(As interpreted by ME)
For those who couldn’t make the Long Island Leather N Roses spank-a-thon and meeting, here’s the text from my presentation:
A history of corporal punishment
As interpreted by Cassandra Park
People the world over have enjoyed hitting their fellow citizens, for a variety of reasons, for millennia–probably even for several centuries! It is a time-honored tradition that has resulted in the betterment and enlightenment of such folks and a marked decline in bad language, cutting classes and chewing gum … not to mention murder, mayhem and tagging subway cars.
My intensive research spanning several Wikipedia pages has determined that there are several categories in which people who may find themselves getting smacked, whacked or cracked by other people with the full legal backing of their states or countries.
First, there is domestic discipline, a matter of intense debate within the United States and world: Should we spank our ankle biters or not? Does it harm them or help them? More importantly, does it help YOU? Whatever your opinion, it is still legal in every U.S. state to spank your kids. The kids MAY call child protective services, claiming you left them chained overnight in the doghouse. So proceed with caution.
In the U.S. parents are free to spank, paddle, strap, switch or otherwise torture their kids. The kids then grow up to become fine upstanding citizens, spending their weekends at fetish parties or their lunch hours visiting their dominatrices, contributing millions to the economy.
There are various degrees of limitations on corporal punishment for kids around the world. In the UK, it’s permissible as long as you do not leave a mark, and in Scotland you can spank your kids, but can only use one hand and must be playing the bagpipes with the other.
“Rule of thumb”? Contrary to popular belief, there was never a law that said a man could strike his wife as long as the stick wasn’t wider than his thumb. It WAS and IS permissible, however, to beat your partner with an idiot stick if he or she is acting really, really stupid.
Judicial corporal punishment
Judicial corporal punishment, the infliction of corporal punishment as a result of a sentence by a court of law, included flogging, caning, birching, whipping or strapping, and was once commonplace in many countries. It has now been abolished in most Western countries, but remains an acceptable legal punishment in some Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries, mostly either former British colonies (now members of the Commonwealth) such as Malaysia, Singapore and Tanzania, Muslim countries with a system of Islamic (Sharia) law; and Arizona, for anyone who is not a straight white male.
Here in the United States, we are lucky to have something called the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits the government from imposing cruel and unusual punishments. Therefore, prisoners in jail cannot be whipped or given other corporal punishments. Nor can children in reform school. However, if you are a student in public or private school, watch out.
Corporal punishment in school used to happen all over the world, but in recent decades it has been outlawed in most of Europe and in Canada, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand and several other countries. It remains commonplace in a number of countries in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, as well as the U.S. and Arizona.
Much of the traditional culture that surrounds corporal punishment in school derives largely from British practice in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly the caning of teenage boys. Caning was abolished in 1967 in Denmark but Germany waited until 1983. Britain itself outlawed the practice in 1987 for state schools and more recently for all schools. But many schools in Singapore and Malaysia, and also some African countries, use caning as a routine official punishment for misconduct. In some Middle Eastern countries whipping is used. In South Korea, male and female secondary students alike are commonly spanked in school.
In 1867 New Jersey became the first U.S. state to abolish corporal punishment in schools. This was mostly a reaction to the number of students packing guns and knives: It was simply an offer they couldn’t refuse.
In the U.S., 31 states and the District of Columbia have now banned corporal punishment from use in state schools.
Three-fourths of all U.S. school corporal punishment takes place in Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama. It is almost always applied with a wooden paddle to the student’s clothed bottom, and typically consists of two or three strokes, often called “swats,” “licks” or occasionally “pops.”
New Mexico was the most recent to outlaw corporal punishment in schools, in 2011. This fact was stricken from the history books in Arizona, and Texas declared that the New Mexico state flower is now the pansy.
Traditional tools of domestic and/or school discipline, based on the country, region or state:
UK: The cane or the slipper (plimsole)
Scotland: The tawse
France: The martinet
Southern U.S.: Switch or paddle
Northern U.S.: Strap or belt
Florida: Grapefruit in a sack
Middle America: Wooden spoon, carpet beater
Middle Earth: Wearing the ring for one hour
WyomingArizona: The coal shovel*
New Jersey: Bag of change from the casino
Maine: Lobster roll
Antarctica: Ice cubes down the pants
*see comments. McClintock! experts have informed me that the coal shovel was used in Arizona, not Wyoming.