Friday, June 21, 2013

Welcome to the 15th Century!

(Trigger Warning: Domestic Abuse)

Just when you thought the religious right couldn't get any more retrograde, this shows up:


And yes, this is exactly what you're afraid it might be, a new movement in which "Christian" men are encouraged to physically "discipline" their wives. It's called "Christian Domestic Discipline" and it's basically a way for domestic abusers to convince themselves that they're doing God's work.

This is an excerpt from an article on some weirdo website called "Black Christian News Network One" :

'Christian Domestic Discipline' - Is This Really a 'Christian' Form of "Fifty Shades of Grey" or Domestic Abuse?

On a pain scale of one to 10, Chelsea ranks the epidural-free birth of her child as a six. Her husband's spankings? Those are an eight.

Now any normal person would move out, call the police, and/or shoot the bastard in the crotch herself, but not "Chelsea!"
But this isn't domestic abuse, Chelsea says. This is for Jesus.

Oh hell no! You're not pinning this on me!
Chelsea and her husband Clint, who asked that I use only their first names, belong to a small subculture of religious couples who practice "Christian Domestic Discipline," a lifestyle that calls for a wife to be completely submissive to her husband. Referred to as CDD by its followers, the practice often includes spanking and other types corporal punishments administered by husbands--and ostensibly ordained by God. While the private nature of the discipline makes it difficult to estimate the number of adherents, activity in several online forums suggests a figure in the low thousands.

Thousands?!?! There are THOUSANDS of these sick, dysfunctional relationships out there? This is un-god-damn-believable!

Clint was in the room while I talked to Chelsea. They do everything together, including running their blog, Learning DD, which chronicles their exploration of domestic discipline. When Chelsea gets flummoxed by a question, she asks Clint for guidance in a voice so high-pitched that it belies her 28 years: "Honey, how long does the spanking usually last?" (About 5 minutes, Clint says.)

Okay, I'm a little ashamed to admit that I learned this from Dr. Drew, but from what I understand, when a grown woman has a voice like a child, that indicates some childhood trauma. If she sounds like a 6-year-old, the trauma happened when she was around 6 years old. If she sounds 12, the trauma occurred around age 12, etc. Think of any woman you know with a little girl voice. I guarantee you there was some trauma in her childhood. It might be as seemingly minor as her parents divorcing or it might be as horrific as sexual abuse, but something went horribly wrong in this woman's childhood. Which would explain why she finds herself attracted to abusive men and probably even feels as if she deserves the abuse. And now some religious scumbags have found a way to exploit her self-loathing in the name of God. Wonderful!

When a wife breaks her husband's rules--rolling her eyes, maybe, or just feeling "meh," as one blogger put it--that can equal punishments which are often corporal but can also be "corner time"; writing lines (think "I will not disobey my master" 1,000 times); losing a privilege like internet access; or being "humbled" by some sort of nude humiliation

Nude humiliation. Shoulda seen that one coming. This has nothing to do with religious belief, this is just some sick pseudo-consensual S&M fetish being justified with some weird Biblical veneer. I understand that there are couples who are into S&M, and as long as both parties are into it and everyone involved is a consenting adult, then what the hell, have at it. But that doesn't seem like what's going on here. This seems like the type of situation where the husband is abusive and both he and the wife have found some way to rationalize the abuse so that he can feel like he's not an evil bag of scum and she can feel like she's not really a victim of abuse and that this is really just a type of love. The highest form of "godly" love.

 Some practice "maintenance spanking," wherein good girls are slapped on a schedule to remind them who's boss; some don't. Some couples keep the lifestyle from their children; others, like CDD blogger Stormy, don't. "Not only does he spank me with no questions asked for disrespect or attitude in front of them, but I am also required to make an apology to each of them," she writes.

I just. . . I don't even know what to say to something so horrific. Other than that someone needs to call CPS and have these children removed from this home. "Stormy" is an adult, if her particular pathology causes her to want to stay in this fucked-up situation, that's her choice, but how the fuck do allow your children to be involved in the ritual humiliation of their own mother?

And it does really seem like maybe at least some of these women are into it, maybe because they've been brainwashed, or maybe because they have terrible self-esteem issues, I don't know. But there are "DD" blogs (Domestic Discipline) with posts like this:

(Warning, decent human beings will probably find this disturbing)

January 25, 2008

Or this one, published in the "Doubts and Difficulties" section:

Spanks Too Hard?

Dear Group,
. . .I *think* he spanks very hard.  When it's punishment, it's always bare bottom with a wooden paddle. . .  But bare-bottom hurts so much more that I can't stand it.  I am always sobbing by the time it's over and feel very sick.  Yet compared to what some other ladies say they get I don't think it's too much.  I never have bruises, just a very sore red bottom for a few hours, which he says is not too much.  He says I'm a grown woman and my butt can take a lot and that if he just gave me a few "paddy cakes" I wouldn't learn anything.  In a way I think he's right, but I know I don't want it.

We have talked about and prayed about it, and he says it's because I haven't really submitted to his judgment.  That he would never really hurt me, but that we decided together before we were married that spanking would be something that was used, and now it's my duty to submit to it.  But all I know is that I have come to hate this, yet I want him to be happy and I really do feel that I did agree and promise before God to obey him.  He's agreed to consider using other discipline too, like writing lines, but when he assigned something like that to me lately, I felt so resentful, I just hated it.   He grounded me recently from the computer, and I couldn't wait to sneak on as soon as he went to work.  When he got home I lied about that too. 
I think really he's right.  I don't want to submit. I know that if we didn't have this relationship, I would NOT feel this resentful towards him.  If I could just say ( like some of my friends do) "Hey I got another speeding ticket.  Oh well."  and that's the end, it would be fine. 
I never should have agreed to any arrangement where I was expected to submit, but I do love him and don't want a divorce!  Help, what do I do?

Which "Emma" answered:

Might I suggest that you're narrowing your focus too much? You seem to be just focusing on the spanking, without looking at the big picture of what your husband is trying to do for you through loving discipline. As a godly man, he has seen you err and loves you enough to correct you for that error. It's not easy for a man to see his wife kicking and crying in distress, knowing he is the cause of her pain. And yet he is doing that because he loves you. Afterwards, you are unlikely to repeat the offense, and doesn't that reticence make you a better person? --Posted by: Emma

I can't read anymore of this. It's just too awful. If you want to read more about this sickening phenomenon, there's a good article on JEZEBEL.