In the Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors' Award 2003, this very smart caning machine for schools won a commendation award for its inventor, Tan Song Koy of Yuying Secondary School. The entries in this annual competition are entirely serious and useful gadgets. This one was up against a cockroach catcher and an improved helmet for cyclists, among other things. Its aim is "to deliver even and consistent caning strikes to all offenders".
Song Koy had witnessed the punishment of six boys at his school, and felt it was "unfair when his friend, being the first to be caned, received the hardest strikes ... The discipline master (DM) was tired by the time he caned the last offenders, therefore his strike is lighter in comparison". (This is, in part, the argument put forward by Jeremy Bentham in the 18th century in the quote at the beginning of this article.)
The offender stands on the yellow platform with his front against the red pad, and bends over the pillar, grasping the red handles low down on the other side. In so doing, he presents the tautened seat of his pants to the cane, which is on a spring and which strikes when a catch is released, unfortunately not clearly shown in the pictures. The machine folds up when not in use, and has two wheels at the base enabling it to be pulled easily from one classroom to the next.
There is no word on whether the machine was ever put to actual use, but anecdotal reports from the school where it was designed and built are of traditional canings by a human DM. I am pretty sure that in practice it would be very difficult to get a machine to replicate the accuracy, power and timing (and especially that crucial flick of the wrist at the last moment) of a skilled discipline master, such as is employed by most secondary schools in Singapore. An easier way, perhaps, to solve the problem identified by Song Koy would be not to punish six students all at one go, but instead to give the DM a 10-minute break between canings.
Raised In Fear
Exploitation and sexual violence against women is a plague terrorizing women as it becomes more acceptable every day. Young women are taught to cover up and be on guard from a young age as it would be their fault for triggering an attack on themselves by being “too exposed” or “too flirtatious.” Everyday sexual violence is glorified in the media and vulgar acts towards women are praised on television and in movies leaving the world in a state that can only be described as a “rape culture.”
Rape culture is teaching young men that it’s okay to dehumanize women and conquer them without consequence. Not only are rape victims becoming more abundant, the victims and their attackers are becoming younger. Most of these young men aren’t creepy outcasts but they are the charming, athletic stars. All too often charges are dropped because no one is fighting for the victim, such as the Montclair case where the prosecution suddenly dropped all charges against the two attackers (Gettleman). This especially dangerous because when there is no consequence the attackers continue raping and assaulting and often become more violent.
Many people will argue more particularly in a younger attacker’s defense that they have their whole life ahead of them and so much potential. The gaping double- standard comes into play as the attackers are defended, but their victims are told by respected adults, friends, peers, even the police that they are at fault for being promiscuous and bringing the attack upon themselves. They are scrutinized, called vile names, and bullied to recant if they do speak out about the despicable acts that were carried out on them.
Even with the abundance of survivors speaking out and thousands participating in walks to stand against sexual violence with the statistics that 1 in 3 women are victims of sexual violence and 600 women in the United States alone are raped every day, a plenty of people still say that “rape culture” against women doesn’t exist. They claim that it is a false feminist outcry, however their ignorance is the reason 40% of rapes aren’t even reported as they put the blame on the victim.
This sexually violent culture needs to be eradicated. Instead of teaching young women to always be on the defense, young men should be taught that conquering and dehumanizing is wrong. No means no under any circumstance needs to be enforced. Once everyone takes a stand and stops trying to cover up the problem by supporting victims and punishing attackers, the world will be safer for everyone. Little girls should never be raised to live in fear of sexual assault.