I downloaded a sample on kindle yesterday of the book Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children
Book by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl. I have been trying to find a book like this for a while now. As the title says it's about prejudice against children. The author argues that prejudice exists against children as a group and that it is comparable to racism, sexism, and homophobia.
I was pleasantly surprised to read the book. I felt like I was reading a book written by myself because I have thought a lot what she says in the book or at least what I have read till now, like the fact that almost no one talks about it. No one thinks about the similarity between the excuses people give for treating other victims of prejudice with the excuses people give for treating children the way they do.
They certainly don't have any rights to freedom of speech or thought that are human rights but no one thinks they apply to children.
Another thing she said in the book was the way we think of children is like wild animals that need to be tamed to become useful possessions. True we do treat them like possessions, albeit unconciously, just like her statement demonstrates we treat animals. I was surprised it didn't occur to her that she was implying that animals are obviously possessions and unlike children. We really don't see how prejudiced we are against someone, do we?
I recently also heard that people whose slaves showed signs of wanting freedom were considered to be suffering from Drapetomania (because obviously it's not normal to want freedom). This is kind of like telling children to sit still all day in school or doing homework (studying things they probably aren't interested in) and then when they get restless they have ADHD. Who wouldn't get restless if they were made to still doing stuff they don't want to do. We also tell them there is something wrong with them if they don't want to do what you tell them to do, are angry, sad or "acting up". This is just us telling them that they shouldn't feel stuff when we are not ready to understand or empathize with it because it's inconvenient for us. Boy's don't cry! What a cry baby! We feel uncomfortable instead of empathising when someone is sad. We block their emotions when we could connect. Like anyone telling you not to cry, get angry, sad has ever worked. It only makes you more angry. And yet we do it all the time. And not just to kids.