What should the proper punishment be for a disobedient wife? I'm not talking about one that has committed adultery, but rather one that flouts her husband's authority in other matters. Should the husband beat her? Should the husband refuse to permit her to leave the family home? In a Catholic society, should the courts punish her?
A husband should never "beat" his wife, just as he should never "beat" his children.
But as a mild physical reprimand is certainly sometimes necessary for children, there is no reason why - from a Catholic point of view - it should not also be permissible for wives on (hopefully) very rare occassions.
The husband - not the wife - is head of the whole household (children and wife). In addition to being priest and king of his house, he is also administer of justice (and has been made by God physically stronger than wife and child for this reason, in part). If he is being unjustly opposed by his wife, and a moderate physical rebuke will suffice to correct her (all other avenues having been exhausted), there is no (non modernist) reason why it should be considered beyond the pale.