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Paul Elam and his followers respond to Buzzfeed's devastating profile with evasion, excuses, and attacks on Elam's ex-wife.

AVFM circles the wagon.
AVFM circles the wagon.

A Voice for Men’s embattled Grand Wizard Paul Elam and his followers have responded to Buzzfeed’s devastating profile of him in some predictable ways, and in a few less predictable ones.

If you’re read the Buzzfeed piece – and if you haven’t, you really, really should – you know that it devoted a lot of time to the sad and sordid history of Elam’s three marriages and the even more sad and sordid story of the daughter he abandoned.

In a long and rambling post on Buzzfeed’s piece, Elam – all too predictably – goes after “Susan,” his first wife and the only one of his three ex-wives who was willing to talk on the record, trying his best to destroy her credibility by portraying her, essentially, as a lying slut.

Elam miraculously, and probably with considerable effort, managed to avoid the s-word – a favorite of writers on his site. But his attempts to slut-shame her are as transparent as glass.

Over the course of his post, he describes her as “very enthusiastic about sex,” “indeed very enthusiastic about sex,” and “a promiscuous wife.” He alleges that during their brief marriage “her sexual enthusiasm wasn’t limited to me,” and repeats the accusation that he leveled at her at the time – that she lied about being raped in order to cover up her own infidelity. He declares her to be a “habitual liar,” someone who “cheated and lied constantly.”

Elam also suggests that Buzzfeed paid his ex-wife and daughter to talk trash about him; and he makes several other serious allegations against his ex-wife that I won’t repeat. (EDIT: Buzzfeed’s Editorial Standards and Ethics policy forbids paying sources.]

A decade ago, you may recall from Buzzfeed’s piece, Elam reunited with the daughter he had abandoned as a baby, only to drive her away several years later after, she claims, spanking one of his grandsons for opening the refrigerator.

In his post, while referring to her as his daughter, he resurrects an old accusation, writing that “I need to point out that it has not been established that I actually have a daughter.”

Buzzfeed quotes what it says is an email Elam sent to his daughter in 2005, in which he apologized to her and to his brother. “I owe both of you a tremendous debt,” he wrote. “I just said some unflattering things involving [his ex-wife], but the more important truth here is that I failed both of you.”

In his post, though, Elam declares that “I did not, as alleged, tell Bonnie [his daughter] that I was sorry that I had failed her. I told her that I was sorry such misfortune had been her lot.”

If the email quoted by Buzzfeed is authentic, this is a blatant lie.

While the attacks on his ex (and his halfway renunciation of his daughter) are sadly predictable, Elam also resorts to a desperate if inventive diversionary tactic, suggesting that the art used to illustrate Buzzfeed’s post is somehow … anti-Semitic, reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. Uh, no. I’m pretty sure that one or both of the authors of the Buzzfeed article, Adam Serwer and Katie Baker, would have said something if this were even remotely the case; they’re both Jewish.

Judge for yourself. Here’s the picture AVFM used to illustrate Elam’s post:

One of these things is not like the other.
One of these things is not like the other.

In the comments to his post on AVFM, meanwhile, Elam’s supporters circle the wagons and lash out at pretty much anyone they can think of who’s ever said less-than-flattering things about their dear leader. They are considerably less careful with their language than Elam.

In the post’s “Featured Comment,” with close to 70 upvotes at the moment, AVFM contributor “Andybob” lashes out at Elam’s enemies:

A disgruntled ex from decades ago and a brainwashed daughter that probably isn’t his who were doubtlessly given some kind of monetary incentive to say that Paul Elam won’t be getting their votes for Man of the Year any time soon. After months of sleepless nights planning his cunning revenge, the best Serwer could come up with was to drag out this pair of bitter malcontents who were probably chomping on the bit to take a swipe a man who chose not to serve them in the ways to which they obviously feel entitled.

Suzie McCarley, AVFM’s “Assistant Managing Editor,” says of the Buzzfeed article that “it will be quoted by skanks and bitches of both sexes for years to come.” She snidely writes of Serwer that “I hope the blow job his ho Katie B. owes him in exchange for his credibility, is worth it.”

Several others cleverly refer to Serwer as “Sewer.”

Very few of the commenters deal with any of Buzzfeed’s specific allegations. Instead, they resort to evasive euphemism.

AVFM’s social media director, who writes under the name Janet Bloomfield, laments what she calls “the hysterical ad hominem attacks on a man who turns out to be ….SHOCK…. human.” “I’m shocked! Who would think that an ex-wife might have shit to talk about her ex? Amazeballz!” AVFM contributor Jason Gregory writes sarcastically. “Overlord Elam is a human man?” jokes someone called ComradePrescott. “I can’t serve any master that isn’t a reptilian monster!!!!”

Others offer excuses, making clear that they would probably forgive Elam for anything short of mass murder:

 Reason • 2 days ago  I wonder how many of us can change the names in your story and call it their own. If there is indeed an "old boys club", being used and abused by a woman for paternity is it.

 smetana • 2 days ago  Wow. Seriously, even if the claim that Paul had beaten a kid were true, why should we care? I got beaten on a regular basis as a child, and it was the same thing for most of the people my age that I knew back then (90s). If I could have traded all of that for ONE beating by Paul, then I would have done so without hesitation. The ideological desperation here is really amazing.

In a separate post, AVFM’s Sage Gerard offers an even less coherent “rebuttal” to Buzzfeed’s post, filled with vague accusations against Buzzfeed and weirdly evasive defenses of Elam that if anything make him look worse.

Gerard declares that Buzzfeed’s

“evidence” is opinion carefully framed to manipulate, not persuade. This is David Futrelle’s style of toxic propoganda: Distort context until the target and all supporters appear inhuman.

It’s hard to tell what on earth Gerard even means by any of this, and of course he provides no examples.

He then goes on to offer this oddly backhanded defense of Elam’s terrible behavior:

In terms of his difficult decisions during his youth, Paul had to live with choices that only prove that he is human. Today, Paul faithfully operates within the boundaries of the law as an advocate.

Even more strangely, Gerard praises Elam for … not pocketing money from fundraisers intended for others.

Another money fact that keeps slipping by unreported is that Paul has allowed others to feed off his main revenue stream. Paul hosts fundraisers on this site where AVfM gains no money. I offered Paul a percentage in Zen Men’s last fundraiser, and he refused the money. He also gave Dean Esmay money for private dental work in public view. …

Between Dean and Zen Men, AVfM gave up access to over $10,000, which means Paul gave up more than AVfM itself raised in its last fundraiser. …

Greedy people out to exploit the masses don’t give away money.

Actually, lots of them do. Are you kidding?

If these are the best defenses that Elam and his allies can muster, he’s going to have a hard time rebounding from Buzzfeed’s report.

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Dan Kasteray
Dan Kasteray
6 years ago

To Rael: Sorry buddy but you need to apologize. Though I see what you were trying to say about Elam. But most addicts aren’t Elam.

Now as for this whole fiasco, well let’s just say that letting the rabble savage his ex wives and daughter does little to bolster the public acceptance delusional Paulie so Craves.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Once an addict, always an addict.

NOPE.

If Paulie is still an addict, it’s most likely not to the substances he used to abuse, but to rage and hatred. As I’ve said on other threads, he’s got the stench of “dry drunk” about him…he may no longer be using or drinking, but he’s still unreformed. And he has substituted rage-addiction for drug addiction. That money’s obviously not going “into his arm”, but rather into his overly expensive lifestyle. Which is still heinous, considering where it’s all coming from. But no, it’s not quite the same thing as spending it all on booze and dope.

Leisha Young
Leisha Young
6 years ago

Imagine basing your entire ideology (and life), on an incident from your childhood, whereby your mother tried to stop your ass from dribbling out diarrhea?

If she had of allowed him continue with diarrhea running out of his ass he would have accused her of neglect.

He’s a classic abusive personality, as are all of the men who follow him.

deniseeliza
deniseeliza
6 years ago

I was born in 82 and I was spanked once, ever. It did nothing as I was the sort of willful kid who would stubbornly refuse to admit that it was bothering me at all. So my parent’s choices were to hit me harder, or find a different way to discipline me. They chose a different way.

Anyway, I have absolutely no problem with Paul Elam making a living off his website. Successful bloggers are allowed to blog for a living, and activists are allowed to do activism for a living. I wouldn’t call Paul an activist but he is a blogger and runs a community site and he deserves to pay himself for that if he can.

I don’t know why he’s so evasive about it though.

suffrajitsu
suffrajitsu
6 years ago

He’s evasive about it because he lies to his followers by telling them their donations are going to support Men’s Rights.

Miwanana
Miwanana
6 years ago

I came here via the buzzfeed article, and am so glad to have found you! I just finished reading the entry, and am musing on how the tactics and logic-fail used by MRAs and PUAs are nearly identical across cultures and languages. I’ve been in an online battle of sorts with Japanese neo-nazi misogynists for years, and still not recovered from the recent Julien Blanc incident, I feel I’ve found a place here where I can relax a bit. Will go on to reading comments and other entries now. Thanks!

katz
6 years ago

A lot of MRAs, Gamergaters (but I repeat myself), and fellow reactionaries seem to treat social justice language like a magic spell. It doesn’t have to make sense, you know?

Oh yeah — they love doing that! Like how they think that “slur” is just a designation you use to instantly force everyone to stop using a word you don’t like.

NintenEthan
NintenEthan
6 years ago

Hey David, isn’t that GIF from Blazing Saddles?

Ian Clark
6 years ago

Suggestion for future article (might require some extensive research, but would be well worth it): Document as many people as you can saying something to the effect of “Why would you expect someone’s ex to be a reliable source on them?” then see how many of the exact same people you can find taking Zoe Quinn’s ex’s word as gospel.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Hello, Miwanana!

Click on the scented candle on the right side of the screen for the official welcome package.

alaisvex
alaisvex
6 years ago

So, now the website is A Voice for Men Who Support Hitting Boys. Much men’s rights.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Ah but it was a man who hit the boy. Not only is there no woman to blame, but AVFM can’t even twist it to how it’s the woman’s fault for bringing her son around a violent man, not when that man is the almighty Elam.

Thebarton Gamer
6 years ago

Wow. That’s some weapons grade projection from AVfM & Co. They should give up this MRA bullshit and start a cineplex.

Orion
Orion
6 years ago

Those comments about the ways reactionaries use the language of social justice is just reading my mind right now. They do treat it like some magic spell or some word they can just twist like it has no meaning (which to them it doesn’t have any meaning besides “shut up”).

You see MRA’s like Elam try to pull this all the time, crying “oppression”, “sexism” or whatever else when all that’s happened is their feelings got hurt or they pretend they’re hurt so they can “play the X card”.

Because that’s what they honestly believe feminists, anti-racists etc are doing, just playing a card to win an argument, when they are actually talking about real, actual issues that surround language and culture that hurts those outside the dominant circle.

lith
lith
6 years ago

The bit about changing the name in the article and it being about any of them, or “who here hasn’t done that?” – that says a whole heck of a lot about the people involved, assuming that guy is as representative as he claims.
Hey, dude, that’s not normal or desirable, mainly in the making excuses for bad behaviour/abandoning your responsibilities arena. Divorce/separation happens, but lots of guys still manage to support their children after it rather than find excuses for why they should walk away.

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

They really do remind me of a cult. The more evidence is presented to them that their leader is a charlatan the more they rally round him.

@Weirdwoodtreehugger, I find your reference to George W Bush interesting, he’s been tagged as a narcissist before now. Remember this famous flubbing:

He just couldn’t utter words which put him at fault, even hypothetically.

dudeinthewoods
6 years ago

I spent two years as a morphine addict and another two as an alcoholic thanks to the Army and PTSD. Been sober since Jan 05.

So yeah, fuck you. I get enough of that from my in-laws.

Ælfscýne
Ælfscýne
6 years ago

Elam’s response is pretty telling. Regardless of what really happened it shows how HE interprets past events (whether it is his ignorance, him lying to himself or perhaps (partial) truth). And everything he is fighting for/against is there: a father listening to the mother instead of the son; a rape claim he believes is false; a woman he believes cheated on him; his children he believes aren’t his; a daughter taken away by the mother and then being abused by another man (with Elam blaming the mother); drug abuse; money claims. It’s all there. It’s his MRA fight in a nutshell. He’s not a random idiot, he is actually projecting his own experience to society in general. All women do what he believes his ex and mom did. All men suffer as he believes he did. In his mind HE is the ultimative victim, something he claims it’s a woman’s card. It makes sense now why he so stubbornly refuses to be objective. People like that are extremely dangerous as leaders because they cannot see anything as it actually is.

On a separate note: I was born in 1982 and hitting children was far from the norm when I was growing up. It wasn’t as severely sanctioned as it is today but it was not considered “normal” at all.

RaikonL
RaikonL
6 years ago

Those guys are so far into this AVfM nonsense that regardless of how the reality looks like, they will still be entitled to being right. That’s what being a garbage human is all about.

Kootiepatra
6 years ago

The man really has no idea how to stop digging, does he?

I’ll grant that in (my part of) Texas in the 90’s, spanking was a fairly common thing. I was spanked as a child, and so were lots of my friends. BUT. Every family I had contact with regarded spankings as a last resort, only to be used if the child had been warned, only for serious, willful misbehavior, and never, ever, ever to be used in the heat of the moment, and never, ever, ever on someone else’s kid.

In other words, even the pro-spanking parents I knew in the 90’s would have taken major issue with what Elam did. Believing in corporal punishment is no excuse for that one.

“I’m sorry for your misfortune” – Uh, right. Even if he suspected that she wasn’t biologically his, if he regarded her mother to be a duplicitous, unreliable person, he could have fought for custody in order to remove her from an unsafe situation. The fact that he didn’t was entirely in his control. Of course it’s obviously for the best that he didn’t, but he doesn’t get to pretend like none of this is even a little bit his fault. He’d only bother with the girl if he was legally dragged into it, if she was proven to be a product of his own liquid gold, and so he took great pains to evade it. Not the marks of a good man—certainly not one who exuded even an ounce of effort to help a small child avoid misfortune.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Is it common, within families, to hit grandchildren too? Or do you leave that to their parents?

chthonicgames
chthonicgames
6 years ago

With respect to the steaming pile that Rael left here:

It’s interesting that a terse comment with a disgusting sentiment was left by a screenname who doesn’t appear to have commented on WHTM before*, isn’t it?

(*As determined by my highly scientific approach of searching the first page of comments on earlier articles until I got bored.)

Tina S
Tina S
6 years ago

I was born in ’68, grew up in the ’70`s and ’80`s. I was not spanked or beaten. I got time outs. No, spanking and beating is not the norm.

gilshalos
6 years ago

I was born in 1971, and never got spanked. My father withdrew emotionally, and that hurt a lot more than spanking would have.

proxieme
proxieme
6 years ago

Ah but it was a man who hit the boy. Not only is there no woman to blame, but AVFM can’t even twist it to how it’s the woman’s fault for bringing her son around a violent man, not when that man is the almighty Elam.

Except Elam’s Mom.
She’s apparently to blame for his Dad hitting him.

Kootiepatra
6 years ago

@marinerachel – In my circle of acquaintances growing up, only the parents were allowed to spank their own kids. (There might be a grandparent exception if they’re providing huge amounts of childcare, therefore helping to raise the child, but otherwise no.)

One time when my grandparents were visiting us, my grandmother yelled at me, and my mom royally took her to task for it. If she would have laid a finger on me, I’m pretty sure she would not have been allowed back at our house.

lith
lith
6 years ago

@seraph4377:

Oddly, I don’t feel any particular need to defend my parents, or the practice of spanking, or to argue “I turned out all right” like that’s some kind of defense. Most people do turn out all right. Maybe I – and my relationship with my parents – could have turned out better.

Yeah, it’s amazing how some kids manage to turn out ‘normal’ despite really bad childhoods, so “and I turned out alright” doesn’t carry much water.

proxieme
proxieme
6 years ago

Ælfscýne – That’s my thought, too.

In his mind, he’s the hero of his story, a righteous voice crying in the wilderness.

He’s a True Believer and anyone who gets in his way is an Evil Foe.

In that respect, he’s hardly unique in the public sphere (at least in US punditry and politics).

lith
lith
6 years ago

@suffrajitsu:

I’d have more respect if he’d actually said “I’m sorry I failed you.”

He clearly thinks his intended audience/money source would think less of him though.
I think he’s scum for even feeling the need to make that ‘correction’.

lith
lith
6 years ago

@wwth:

It’s a lot like when George W Bush said “mistakes were made.” I can’t remember which debacle he was saying that about; Iraq or Katrina. It’s a totally passive way to speak of past mistakes. As if they were something that just happened. Not the result of choices.

Hahaha. Yes. This morning my daughter was standing in the bathroom door with yards of toilet paper piled around her legs, we hear: “Mummy! The toilet paper did this!”.

Cavalluccio Marino
Cavalluccio Marino
6 years ago

The “arguments” from Elam and his writers in reponse to the article are ridiculously flimsy. It really is sad that people like Elam refuse to take responsiblity for their past actions.

On somewhat of a tangent: While I am all for challenging the ideas of stubborn MRAssholes, I would probably end up walking away from an argument with one in real life. For the most part, I reckon there’s no convincing them to so much as examine an alternate viewpoint.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

MRAs in a nutshell:

Tina,
It was where I am from. Please understand that my husband’s family used an outhouse until he was a teen. My mother grew up using one too. My dad would hop trains as a kid to go to an orchard, sneak in and eat apples all day before he walked all the way home in the evening. It was a different time and in many places, it still is.

Corporal punishment is still the norm and most of us know that the Forsythia, beautiful as it is, is also a favorite source of switches for put upon grandmas. I never heard of time outs until I was in my teens. My youngest brother got time outs because people were just starting to try something other than spanking. Fly swatters, bread boards, brushes, etc. were used to pop kids on the butt who did not behave. In those days there were no helicopter parents, especially among the poor and working class. People worked and raised their kids the way their parents raised them. I’m not saying it’s the best thing ever, but spanking is still the norm and it sure was back when Elam was 13.

My parents, one of whom remembers getting the razor strop, would have laughed at calling getting hit with a spoon child abuse. I didn’t think of a smack on the butt as the same as a smack on the face. Not only because it does not hurt nearly as much but because I was inculturated to see it as normal, attentive parenting.

People and cultures are pretty fucked up. They do fucked up things. They believe fucked up things. It may shock you if you did not grow up that way, but it isn’t unusual and most of us do not grow up to be bigoted abusive assholes because of fucked up social norms.

dhag85
6 years ago

This is a bit of an eye-opener, hearing how common spankings and other physical abuse of children seems to have been in the US up until very recently. I’ve had some hints of this in the past from American friends, but maybe I didn’t realize it was so widespread. In the ’90s? I grew up in the ’90s, and when I hear the word “spanking” I think 1) kink, 2) 1800s.

When one of my American friends, who’s the same age as me, told me she was both spanked and slapped by her mother when she was little, my reaction was how is your mom not in jail right now? How will I be able to talk to your parents in the future, knowing this? It’s just.. weird.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Did anyone else see the comments in the Buzzfeed article blaming Susan for Bonnie being molested as a child?

According to MRA “logic”, not only is it a woman’s fault when a man rapes her. It is her fault when a man rapes her child.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Is it common, within families, to hit grandchildren too? Or do you leave that to their parents?

Common. We had to instruct our families that they were not to spank our kids. They think we’re weird. One great uncle did it anyway years ago. >.<

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Interesting. None of my grandparents ever used physical means to discipline me. They all discouraged bad behaviour and ensured there were consequences for it if it persisted. Even though our parents hit us pretty liberally though I don’t think any of the grandparents ever would have dreamed of it. That was just a parents only tool.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

When people here say they will slap the taste out of your mouth for disrespect, they mean it. Many still complain that teachers cannot spank kids anymore and blame ADD on a lack of corporal punishment in schools. Even when they took out spanking teachers were allowed to put students in stress positions and make them stay in them in front of the class when my husband was in school here. He was also locked in a closet routinely by his teachers so that he could “focus”.

It’s Lovecraftian how charming and creepy life in these parts can be.
Or…Irvin S. Cobbish. to be more specific.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Y’all, there was a man’s mummified body on display at a local mortuary where my husband grew up. They called him “Speedy”. It was considered very funny.

People are still afraid of the number 666.

There are still places in this land called Tuckasee where I would not stop for gas if I were black or openly LGBT.

Time isn’t passing the same here. Mostly because people hold on to the past so hard.

ceebarks
ceebarks
6 years ago

My grandma spanked me once. It was so unusual I remember it clearly. One summer my brothers and I went to her her house for a couple of weeks w/o our parents. My youngest brother and I were playing a board game behind a sofa in her sitting room, a cozy little nook. I was getting a bit sleepy, and heard her calling us, but it didn’t sound all that serious and I couldn’t be bothered. He went, and I just kind of dozed off… I guess he didn’t tell her where I was, either, because she spent the next 45 mins frantically searching the house, yard, and neighborhood for me. Finally I roused myself enough to go see what all the ruckus was about.

She was so freaked out/angry that she swatted me with a fly swatter. lol I was more mad at my brother than anything: why did he sit there like a grinning idiot and not tell her where I was?! sheesh.

My parents spanked. Not every day or anything, but if you’d committed more than a minor offense (or if you’d repeatedly been warned to knock it off with something petty like picking on a sibling but kept it up anyway) then you could pretty much count on getting the business end of a plastic clothes hanger. It gradually tapered off… I don’t remember getting spanked past the age of maybe 10 or so, though mom would threaten one sometimes for a long time after that.

I’ve spanked my own kids on occasion but mostly it’s a joke here: birthday spankings, etc, or for comic effect when my youngest is being totally contrary: “Mom, Dad, I’m hungry!” “OK, you want some scrambled eggs?” “NO!” How about a quesadilla?” “NO!” “Mashed potatoes?” “NO!” “Peas and macaroni?” “NO!” “Oooh, I know what he wants, a spanking!” “NOOOOO” “Yes, a big, hot bowl of spankings on his bottom!”

“NO!…I like mashed potatoes! hmph!”

aiiiiiii lol Overall, though, we find taking away Minecraft privileges more effective. What did people do before Minecraft?!

dhag85
6 years ago

Before Minecraft, people played Harvest Moon. Some of us still do. 🙂

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

My parent’s told stories of being made to pick their own Forsythia switches. If they didn’t get one thick enough, they were sent back to get another. That added some nice psychological torment to the switching.

A friend of mine was getting in her car when she heard her neighbor tell her child to go to my friend’s yard and pick a switch from her Forsythia. Not being familiar with Forsythia switches (out of towner), she was shocked. She let loose on the neighbor and told her that she was never to beat her kids with a switch from her yard and if she did, she’d call the police.

OT, she later stole that neighbor’s dog and paid hundreds of dollars to have it vetted and sent it to a rescue. Turns out they were worse to their dogs than they were to their kids. Go figure.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

I should have put trigger warnings on all of that.
Sorry.

seraph4377
6 years ago

Lea – you realize that you’re making the area where you live sound like a layer of Hell, populated entirely by evil people, yes?

ceebarks
ceebarks
6 years ago

I remember Harvest Moon! I used to have it for Playstation, back in like 2001-2002ish? that was a good game.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

seraph,
No, no, no. The hellmouth is a few towns over.

dhag85
6 years ago

@ceebarks

Harvest Moon started on the SNES back in 1996. I’m mostly familiar with the first game, and a 2003 GBA game called Friends of Mineral Town, which is probably why I think of it as closely related to Minecraft. That game had mining, as well as the usual farming and cattle stuff. A new game in this series was released in 2012/2103 for the 3DS, called A New Beginning. Seems like it got mixed reviews, but I bet I would still love it. 🙂 In recent years they’ve been doing a spinoff series called Rune Factory, in which you do all the usual farming and mingling with the townspeople, but you also live in a fantasy world with monsters and swords and magic. It was fun and more story driven than the main series, but pretty damn complicated and weird.

Might want to stay away from Harvest Moon DS Cute, which is a remake of an older game in the series, except you play as a girl and everything is made more “girly” and so it’s “cute”. -_-

theomegaconstant
6 years ago

Grover Cleveland spanked me on two non-consecutive occasions.

seraph4377
6 years ago

My parents, one of whom remembers getting the razor strop, would have laughed at calling getting hit with a spoon child abuse. I didn’t think of a smack on the butt as the same as a smack on the face. Not only because it does not hurt nearly as much but because I was inculturated to see it as normal, attentive parenting.

I’m going to say this much more politely than I would if you weren’t a regular.

I am really, really disturbed by discussions where we try to decide exactly what kind of hitting your kid, and with what, counts as child abuse.

Those who were beaten as children (or who have stories about their parents and grandparents) get all…nostalgic about it. It’s fucking creepy.

Those who do it themselves always carefully define it so that whatever they’re doing – even if that’s everything short of an axe-handle – doesn’t count. Disturbing in an entirely different way.

seraph4377
6 years ago

And for the record, my brother and his wife spank their kids. They’re quite proud of it, and they do it in a way that very few in the USA would consider child abuse. The kids are well-behaved and will almost certainly turn out okay. I love my brother and I quite like my sister-in-law.

And I wish more than almost anything that I had the guts to beat him into a wheelchair with a baseball bat the next time I see him do it.

dhag85
6 years ago

I’m in agreement with seraph.