Sort of depends on how thick the stick is. Must not be thicker than your thumb. The Thumb Rule. Not valid in the advanced state of North Carolina since 1874. There was an 1868 case, State v. Rhodes, where a husband was found innocent because, the judge said, "the defendent had a right to whip his wife with a switch no larger than his thumb," and in another case in 1874, State v. Oliver, the judge cited the "old doctrine, that a husband had a right to whip his wife, provided he used a switch no longer than his thumb" but continued on that this was "not law in North Carolina. Indeed, the Courts have advanced from that barbarism...." http://womenshistory.about.com/od/mythsofwomenshistory/a/rule_of_thumb.htm What if you haven't got a thumb? Would that mean that you couldn't beat your wife at all? How is that fair?