Dueling: Is it really abuse?

So here I stand on the controversial side of what most people would probably think isn’t even a debate. Perhaps it’s because of the lack of information available, or the one sided style of the articles I’ve read on it, but something about this story really trips my bullshit-o-meter.

So, apparently there is this family of medieval battle reenactment enthusiasts. The daughter snuck out to a party without permission, so her father duels her for 2 hours until she collapsed of exhaustion.

To a normal person this sounds terrible. In fact, you are probably already classifying this in your mind to be the same as beating her with a stick. There are however a few details that I have to wonder about that may entirely change this from a horrible act of violence to perhaps something much more innocent.

The first is PPE. If you aren’t familiar with the term, it means Personal Protection Equipment. When my parents spanked me, they tended to use a stick, a spatula, or something. I did not get any padding, and it hurt. She was equipped with padded armor, and a helmet. She was wearing the appropriate gear to make this activity safe.

Second, is PPE again. Think about this; the news article indicates the COUPLE are enthusiasts but does not include the daughter in it, yet she has padded armor and a helmet in her size. If they have padded armor in her size; chances are she probably practices dueling and reenactment as well. Me and my friends used to duel without padding for FUN so it makes sense the duel would have to be a little more extreme to go from a fun time to an actual punishment.

Third, she had a sword of her own. He wasn’t just beating her with a stick as the article would have you believe; she was armed as well, and allowed to fight back. This is one of the smaller differences that makes a big impact on my opinion. In the case of abuse, the one doing the abuse dominates the victim and makes them feel helpless. Here, she is given a sword and is told to face him as more or less an equal.

Finally, the duel lasted for TWO HOURS. This causes most people to go “OMG TOO MUCH HOW HORRIBLE!” but I have to wonder how many of those people have done any activity for two straight hours other than watch TV. I want you to do a little experiment for me; lift your hand, ball your fist and hold it level for just one full minute. The fact that she COULD duel for 2 hours tells me 2 things

Number one, he was going easy on her. If he was pushing her to go all out, or attacking her all out, she would have been unable to hold her sword long before the 2 hours were up. Fighting is actually very tiring.

Number two, she is experienced at dueling. There is no way you can have me believe she’s never dueled in her life and could last for 2 hours straight. she would have collapsed MUCH sooner than the 2 hour mark.

So, this is how I see it going down; she’s going to be punished somehow, and he decides on a punishment that suits their lifestyle. Since they duel for fun, the punishment is she has to keep dueling until she can’t duel any longer. They wear proper protective gear and face evenly, with the mother to watch so that things don’t get out of hand.

Then, it just so happens that the one lady from the daycare sees this; and assumes it to be abuse, calls the police, and they all pressure the girl into calling it abuse.

There was also an allegation that the father punched her and then hit her with a tree branch before the duel. I have no idea if that is true; but I am again inclined to disbelieve it since everything else about this story has been blown way out of proportion.

America seems no longer to be the land of the free, and more the land of the nosy and judgemental. I hope the judge they get will see past the fact that the punishment is unusual and make a fair decision.

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