I heard today from a reader who feels that the anti-spanking contingent (hysteria) is marginalizing and eclipsing the horrors of the sexual abuse of children or “real abuse” of children.
I have heard this argument before…and it brings to mind several things…
…memories of hearing my Uncle roar at male cousins who were crying about something, that if they didn’t stop crying, he would come in there and really give them something to cry about. One time the crying did not stop and he took his belt off. The sound of the buckle clanking blended with muffled sobs as he approached my cousin’s door. I stood frozen with fear. Loud smacking and screaming sounds followed. I ran home.
The oppressive nature of corporal punishment, or the threat of it, is also real abuse. Brutality.
Threats and fear leave a different kind of mark, but a mark nevertheless.
I was moved and amused at the scene below deck in the movie Jaws- where men shared their scar stories… and the biggest ugliest scar was of course a triumph of horror…however it did not have the power to erase any of the other scars.
The scars exist no matter where they reside, or what the size or scope or story may be.
Scars are carried with us forever. Sometimes the stories can change the nature of the scar, if the stories are about change… perhaps about how spanking and beating was stopped and empathy was born.