Classic nonviolence is far from passive. It is smartly aggressive. To get under their oppressors’ skin, civil rights and social reform leaders have had to be psychologically astute. (“What will get their goats them this time?”). And, apparently, thinking that way works. A growing body of research suggests that nonviolence is more effective than violence.
Since 1997 studies have consistently shown that spanking doesn’t have much of a positive effect on behavior. Meanwhile, it can harm parent-child communication and can lead a child into patterns of anxiety and aggression. So why do so many of us do it? What "no harm" and "good for them in the long run" myths have we bought into?
When Ray Rice’s wife Janay publicly stood by her man, web chatter proclaimed her not a victim but a gold digger. But blows to the head like the one she suffered are typical of the abuse battered women take. Do brain injuries leave women too neurologically fragile to take back their lives?
Two linked stories, one of the hysteria epidemic in Europe in the late 1800s, and the other of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis of his own daughter, offer a history of and a few lessons about gay conversion therapy.