Monday, 16 June 2014

Shame Clothing 2 – Extending the Skirt, Extending the Concept

 Wow, but that last article on 'The Imbecile Dress' has proved popular on Tumblr, already re-bloged several times!  And one of those blogs it got re-bloged to had this, which I know you'll have seen before - but it made me think just how versatile those jingle bells could be:

Shame Clothing 2 – Extending the Skirt, Extending the Concept
Yes, she has been nicely posed, and soundly caned before hand – an exemplary example of the disciplinarian’s zeal; the juvenile-looking uniform is to be applauded too.  And now she has been left to reflect on her ‘sins’, left all alone  - you don’t have all day to stand around, there are other things to occupy your mind.   

But how do you know she’ll be holding that charming pose as soon as you’ve turned your back?  How do you know she won’t relax, hurriedly take up the stipulated posture when she hears the key in the lock or the handle turning?  Perhaps rattling, jingling bells sewn on the skirt hem, the blouse collar and cuffs an so on?  Some way of monitoring the sound?  Both easy enough.   

True, if she were to be careful enough, moved slowly enough, she might be able to lower that skirt, drop her hands and arms to her sides without attracting attention – and punitive consequences – but could she resume that posture quickly enough, as you step into the room, without a jingle-jangle cacophony?  Doubtful! 

In essence any dress or outfit, within reason - and there should ALWAYS be SOMETHING which sets the wearer apart from her contemporaries and associates, however subtle that ‘something’ might be – can become ‘The Imbecile Dress’ for the purposes of corner time or other forms of what we might call ‘posture discipline’ with a little though and imagination.  Those jingle bells really are available at any traditional haberdashers stores and haberdashery departments, even today.  They are cheap, unsophisticated yet surprisingly effective in curtailing or moderating unseemly boisterous behaviour, and can be sewn on any part of any garment in minutes, converting something which might otherwise be merely a little embarrassing into a seriously humiliating instrument of discipline and control capable – with a little diligence and forethought – of affecting real psychological change in the longer term, given the right circumstances and a well thought-out disciplinary regimen covering other areas of her life.  And. isn’t the latter what the disciplinarian is setting out to achieve when her or she takes some headstrong young thing in hand or guides – in one way or another – perhaps a more sheltered, naive, shy and self-conscious sort through the metaphorical gates of a secure and strict institution of some form or other?  Rows of little jingle bells can be sewn around the cuffs of a school blouse, the hem of a gymslip (school jumper in the US of A, I believe) or pleated school skirt or the tops of frilled turn-over ankle socks as easily as to a purpose designed punishment dress (see last entry) or indeed night attire.

Yes, the cane, the strap, the Scottish tawse and the riding crop can be effective.  But in isolation, can corporal punishment alone really bring about the sort of radical change in psychological makeup the serious disciplinarian is out to wring from his or her charge, given that the disciplinarian’s agenda and motives may well go beyond short-term behavioural control?  I think to the latter question the answer is a resounding no!  Indeed corporal punishment per se can lead to a hardening of the resolve if seen and used almost as an end in itself.  A rather unfortunate side effect!  In the right hands the role of corporal punishment is to bolster and enforce those other forms of discipline, punitive impositions such AS corner standing repetitious line writing  and so on – onerous, irritating, pointless tasks, restrictions, stipulations and exercises which grate on the nerves like a dripping tap or an itch one cannot reach (or more like a toothache which will not go away and which awakens the sufferer at night) and which, given time, actually ERODE the girl’s resolve. 

Now the dripping tap… now there’s a thing… Whether she be stood in the corner, nose to the wall, sat stiffly upright and straight-backed on a high stool, toes just touching the floor and left staring at a blank white wall or her reflection in a mirror (particularly effective, especially if teamed with ongoing repeated discussions of the shortcomings of her features) or squeezed into a juvenile school desk writing lines,  if it can be arranged that the imposition takes place in a quiet room someplace with perhaps a hand basin or metal sink in a corner or against a wall with a slowly dripping tap…  Well tedium is the thing – and nothing quite adds to the tedium of such impositions as these as a dripping tap she can do nothing about.  Oddly enough, in some ways it is even better if she is aware that with little more than a slight twist of the wrist that tap can be stopped dripping.  This is where those jingle bells come in, combined with a baby monitor and a healthy respect for the repercussions of disobedience.  The latter might not necessarily be limited to receiving a bottom braising from the cane, more efficacious might be the disciplinarian simply starting the imposition again, from scratch – and of course setting that tap drip, drip, dripping again!

…To be continued…

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