In the comments section a couple of posts ago 'imreadonl2' wrote something interesting that caught my attention, whetted my appetite and got the ball rolling - now lets see where it rolls to:
'imreadonl2' wrote “The wonder of "institutionalization" is the way that it quickly destroys a girl's identity and sense of self.
Attending classes, eating with the other girls in the mess hall, sleeping next to them in the dorm, wearing your smart uniform, with the tie knotted tightly and your white socks straight, toeing the line. Guilty-or-not, it is soon impossible think of yourself as anything but "one of the girls."
And then there are the little indignities, which taken together, add up to a crushing weight: being addressed by your last name, being scolded for slouching, or being swatted across the behind and accused of "dallying" when you pause to chatter with your friends.
Relentlessly belittled and corrected, your self-esteem rapidly erodes. You come to think of yourself as "incorrigible" and "delinquent", the memory of your past accomplishments and accolades fading as rapidly as a forgotten dream.
You hate it when the Headmaster brings tour groups thru while you're in the shower, and feel humiliated as you feel the male visitor's eye's roam freely up and down your naked body. You comfort yourself that they don't you, or, to be more accurate, who you once were, and now see you only as what you (in your heart) now know that you are, just another naked delinquent justly and properly sentenced to an indefinite term of strict reformatory discipline.
"Hi, 'imreadonly2'! That's an interesting analysis of the concept of the destruction (I prefer 'erosion' for some reason) of “a girl's identity and sense of self.” But it does bring up a couple of issues. For example, take the phrase; '...pause to chatter with [her] friends.'
This partial phrase in itself raises two questions in my mind. (1) Should a detainee be allowed sufficient latitude to form close relationships in the first place and (2) should inter-detainee 'chatter' be allowed under any circumstances, whatever form it might take? Imagine the sense of isolation suffered by the poor thing if surrounded by a cohort of others yet disallowed from communicating directly with any of them in any manner, under the continual threat of the cane or the strap for any slip – or indeed one of several subtle psychological punishments of even greater corrective efficacy. Surely far more psychologically stressful – if lovingly instigated, supervised, and with sufficient attention to detail - than simple solitary confinement?
The part about a subject “relentlessly belittled and corrected” resulting in rapid erosion of self-esteem and the subject coming to think of herself as "incorrigible" and "delinquent" is interesting, although I'm not fond of the terms “incorrigible" and "delinquent" in this context – 'inferior' or 'inept' might be more apt terms. As for “...the [the subject's] memory of past accomplishments and accolades fading as rapidly as a forgotten dream.” Yes, this would seem a worthwhile outcome to be expected of such a regimen. I seem to think that both aspects have been explored - both social isolation and continual belittling and correction - have been employed in a psychological research context in the past. The latter belittling and correction approach could indeed be applied quite subtly given the right context, so subtly and gradually that the subject herself might not be consciously aware of what is happening to her even as her personality is being remodeled according to someone else's template.
Now that. I think, is real domination!
On the right: The Finished Article? (Actually, just how right is this pic? Fantastic? Certainly got me thinking! If only her hands were in the prayer position it would be perfection - it's that close! Taken, or re-blogged or whatever you'd like to call it, from Cornertime for naughty girls, just click pic to visit - highly recommended!)