Monday, 28 February 2011
This and the other Hans Braun drawings here are from a special edition of Phoenix magazine years ago on the subject of punishment dress.
The so called punishment apron, which was used in womens' prisons and some of the work-houses was a form of dress intended to expose the buttocks even more blatantly. Sometimes they were but the ordinary aprons of serving women, with tie-tapes at the back of the waist and neck, borrowed for the occasion from the kitchens; sometimes they were elaborately made dresses — or an elaborate dress converted for the purpose. It was typical of the cynical hypocrisy of the period to claim that, as a woman's breasts and frontal view were covered, there was no indecency in the exposure, before men, of girls thus dressed for chastisement. Few however will doubt that there was indeed an exposure most indecent during the punishment described below: one friend writing to another after watching the flogging of a girl thief at the invitation of a work-house master.
I judged her to be not yet twenty years and looking as pretty as one could wish for as she was led in. Her face was sad enough 'tis true but if she had graced us with a smile, and if the label of 'thief' had been removed, it would have been as if a pretty and elegant young woman had been joining us for tea!
Little did I know what was behind her! Or what wasn't behind her! For, when she came in, the dress seemed most demure with a cut front to give us a glimpse of her breasts, a bodice that did justice to her womanhood and a nice tightness at the waist to set off her hips. Bare feet, showing under a skirt hanging clear from the ground, were the only hints given by her front that some fashionable daughter was not offering herself on the market for marriage instead of offering her saucy bottom for a whipping.
And offer the bottom for a whipping is what the dress did, for, as soon as the master had taken the whip from her, the two harpies who had brought her in forced her to our side of the table and turned her around while they themselves went to take the creature's hands. There was no back to the skirt! A pretty bodice with ten little buttons down to her tight little waistband and then nothing! Or do I say definitely something? The most glorious bum!
When they had dragged the weeping girl across, they held her by the wrists and the shoulders with such intent that it was plain that they did not expect her to remain placid when the lash bit into her behind, and, by the earnestness of that preparation I guessed them to be knowing of the master's ways. And it was so. From the first cut onwards she let loose a screaming and twisting and struggling that gave an amusing dance to her legs and bottom as they were striped and yielded indiscreet views that a shy and demure lady would normally keep to herself!
Just look at that bottom and that whip! It is surely unusual to find a backside like that on a young girl, it is more suited to a mature and voluptuous woman like Eve or Susana. Their plump bottoms would be ideal recipients of a flogging with that whip.