Nanny state? A letter to the Editor of The Herald,
By Jordan Riak,, October 13, 2007


Your editorial, "Government hell-bent on creating a nanny state," confirms what hardly needs confirmation: true social progress is inevitability accompanied by grumbling.

The prospect that South Africa may close child beaters' legal loophole is welcome news. Only last month, Portugal extended the normal protection against assault and battery to persons of tender age, and shortly before that, New Zealand did likewise, and before that, the Netherlands. Now South Africa is poised to become the 21st nation to join the growing list of countries that protect children.

But there's the inevitable grumbling.

Critics of the reform are attempting to raise alarmist concerns about governmental overreaching. That same last-ditch argument was made not many years ago by wife beaters and perpetrators of marital rape who warned against governmental intrusion into the private sphere of marriage. They railed against the roughshod trampling of husbands' traditional rights, of the tossing out of wives' sacred marriage vow to "honor and obey," and the filling of the prisons with good, honest, decent, loving husbands who only gave their wives a gentle pop on the ear when the toast got burned. It's hard for me to believe any serious reader with a little knowledge of recent history would fail to see through such flimsy arguments in defense of the status quo.

Jordan Riak, Exec. Dir.
Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE)

See EDITORIAL: Government hell-bent on creating a nanny state, The Herald online (South Africa), October 12, 2007


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