Some bdsm-related reasons why hitting children is a bad idea 4: Abuse and anger

Adults who spank children usually believe they’re behaving responsibly. Most certainly don’t believe that they are acting sexually, either from their own or the child’s perspective.

Suggestions to the contrary can enrage people, like the PJMedia people who called Jillian Keenan a pervert, a weirdo and so on. She’s “that disgusting woman” on a Christian right site for people who passionately like the idea of children being beaten, so long as they’re sure no one’s enjoying it. They call the site “Bring Back the Rod”, which sounds incredibly like a porn site, but isn’t. They don’t have any sense of irony, but they make up for that in anger. 

See? Jesus spanks little girls bare-bottomed, and there's nothing weird about the Lord! (From US Christian right pamphlet)

See? Jesus prefers to  spank little girls with their pants down, and there’s nothing weird about the Lord! My sweet saviour is not a pervert!”  (Illustration from US Christian right pamphlet)

The anger that’s tied in with denial is understandable, in a way. There’s huge cultural and emotional investment in child-beating, reinforced, in many cases, by religion.

Most people who beat their own children, or who support the idea of their and other people’s children being beaten in schools, had parents who beat them, or allowed their school to do it.  

So pointing out the sexually abusive aspect can seem like an attack on their parents.

Worse, once a parent has beaten a child, that parent will find information about the sexual aspects of “punishment” incredibly confronting. They have strong feelings about child molesters, and they don’t like to think of themselves shading into that group.

On my side, my feelings about any adult who hits a child with a strap or piece of wood or bamboo tend to start with anger. And contempt. And get stronger from there. 

And yet, it’s not helpful to think about this in solely emotional terms. Most, as in more than half, of physical assaults on children are not perceived as sexual by either the child or the adult. I think that people who hit children are wrong for a number of reasons, but in most cases they’re not “abusive” in the tabloid media sense.

In most cases the adult didn’t touch the child sexually, or rather, they didn’t understand that they were touching the child sexually when they held his or her body to theirs and touched their buttocks, and they didn’t knowingly make any sexual suggestions to the child. 

So, most of the time, the job is to educate people, not to shame them. 

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