I was talking to a trusted confidant recently about being spanked as a kid. I don't mean the occasional swat. I mean on the reg punishment, skirt hiked up, panties pulled down, full-on hit on the bottom with a ping pong paddle, a belt, a wooden spoon, a hand--hit and hit and hit until my father or mother deemed the penalty was sufficient. I wasn't allowed to cry, either, to "beller," as my father put it. Afterward, whoever had dealt the beating would read me bible verses and tell me they loved me, and then I'd cry. I felt so humiliated and ashamed and angry.
Spanking has been the topic du jour in the media the past few days, with a football player in trouble for beating his four-year-old kid (article on WaPo). That led me to bell hooks on Justice: Childhood Love Lessons.
And to this: why you should never.
Even the New Yorker weighed in.
So what about me, now? I don't know what it all means, exactly.
Except as my confidant put it, around here we call that abuse.