Seven sorority members from the University of Maryland have been charged with assault for a violent hazing incident in which they choked and paddled a pledge. And their crimes may be part of a national pattern.
BlackAmericaWeb reports that the Zeta Phi Beta women face charges of assault and hazing for repeatedly choking and paddling a pledge, and pushing her against a wall. At least one of the women charged denies involvement — her lawyer says, “The idea of hazing is abhorrent to her.” And a Zeta Phi Beta spokesperson says, “Hazing of any kind is strictly prohibited and is inconsistent with the principles of the sorority.”
But hazing — and paddling — remain incredibly common. In 2010, a Rutgers pledge was hospitalized due to paddling injuries — at the time, a senior said, “All the fraternities and sororities use paddles here. It is really nothing new at all.” And a 2007 report cited the disturbing case of a sophomore at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore who needed surgery because repeated paddling damaged his blood vessels and gave him gangrene. University and Greek system officials seem willing to pay lip service to anti-hazing policies, but it’s clear that violent practices continue. And when people are getting butt gangrene, it’s time to take some real action.
Readers of this blog will know that I hate the paddle, and that it is the only implement in our household which is reserved solely for real punishment. I’ve never heard of “butt gangrene” happening in the BDSM or spanko communities, but I can totally see how it could happen, if people don’t actually take care of the damage that is inflicted. People always talk about the cane being the “nastiest” implement, but I’d like to nominate the paddle!