Ear piercing of young children is cruel


A few days before we moved from College Place to Thailand I was in Walmart buying some batteries in the jewelry section.

As I looked at the various sizes of batteries, I noticed a mother, a little girl and the jewelry clerk nearby. At first I thought they were getting the girl fixed up so they could take her picture.

Suddenly the clerk aimed a gun at a small ear, there was a loud snap and the child cried out in pain. The mother held her daughter and cooed in her ear, “It’s all right, it’s all over” while the little girl sobbed.

Clearly it was not all right with her.

Not too far away from Thailand, where I now live, is China where, years ago, it was the practice to bind a young girls’ feet in order to keep them small. Many people condemned that practice. How is it that we sophisticated Americans condemn others for what we consider cruel treatment of girls in other parts of the world while condoning the practice of piercing a small girl’s ears?

One mother said, “My daughter is mine — I can decide to pierce my daughter’s ears if I want to.”

The fallacy of that reasoning becomes obvious if we carry that reasoning to its conclusion — it’s OK for her to slap or beat her daughter. Abuse is abuse, no matter who is doing it. Or how big or small the abuse is.

One parent said they gave their daughter a sucker to distract her from the pain. So does that mean it is only abuse if she’s not distracted — if she feels the pain?

Other people say they did the operation before the girl was old enough to remember the pain.

Does that mean it is only abuse if she remembers the pain?

Could someone please explain to me how ear piercing (of a young child) is not child abuse?

David Ekkens

Muak Lek, Thailand


barracuda 1 year, 10 months ago

Using this same logic... What is your views on a boys circumcision?


PearlY 1 year, 10 months ago

To equate ear-piercings to Chinese foot-binding is like equating the needle-prick of a vaccination with a limb amputation.

If it makes you feel better, the little girl may have started crying just as readily out of surprise at the piercing device going off right by her ear, as out of pain. I wouldn't put earrings in a young child's ears because it's too easy for them to get caught on things, but it's a far cry from child abuse.


Use.Wisdom 1 year, 10 months ago

I am against ear piercing of young children because I think it isn't a decision parents should make. I think this decision belongs with the child to make when they are old enough to weigh the ramifications.

That said -- to equate ear piercing with foot binding or child abuse? Not even close.

I hope your time in Thailand will bring tolerance and perspective to your views.


dou1t2 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm with Barracuda, are you or not and how do you relate it to what you've said so far. The fact that it has been over a day, since you have responded, I think you're at a loss for words! and circumsised.


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