope for her is that she is able to create a loving/healing situation for herself despite the fact that her parents (it seems) have offered her no road map on how.

  11. TAWN says:

    I believe that this family needs to learn how to communicate because if it was communication in the family the young lady wouldn’t be out like this. When you communicate with your children starting when they are little they already know what is ok to do and what is not. She is asking for some love and attention from home.obviously these parents never received it and so they have no idea how to give it. I hope someone see this and offer free family counseling this is what is truly needed.This could have been a good time to just take her hold her and ask her what is wrong, is something going on. My children are 17 and 21 . I still hug and kiss them that is so important that they feel that they can be safe at home and feel loved. Because the world will beat you enough.

  12. nikkiesback1 says:

    I think we are losing sight of whats real here the father most likely believes he is ” old school” and doing what parents of tested years did. The people who think he is being to hard they belief we can talk to our children. Well I think we need to get back to raising productive adults.

  13. Mimi says:

    This was abosolutdly on of the most humiliating, demoralizing, and painful things I have witnessed. I actually didn’t watch the entire clip and immediately hid it on my timeline. I just didn’t want that uglieness within my sphere.

    One of the most disturbing things was the language, and I have to say that this seemed to take on an ugly sexually violent vibe. The ‘father’ seemed more like an angry pimp.. I did not understand why it was posted and who was taking pleasure in watching the beating of this young woman. Why was he not arrested? Why is it still ok to publically whip black women? Why are we doing it to ourselves? And who hurt this mother to the point where she would encourage, allow, and deem these action regarding her daughter appropriate?

    • Gloria says:

      I almost feel like that is the same type of behavior the woman who was yelling at her probably exhibited at a young age. Someone said “violence begets violence” … this is a never ending story. A cycle that looks like it will continue in this girls life. KL made a point about the things that it seemed to be teaching that little girl and women in general, love is public humiliation and being beat by people who supposedly care for you. If that is the way the parents show their care and love, I don’t blame that girl for leaving.

  14. meldowney says:

    To be honest, this is exactly what my father would have done to me, and have done to one of my other sisters. You have to understand that the father was more than likely terrified of not knowing her his daughter was and then to find HIS 13 yr old baby dressed like a seasoned street walker had to have been hurtful to him. This video tells me that here is a father wanting to save his daughter from the streets, a father that loves his baby very much.
    Now the woman on the tape is disgusting, one should never call a child a bitch or a hoe. The fact the she tape the incident was foul on the woman’s part and it should have been dealt with privately (though I know that the father whooped the child on the spot).
    Abuse no, an extreme punishment for an extreme action yes.

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