Jezebel does it again. They’ve gone rummaging through film archives and compiled a collection of clips that expose the mainstream attitude towards women: they are like children, and deserve to be spanked by a strong man.
With the camera rolling or not, stories coming from Hollywood studios presented a consistent message that spankings were a healthy part of a woman’s life. At the same time, all across America women were getting spanked by their husbands—and taking them to court.
To many American women, a spanking was the fruit not of charming adoration but domestic tyranny. Sometimes these spankings were precipitated by violent behavior on the part of the wife—but just as often it was for her failure to be a docile servant.
It got me wondering…was there ever a scene in an old movie in which a man gets rude or uppity or deserving of discipline, and another man grabs him, flings him over his knee, and starts walloping his butt with a hairbrush? Ever? And wouldn’t the public have been horrified at the impropriety of such a scene, with all its implications of ownership, disrespect and disregard, and sexuality?