Friday, May 07, 2010

Kinderfreundlich: Socially sanctioned child abuse

They say that a language’s words reveals the citizens social mores, and it’s true!

In Germany they have a specific word for being nasty to children!

The German word "Kinderfreundlich", literally means, "unfriendly to children”, and Newsweek says that it’s a huge problem.

This Newsweek article is chilling:

“My first memory of Bonn is of a woman in a fur coat knocking over my 3-year-old son-who'd gotten in her way-- without even a backward glance, let alone an apology.

Neighbors may call the police when children play outdoors on Sunday, a sacred "quiet day."

Or take your preschooler to a bookstore. He asks to buy a comic, and the saleswoman tells him to shush-and tells you, "Can't you control your offspring?"

Der Spiegel, a German newsweekly, recently reported that as many as 400,000 children are "severely abused" each year.

The German federation for the protection of children puts the figure closer to a million. "It's a scandal," said youth minister Angela Merkel recently.

"We Germans treat house pets better than children."

Kinderunfreundlichkeit shows up as intolerance or neglect: parent who lock their kids out of the house for misbehavior or shop clerks will ignore a child trying to buy something.

The closest thing we have in America to this is the "child mullet", a serious form of Redneck Child Abuse: