While I was cleaning the kitchen this afternoon and waiting for lunch to heat up (grilled pepper jack cheese and tomato on sprouted grain) it occurred to me what, exactly, has bugged me about the institution of spanking children. And I nearly lost my appetite.
Back in the 1920s, 1930’s, and into the 1950’s my grandfather wrote pediatric advice books as well as columns in various parenting magazines. Although a lot of what he said sounds a little, um, quaint to us today he was fiercely progressive. He was a passionate supporter of the La Leche League, endorsed eating healthy whole foods for health, he was opposed to routine male circumcision, and (the point) he really bucked the trend by rejecting spanking and other forms of corporal punishment for children. He never spanked any of his children, and while I remember my mom or dad spanking me once or twice when I was very young it must not have worked because they’d stopped before was what would have been pre-school aged. And, continuing the theme, my partner nor I have ever spanked my children.
And, sorry, but having read maybe one too many adult posts, or articles, or having heard maybe one too many personal testimonials extolling spanking as sexual foreplay I’m… just not comfortable with the idea of spanking as corporal punishment for children. Sorry, I’m just not.
And I don’t want to hear that “it doesn’t really hurt them that much.” Uh, uh, if it doesn’t hurt but it affects them through some other mechanism what’s that mechanism? Conflicted feelings of erotic sensation imposed by custodial/authority figures maybe? Sheeah, that’s going to make me more accepting.
I mean, for crying out loud, I’m pretty sure if these people were, I dunno, pinching their children’s nipples or some other non-genital behavior associated with adult BDSM the offender would, appropriately, find him or herself first in jail and then on a sex offender registry. So why, exactly, do we stand idly by while unsupervised parents eroticize their children’s asses? (And what, exactly, is the motivation behind emphasizing “bare bottom” spanking anyway? I mean WTF?)
Sorry. Time out works great. Sitting on the stairs works great. Losing computer time works great. Loss of play-date privileges works great. Long-boring-grownups-talking-about-consequences works too. You want to spank somebody, though, save it for a consenting adult. Where it’s appropriate. M’kay?
Because spanking kids? Eww! It’s not just wrong, it’s sick and wrong. And it’s not just sick and wrong, the more I think about it the more it’s just (the wrong kind of) perverted.