Perhaps I've been living under a rock or something, but I have never heard of this until about a week ago. A friend of mine came across a blog about a couple who practices what is referred to as Christian Domestic Discipline and passed the link on to me. What I then discovered was a whole network of blogs, forums, publications and websites dedicated to living a life involving Domestic Discipline.
From what I have gleaned from several different resources, having a "DD", as they call it, marriage is rooted in recognizing the male as head of household and submitting to that authority. It is the male's duty as the head of household to establish rules and lead his family as only he knows how as well as dole out punishments and discipline to his uncontrollable wife.
Observers of DD are quick to explain that Domestic Discipline is not a form of abuse, mental or physical, because the wife is a willing participant and the husband must dole out discipline out of love for his family. However grown women go on to explain about punishments involving among other things time out (i.e. being sent to their bedrooms, standing in a corner), groundings (when their privileges are taken away like T.V., internet access, or being sent to bed early), spankings (either routine maintance or in the form of a punishment, may be doled out with bare hands or tools such as paddles or wooden spoons), or having to compose apology letters or essays.
The wives, who are curiously enough typically the authors of these blogs, undoubtedly under the watchful eye of their opressors... errr, loving husbands... like to explain that they WANT this for themselves to help them become more loving and submissive in their marriages.
Discovering that there exists a whole network of people out there living a lifestyle that I've never heard of is suprising. I consider myself a fairly open minded person when it comes to alternate lifestyles. I'm typically of the opinion that people should do what makes them happy, and who am I to judge, but this...?
A few of my reactions:
First, this is a form of abuse. I will go as far to say that even though there is some physical harm involved, it's more about mental abuse and control than physical abuse. Regardless of the fact that the women are "willing" participants.
Second, it's seemingly ridiculous that observers label this lifestyle as "Christian" Domestic Discipline. Admittedly I may not know a lot about the Christian religion, but I while I believe that traditionally males are viewed to be head of household I feel like this kind of control and actions have nothing to do with Christian beliefs and behavior. It seems like a fairly twisted interpretation.
And third, if a women feels she needs her husband to act not as a partner, but as a parent to her then she's lacking respect for herself. She can't view herself as an adult because she isn't treated as one. She isn't accountable to herself as a responsible adult, but needs her husband to keep her in line. That has to be a troubling situation not just for the wife, but for the husband too. Why would a man want to spend his adult life raising his children as well as his wife? Single parent much?
I have so many other thoughts on this, but it's hard to compose them all to be honest. I'm not going to link to anything specific, but a quick Google search of "Domestic Discipline" or "Christian Domestic Discipline" yields plenty of results.
Have you ever heard of this lifestyle before? What are your thoughts?