Mark Twain said it very well, “It ain’t ignorance that’s dangerous; it’s people knowing things that just aren’t so.” Over the years I have heard some feminist extremists (attention feminists: if the shoe fits, wear it) explain the “rule of thumb” to be old English common law that a man could beat his wife as long as he didn’t use a stick thicker than is thumb. When I did my second year of law school in London, I did what I could to get to the bottom of that story. After consulting with several medieval scholars, I am now prepared to announce that it is particularly nefarious urban legend. Parliament never authorized such a bill nor did the church ever sanction such action. However, that’s a story that some people want to believe to be true.