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The Father Factor


‘Eagle Daddy’ Should Change His Name To ‘Bad Daddy’

Earlier this week, I came across a news item that I am still trying to process days later. A four-year old boy Chinese boy by the name of Ho Yide was videotaped by his father (only known as ‘eagle daddy’) as the child shivered in freezing temperatures in his underwear on Chinese New Year’s Eve. I defy anyone to look at young Ho’s face and not feel sadness for the boy.

The eagle daddy’s assistant referred to this cruel treatment as “training” for the boy as the father claimed was born several months prematurely. Eagle Daddy says he’s making Ho endure these trials in order to build up his physical and mental toughness. To make matters worse, Ho’s mother can be heard laughing in the background as he cries out from doing push-ups in the cold.

To the father, you should be ashamed of yourself. Not only are you crushing your boy’s emotional spirits, you also put him at risk for hypothermia and other illnesses as well. What father would take pride in toughening up their son by making them crawl around on a snow-covered New York street? Even on its cleanest day, no child should be walking on a city street without shoes and socks, no matter the weather. Take into account vermin and trash and whatever else hidden under the snow, it just makes the instance more heinous.

Eagle Daddy seems to care less what the outside world thinks. He’s already relayed a defiant message via his assistant that he ‘doesn’t care what others say.’ As his father, he has a right to voice to the public that what he does with his child is not our business. However, filming your son crying in the cold as part of a regimen to improve the child’s heath makes Eagle Daddy an unfit father.

I happen to think Eagle Daddy is a bad daddy. This is my opinion and one I’m sticking to although I doubt few will disagree with that assertion. This is not fathering, this is pure physical torture. Looking at the body of evidence, what of Ho Yide’s despair caught on tape displays the making of a good father? How does physical and mental abuse inspire greatness in a growing child?

I hope that the Eagle Daddy stops the abuse and realizes he’s doing far more harm than good. For now, I pray that Ho doesn’t grow into becoming a broken young man due to the cruel iron hand of his father. Ho Yide deserves better treatment from his father. It is truly too bad his daddy doesn’t see the error in his actions.

Penn State Taking Positive Action on Child Sexual Abuse

On Tuesday, Roland wrote this post on the Penn State sex abuse scandal. In it, he asked what Penn State will do to address the sexual abuse of boys on their campus and elsewhere.

We are glad to report that Penn State is taking some early action. Tonight, they are hosting a live, call-in radio program to address child sexual abuse.

We applaud Penn State for taking this action. As they say in the announcement, the sexual abuse of children is underreported and more needs to be done about it.

However, a word of caution about the approach that Penn State appears to be taking. Let's be clear that these were boys who were being abused, not "children" generically. And, as Roland mentioned in his blog post, there are several special circumstances surrounding the abuse of boys (it is even more underreported and understudied than the abuse of girls, and there appear to be more complex and damaging consequences for abused boys than for abused girls).

When conversations about sexual abuse start to drift into the territory of "children," they inevitably refocus on girls and women. Indeed, notice that the experts who will be on hand to field calls from parents are from the Centre County Women’s Resource Center (not children's, let alone boys, resource center).

Again, we are not trying to minimize the severity of the abuse of anyone: woman, man, boy, or girl. But we are trying to keep this conversation focused on boys, the future fathers of our children, who often have no voice.

So, while Penn State is off to a good start with this radio program, we hope that future efforts will be more focused on what actually happened on their campus - the systematic rape and abuse of boys, an underserved group that needs more help than they are currently getting.

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