March 03, 2011
"Do not sit there and call her a bad mom cause that's not what she is."
Not being a parent, I am hesitant to judge other people's parenting skills. But an appalling news story I read earlier just gave me the creeps:
The story has attracted a great deal of attention, and a lot of concerned people are clearly facing challenges in resisting the temptation to be judgmental:
I'm going to stick my neck out and say that it doesn't seem that way to me either.
It's tough to see how this could have been either an accident or a suicide. Voluntarily or involuntarily, it would be difficult to fit the average three year old into an electric oven. Nor are small children prone to suicide; the youngest suicide I could find was age six. But suicide by self-roasting does not strike me as even theoretically possible in the scientific sense. I can't see how it would be possible under any circumstances for a kid to stuff himself into a hot oven, shut the door, and burn himself to death. And stuffing a live and kicking toddler into a kitchen oven would be nearly impossible. It seems highly likely that the child had to have have already been dead (or at least rendered unconscious when he was placed in there.
So, while I am not supposed to be judgmental, harsh as it sounds, I think that if the mom was home at the time, it is reasonable to suspect that at the very least, less than stellar parenting skills were involved. An autopsy can most likely determine whether he burned to death or was already dead, as well as whether the head injuries were post-mortem.
What annoys me the most about the sister's attitude is that it reflects a societal tendency not to blame people for anything, even their own actions. (As an example of what I see around here, when people steal electricity via illegal hookups which cause children to be burned to death, activists turn right around and blame the power company.)
While it's tough to find an externality to blame for a dead child in an oven, you can be sure that if the boy were found dead of a gunshot wound, guns and "the gun culture" that promotes the "easy availability" of firearms would be blamed.
It's tough to say that about a stove, isn't it?
I'm just glad to see that so far, no one has blamed the oven manufacturer, or the landlord. Much less the culture of "easy availablity of ovens." Or the Tea Party.
posted by Eric on 03.03.11 at 11:57 AM
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