The Slovak Whipping Ceremony – 11 Reasons To Hate It


April 16, 2017

Allan Stevo

I once hated the šibačka.  It is, after all, the ceremonial whipping of women by men.  Need I say more? Once I challenged myself, by bring myself out of my comfort zone to better understand the šibačka, I learned to see the šibačka from a different perspective.  There are aspects of it I dislike, but unlike many non-Slovaks, and some Slovaks, I can make sense of the tradition and have found many reasons to like it.  Below are some of the reasons I have heard people dislike the šibačka.

1. Superficiality
On its surface, and only on its surface, the whipping ceremony is an abuse of women.  If you can’t get beyond the possibility that it isn’t an abuse of women, then you aren’t going to be able to interact with the tradition enough to understand what is happening.

2. Unwillingness to Challenge Themselves
The Hinlicky Rule is often cited by me.  It encourages one to challenge opinions they intend to argue in favor of, especially when they hold a belief that they understand to be an unimpeachable and obvious conclusion. Again, I was once uncomfortable with the šibačka.  It sounded barbaric.  When I challenged myself, I started to see a different side.

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Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

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