Peg! Tell Me What This Says!

Boca arriba se echo y luego sobre ella,

que ya tenia las faldas regazadas

el garanon que habia de ponella.

Y coma ella sintio las espoladas:

"Tened, tened, marido–voceaba–,

que tiene este unas fuerzas endiabladas!"

Y asi, el mozo de arriba rempujaba,

Y el marido, de abajo, resistia

Y ella, en medio de entre ambos, se brincaba.

If it says what I think it says, no wonder those Spaniards needed an inquisition!

I’ll Just Say Right Up Front that I’m not a Parent

We were spanked as kids, with a wooden spoon sometimes and with a hair brush other times.  We all turned out fucked up, but I don’t think it was because of the infrequent spankings.  At least, I remember them as being infrequent; maybe they weren’t.  Anyway, I don’t think we turned out fucked up because we got spanked.


But, having been the recipient of spankings, I have an opinion on them.  My opinion differs greatly from the Christianist* folks in this story over at Salon.com.


Here is my first, minor, opinion: If you think that there’s “a swat on the back of the calf that says, ‘Stop crying, buck up, be a happy girl.'” you are an enormous asshole and possibly psychotic.  When people experience unpleasant and sometimes painful things, they cry.  Insisting your kid stop crying by smacking them?  Fucked up.


Here is my second, major, opinion: The only time it’s ever understandable to smack your kid is exactly when you are angry or afraid.


I’m not saying it’s ever “okay” to smack your kid.  I don’t know.  I’d rather people not smack their kids, but I’m not the boss.  But I’m saying that it’s understandable why folks smack their kids out of anger or fear or frustration.  And, more than that, I do think it teaches kids something about life–when you push folks too far, bad things can happen to you as a result.


You smart off too many times to that drunk in the bar; you’re going to get hit.  You speed; you’re going to get a ticket.  Etc.  You run out in the road while your mom screams after you to stop?  You’re going to get smacked.


That’s the way the world works.  It’s unpleasant and, I would argue, that we should take steps to mitigate how often we’re hurting each other physically or emotionally.  But hitting your kid when you’re angry with him or her makes sense.  I’m not saying that it’s right.  I’m saying that it makes sense. 


At the least, it teaches your child that strong emotions lead to extreme actions.  This seems to me something that a kid can come to understand.


Hitting your kid when you’re not angry with him or her?  Or making your spouse hit your kid?  This seems psychotic to me.  Who, other than psychopaths, hurt other people without emotion?


I don’t know.  Do you see what I’m saying?


It’s one thing if your kid is reaching, yet again, for the hot stove, to panic, yell “no” and swat him.  It seems like quite another thing to not panic, but instead to calmly reach for the plumbing supply line you have handy for such occasions, and smack them because you think God’s telling you to.


 


 


*I thought this word was stupid when Andrew Sullivan first started using it, but I’m starting to see its usefulness.

Blake Wylie

Early on in my being aware of his existence, I had a conversation with Blake Wylie that went something like this:



Me: I think we should have a blogger meet-up that involves shooting.  Not at me.  You know.  At a target.


Wylie: Hmm (raises his eyebrows suspiciously).


Me: No, really.  I think it’d be fun.


Wylie: You’re not going to use this as an opportunity to make fun of us, are you?


Me: No, I’m serious.


Wylie: Mmm Hmm.


He didn’t believe me, I don’t think.  But really, I don’t run around trying to put right-wingers in awkward situations just so I can mock them.


Well, not all the time, anyway.


So, here’s a hilarious video blog that Blake made.  Especially check out his full-length opening.


—–

When Feminists Attack

Y’all, I’m sorry that the opportunity has arisen for me to yet again remind you that feminism is not a moral position.  I see a lot of feminists get their kicks from running around pissing and moaning about whether other feminists are behaving properly and I just have to ask, “Why don’t you get it?  It’s not up to you to decide if I’m behaving in properly fashion because, as a feminist, we both believe that I belong to myself.”


The most insidious complaint made against feminists is that we’re not nice and it’s insidious because it often gets made by other feminists, which means we feel compelled to answer it or, worse, to modify our behavior.  Look here at Amanda Marcotte’s post about Go Fug Yourself.


I’m not going to paraphrase it here.  You can wander over there and read it yourself.  I just want to point out the important thing that Marcotte says:



when we meet their contempt with derisive laughter, we are fighting back


Amen, Sister Marcotte. 


This may go down as one of the most important feminist ideas of our generation and yet, the comments quickly descend into “How dare those GFY girls mock other people about how they look!  And how dare you call that feminist!  It’s not nice.”


As if feminist are nice.  As if we have some obligation to be nice.


Anyway, listen, I don’t know what an egalitarian society might look like.  I don’t know what a society where we all treat each other with non-judgmental respect might be.  I’m not going to see it in my lifetime, and if I did, I’d probably be busy bitching about how easy those crazy kids have it and how they don’t appreciate the sacrifices we made for them and not instead just enjoying it.


I live in this society, which, for better or for worse, sets certain people up as being better than other people for silly reasons, like, if they’re thin and pretty or if they have a penis or if their skin is light or if they live in NYC or if they have a college education or if they know certain other people or if they have lots of money.  I can’t not live in this society and I don’t want to not live in this society, because the people I care about are here and I know that they’re worth fighting for.


Even if fighting is futile.


I, as a feminist, am not sure that I can really fundamentally change things.  But I can keep tossing wrenches into the machinery.  I can fuck things up as often as I can as much as I can.


And I can meet contempt with laughter.