a www.posercpart.com (adults only please!) fantasy illustrated story
The 1955 committee members' bantering exposed a deep current of shared cultural
convictions concerning crucial differences between men's and women's bodies.
Furthermore, it raised the issue of who should and who should not witness the infliction
of corporal and capital punishment. It was one thing for male guards and prison officials
to attend to their distasteful duties but it was out of the question for respectable people,
particularly women, to gaze upon the punished body. As Garland observes, ideas about
punishment are "enmeshed with wider belief-systems and mentalities, deriving their sense
and credibility from their ability to resonate with established ways of thinking and
understanding." Conversely, some ideas seem intuitively to be nonsensical or
incredible jokes. In this instance, acknowledging the sexual undercurrent of physical
punishment was taboo because modern penal mentalities turned (in Eliasian terms) on
privatizing disturbing or inappropriately pleasurable events and on preserving
containment fields for male and female bodies. Even opponents of whipping felt too
uncomfortable to address the possibility that the pain of corporal punishment could be
twisted into witnesses' sadistic pleasure.
The Joint Committee members confronted the pornographic qualities of physical
punishment again when members debated the prospect of observing an actual whipping.
Ms Anne Shipley, one of three
women on the committee, shocked her
fellow members when she argued that
watching lashes and whips in action
would be more instructive than merely
gazing at them and listening to prison
officials describe them. The warden of
the Kingston penitentiary politely
declined her request, protesting that the
prospect would be "very embarrassing"
(to whom, he did not specify).
After so much bantering, it came out that women officers did indeed routinely cane
It was eventually agreed that the ladies would be permitted to observe a series of
male prisoners undergo routine demerit canings, and it was arranged for two women
officers to administer punishment in the presence of the ladies.
One by one, several
male prisoners with excessive demerits tallies for the month were brought out.
The woman officer then pulled down the culprit's underdrawers in full view of the
women present, and proceeded to cane his naked buttocks.
Afterward viewing the initial demerit punishments, the ladies, far from being
shocked, expressed interest in witnessing further prison canings.