Spank Me Harder, Jesus!


Sexy nun smoking in garter belt pinup

Okay, okay, okay.  Okay, seriously, okay.  This week I swore on a stack of Shakespeares that the next essay would have absolutely nothing to do with the interplay between religion and feminism.  I've been working on a bunch of pieces that are totally unrelated to either of these things, and I swear they’re all nearly finished.  Finally, I thought, this will be the week the world learns that 1585 is not a one-trick pony that doesn’t know how to talk about anything besides religion and gender.

Then I fucked around on Craigslist and found out what “Taken-in-Hand Marriage” means.  So... here we go again, I guess?

For those who don’t know, “Taken-in-Hand,” or TiH to the initiate, refers to a marriage arrangement gaining in popularity among extremely Conservative Christians wherein the husband is the absolute “Head of Household” (HoH) and exercises complete control over his wife.  And this control involves "domestic discipline" (DD)...  And this means spanking.  This is not mere guesswork or wishful thinking on our parts, gentle reader — the ads always make this very, very clear.  

There are apparently a growing number of Christian women (the ads posted by people in search of this type of relationship are nearly always from women) who yearn — nay, who hunger — for a husband who knows just what a naughty little scion of Eve deserves for burning the roast, or spending too much of his hard-earned money on shoes, or “forgetting” to wear her white cotton panties and giving the vacuum-cleaner salesman a peek at her shame.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go whack off to I Corinthians. 

In case you think I’m making this up or blowing a few isolated Craigslist ads out of proportion, here are some links to pages either by or about the kind of people and lifestyle I’m talking about.  They are informative, thought-provoking, and fucking hilarious.

I must stress that these sites — and these people — are not joking.  And it’s even upsetting some of their Christian brethren and sistren.  A pious and alarmed writer on a regular ol’ boring non-TiH Christian website (get with the times, people!) had the following concerns to air:

   "I've talked to a few men who got 'burned out' on DD after a while.  Their wife was 'not behaving better' or 'seemed to enjoy being spanked.'  Some men report their wife seems more like a child to them, or that regularly spanking her 'was tearing me up.'
    Some DDers practice what are called 'maintenance sessions.'  These sessions, usually done daily, consist of the wife listing all the rules she has broken, and the husband meting out what he considers appropriate disciple [sic].  Some DDers advocate that every maintenance session end with a spanking, even if no violations are reported by the wife.
    In DD circles there are women who call themselves 'brats.'  These women will 'break a rule' or 'misbehave' on purpose, just to get punished.  Some admit it's the only way they can get attention from their husband - not unlike the child who acts out to get a busy parent's attention.  These women don't need DD, they need their husband to be the loving spouse God has called him to be!  Other brats admit they enjoy being spanked.  This brings us to a very large concern.
    While spanking is said to be only one of many punishments that can be used, it is clearly the primary choice for the majority of DDers, and the only choice for a good many.  Some DDers put a great deal of importance on the wife's rear being completely naked when she is spanked.  The reasons range from claims that a pair of panties reduces the pain of a spanking up to 50%, to flesh to flesh contact being emotionally or even spiritually important.
    Maintenance sessions most often take place at bed time, and for many DD couples this means that sex frequently or always occurs right after a spanking.  Some DD wives report being aroused after a spanking, but most claim it's a result of 'feeling loved by their husband' rather than the spanking itself.  A few wives have admitted they can not enjoy sex if it is not preceded by a spanking.  Some DD husbands admit to having erections when they spank their wife, but deny the erections are desired or enjoyed."

I stumbled across this pristinely polished gem of cognitive dissonance early last week, in the course of additional research into the phenomenon, and I extend my sincerest apologies for not bringing it to your attention before now.  I would have written this essay much sooner, but I only managed to stop laughing a few minutes ago.

Hey, it seems like most of the Christians who are into this are Protestants.  Aren’t there any Catholic “brats?”  And if so, do they still fit into their school uniforms?  Seriously, every other Christian who has attempted to convert me did a way poorer job of it than these ladies are doing, and they’re not even trying.

Just so we’re all on the same page here:  I'm not laughing at or making fun of kink itself.  Kink is awesome.  What I’m laughing at is the fact that Christianity has driven these people — who presumably would have been pretty cool otherwise, from the sound of things — so around-the-bend (pun intended) that they are with-a-straight-face denying that this has anything to do with BDSM, and honestly attempting to convince not only the people around them, but themselves, that they are only engaging in this behavior because this is how they interpret the Bible.

Hilarity aside, there’s a serious point to be demonstrated here.  What I mean is:  has there ever been better proof in the history of the World of the fact that religious people just do whatever they want and then retroactively come up with some loony explanation in support of the idea that “it’s their religion?”  In the cases of Christians who are into spanking, this is merely funny — but if we extend this to the religious people who advocate all sorts of legitimately disturbing things and allege that they’re covered by the “Hey, wish I could help you, but there’s nothing I can do about it — it’s my religion!” clause of the social contract, then the Red Asses for Christ bunch helps us to examine regular old Asses for Christ in a different light.  If you say that you only think something “because it’s your religion,” the odds are pretty good that you wanted to think it to begin with and then just used your religion as an excuse.  In the cases of people who are dicks because of their religion, this example gives us even more ammo with which to assert that they are actually just religious because they are dicks.  If they didn’t want to be dicks, then they would interpret their religion in a non-dick way, just like if they didn’t want to get spanked, they would interpret it in a spankless way.

Predictably, some of the people who embrace this lifestyle try to spin it as a big “fuck-you” to feminism, which they see as a blasphemous philosophy that encourages lesbianism and witchcraft, etc.  To this I will reply that a) there are no such things as witches, retard, and b) if feminism really encourages lesbianism, then how come back in college the feminist chicks were the least inclined to make out with each other whenever I got out my bong and videocamera?

Seriously, though:  why is it that only religious nuts ever say that there are any problems with feminism?  A lot of the TiH sites link to anti-feminist sites, which in turn link to other anti-feminist sites, but no matter how many degrees-of-click away you get from the original sites, the story is the same.  You’ll stumble across an essay that appears to be a level-headed piece about feminism engendering anti-boy prejudice in higher education, for example, and you’ll be saying “okay, that’s a reasonable point,” “yeah, I agree with that”…  but it always comes.  No matter how many common-sense points about masculinity not being a disease or scientifically demonstrable differences between the genders the piece trots out in the first half, eventually a paragraph always begins with “The Bible says…”

If I seem preoccupied with this particular cultural nexus, it’s because this problem is one of the main reasons I started the site:  no-one is ever willing to criticize feminism except religious nuts, and no-one is ever willing to criticize religion except P.C. nuts who do so from an anti-bias standpoint instead of a pro-science one.  The result of this is a massive cultural false dichotomy — people who secretly believe that there are problems with some types of Feminism and/or P.C. never say so, because everyone would assume that they’re just a Jeebus Freak who’s eventually going to trot out “The Bible says…”, and people who secretly know that religion is a big steaming load never say so, for fear of being accused of membership in “The P.C. Police.”      

As always, when I say that more people besides the Jeebus Train should be critical of feminism, I am not talking about the good kind of Feminism that says women are just as good at stuff as men are, and should be allowed to do all the same shit that men are, and that their HUSBANDS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO SPANK THEM LIKE THEY ARE FUCKING CHILDREN, AND YOU DON’T EVEN REALLY THINK SO EITHER, SO SINCE YOU ARE REALLY JUST INTO S&M, WHY NOT JUST DROP THE WHOLE CHRISTIAN LOAD OF GOAT CRAP AND BE INTO S&M AND THEN WE WOULD LIKE YOU?  I am talking about the kind where there’s a food fight in the cafeteria and then the principal comes in and says that all the boys in the whole cafeteria have detention even though the girls started the food fight and there were some tables of boys that didn’t throw any food, and this really happened to me when I was a kid so don’t say I made it up.

If the principal wanted to punish the boys in accordance with some metaphysical standard of who inherently deserves what regardless of the circumstances, then she should have just had the girls spank us.  Everyone can get behind that.

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