The cowboy and the spanking

04Oct11

Until the 1980s no western was complete without a spanking. Even die-hard feminists could turn a blind eye and say, ‘oh well it was just how it was in the old west.’

In truth spanking in the old west was probably as much of a myth as a six-gun on every hip and shoot-out on every street corner. Although, given that the murder rate in any given western state in an average year during the 19th century was between zero and one, spanking was probably far more commonplace.

So the reality is, when talking westerns and cowboy spanking we mean movie and pulp fiction spankings. And so legends are born.

Followers of the now defunct Arild’s Movie website, will know that for every mainstream spanking movie you have heard about, there are maybe 50 you haven’t. In the 1930s, 40s, 50s and even 60s, McKlintock! wasn’t a rarity, it was virtually the rule. In fact, if John Wayne hadn’t been in the movie, hell he was the movie, then it is doubtful that it would ever get an airing now as a curio classic.

For the most part the scenario would run something like this: Uppity wench in breeches tries to show she is as good as a man, shoots at man/dog/other man in funny hat and misses. Then man, while dog and other man cowers in fear, takes the gun away from the aforesaid uppity wench and says something like “what would your Pa do if he caught you messing with guns?” After which she would become all girly and meek and then reply, “aw shucks, I guess he would paddle my tail.”

Or

He would say, “I’m gonna do something that your Pa should have done a long time ago.” To which she defiantly replied, “you wouldn’t dare.”

Then the man would grab the girl (there was always a struggle because red blooded American girls don’t give in easy) and put her over his knee. Where upon the breeches, which were always tighter than any such attire would be for at least 80 years, very handily displayed her comely bottom ripe for a spanking.

The spanking would often be a token affair, but sufficient to extract respect and on-going defiance or long and hard to facilitate a surrender. If the audience was lucky, then there would be two spankings. Early in the film the girl would be spanked by way of a marker and then later on well and truly tamed. By which time she would have donned feminine clothes that actually disguised the padding that was required.

There were many exceptions of course, give that some of the spankings in these films was there, not as a conspiracy against women, but as codified sex. There are actually books and academic papers written about women who must be treated as children at all times as an instrument of male suppression etc, and that the spanking is symbolic of a whole range of etc…

Who really thinks men sit down to plot this stuff? The only motive was sex, which was otherwise taboo and if the women didn’t want to see it as much as the men, then you can be sure that it wouldn’t have been there.

Beauty and the Bandit, was an excellent and rarely seen example of this. In 1946, Gilbert Roland not only spanks Ramsay Ames, but after she admits her crime (stealing the peasants’ land), Roland ups the ante by using an improvised wooden paddle to spank her.

Another way to sneak sex, sorry we mean spanking, past the censor was to dress it up as comedy. The Spank Statement carried a feature (and clip) of the Singing Hill, where a sound spanking is depicted as routine and above all fun.

Cow girl sitting on a pillow while riding following a spanking - a scene from the Singing Hill

The cowboy hero and the western spanking remains one of the most enduring fantasies of men and above all women.

One day in a less sensitive well world and given the insatiable hunger of content, some of these movies will remerge no doubt.

For a DJ Black version of the old west try the Bannerman Saga, which began with the Life and Times of Rachel Kent.

 



5 Responses to “The cowboy and the spanking”

  1. I love cowboys. I want to be a cowgirl. But with an English accent. And in a film where all the girls wear pretty dresses.
    I don’t want to deconstruct cowboys that spank. I like to believe that certain parts of America are just like those films- the ones in my head.
    I want to read the story but I have stupid work to do.

  2. 2 paul1510

    DJ, interesting, a funny old world, then spanking was acceptable, sex wasn’t, today the opposite applies. :D

  3. I will like spank a cowgirl!!!

  4. You will spank like a cowgirl?

    Cool :)

  5. I loved the deconstruction of the western spanking, the note about spanking as an instrument of male oppression, and then the line, “Who really thinks men sit down to plot this stuff?” As usual, you’re just right, DJ.

    And you made me laugh, too. (“Uppity wench in breeches tries to show she is as good as a man, shoots at man/dog/other man in funny hat and misses. ” That’s the complicated plot line of some of the most popular movies of my childhood.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 373 other followers

%d bloggers like this: