Friday, January 14, 2005

To whack or not to whack? And with what?

My friend Amber has a post about a product called the The Rod, a nylon whip designed to be used for corporal punishment, and a link to a discussion about the subject in general. An interesting subject, especially considering that corporal punishment is now banned in two European countries and seems to be generally on the wane elsewhere.

I confess I've never given the subject much thought. I have only one memory of being spanked, by my mother with a spoon, and it doesn't even register on my list of complaints about the way my parents brought me and my sister up (it's a reasonably short and unexceptional list...they did a good job).

So it should hardly come as a surprise that I'm mildly in favor of corporal punishment, if done correctly; it should be reserved for severe misbehavior, and never none in the heat of the moment. I'd be inlcined to send the kid to his or her room first, with instructions to come out in 15 minutes for a spanking; that'll give me time to cool down, and the kid time to stew.

That being said, I'd never use The Rod, and would find it hard to sympthize with someone who did. There is something sadistic--if only slightly--about an object being designed and purchased specifically for the purpose of causing another person pain. The fact that the manufacturer claims to have ceased production because he's having trouble procurring the padded grips is...well, you draw your own conclusions.

Speaking of padded grips, I'm inclined to disagree with Dobson's belief that--when spanking is merited--one should always use an inanimate object, reserving the hand for love. If I ever spank my kid, I'd only do it with my hand, so that a) I'll know exactly how hard I'm hitting and b) it'll make the experience that much more unpleasant for me.

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