A Georgia woman used her daughter’s Facebook Live to broadcast herself beating the 16-year-old girl, who was being punished for engaging in sex.
According to The Washington Post, Shanavia Miller found out that her daughter, Nia Green,posted a photo of her towel-clad boyfriend on the social media site. Miller assumed the photo was taken in her home, but Green later confirmed on Facebook that she took the picture at the boy’s house.
In the video, which lasts over five minutes, Miller can be seen striking her daughter several times with her hand, sometimes with a switch. At one point she calls her child a “thot.”
“This is my page now,” Miller said near the end. “Now I’m gonna need y’all to send this viral. Please share this because I’m not done. More to come.”
The video was also posted on YouTube and has over 93,000 views. Since then, a spokeswoman from the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department told The Post that Miller could face charges. Multiple people forwarded the video to the SPD, urging law enforcement to open an investigation. The video’s reception is emblematic of a larger narrative regarding how Black families discipline their children, harkening back to the old adage, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”
But it hits at a larger conversation about how we police young girls in terms of expressing their sexuality versus young men. While I do think sixteen is young for sexual exploration because of the emotional vulnerability it opens up between two willing participants at any age, there’s something more to explore.
I couldn’t help but think of the boy involved. How did his parents react if/when they found out about the picture and the video that followed? Will there be a public lashing? It leads me to a phrase my mom uses regarding her upbringing: “Mothers love their sons, but raise their daughters.”
My mother is the oldest of three children, and though she holds the highest regard for my grandmother, she often speaks on the differences between how she was raised compared to how my uncle, her younger brother, was brought up.
Parents are generally concerned with ensuring their female children are protected from exploring their sexuality. Women from a young age are reared to protect their virginity for their husbands, or a “special someone,” while male children are taught that the world is their oyster – insinuating it’s fine to pursue as many sexual opportunities as possible.
This frame of thinking is embedded within several cultures and religions, sometimes causing a total opposite effect in how women and men deal with their sexuality and the public discourse surrounding a sexually, self-determined woman and a sexual, sovereign man.
Miller thought she was protecting her daughter from the outside world, but by exposing her punishment publicly, she may have caused more damage than she knows.