Our friend, who I’ll call “Ralph,” was, as they say, a bit of a control freak. He had to be in charge, had to drive, had to make the decisions, and frankly, had difficulties getting along with his business partners because of his control issues.
As our friend was driving to dinner, we discussed where we wanted to eat. Ralph, who’d just arrived home from the office, said, with weariness in his voice, “You guys decide. I’m too tired to make another decision.”
Yes, even a micromanaging control freak recognized when he needed a break.
Which leads to the subject of spanking and feminism. Bonnie of the My Bottom Smarts blog, raised the question about how women reconcile spanking with feminism. That post (which inspired this blog) is HERE if you want to read it.
I encounter the hard wall-issue of spanking and feminism on occasion with some reader reactions to my domestic discipline novellas, in particular, Unexpected Consequences. It offends some readers’ sense of equality, of fairness, that a woman is punished for misdeeds and not the man. What happens when he’s wrong? They want to know.
Most people would point out (as did most of the posters on Bonnie’s blog) that feminism is about freedom of choice – a woman has the right to choose how she wants to live her life. To marry or not to marry, to have children or not to have children, to work or not to work – she should have the full menu of options. Including the right to submit to her husband and allow him to set the rules and discipline her.
But I think feminism (as well as economics) plays another role. As women take more active, public roles in the workplace, their communities and the world, stresses and pressures increase. To get the job done, a woman must exhibit and act with behaviors that are traditionally considered masculine, such and aggression, dominance, and competitiveness.
For the record, I am a feminist and believe wholeheartedly that a woman has the right to do or strive for whatever she wants. I’m hoping that in the near future, our next President of the United States will be a woman. I do not believe that men and women should automatically assume certain roles within a relationship because of their gender. But men and women are different. Whether by nature or nurture, we think differently, we act differently, we express emotion differently. And when a woman is out in the world hunting, fighting, leading, there is a part of her that grows weary and wants to hand over control to someone else, if only for a respite.
For some women, being spanked fills that need. It’s the ultimate suspension of control. She can retreat into the familiar comfort of submissiveness. In that OTK moment, someone else is making the decisions, someone else is driving, someone else is responsible. Why NOT her husband? (I think the same holds true for men who like to be spanked).
And I believe that’s why readers like to read spanking romances with uber macho heroes who are in charge of everything – including the heroine’s well-being. It satisfies a need for submission.
It doesn’t mean women want to roll back the calendar to the restrictive 1950s when women were expected to become housewives or when the only acceptable career paths were teaching, library science or nursing.
During the early bra-burning days of the feminist movement, a question was raised, can a feminist wear eye shadow? Today the question is, can a feminist be spanked?
Answer: if she wants to be.
Unexpected Consequences is about a naive bride who married a man who practices domestic discipline. He is a member of the Rod and Cane Society, an organization of men who spank their wives. Loose Id will release my second Rod and Cane novel, False Pretenses, in June.