Sororities: then and now


Someone recently sent in these pictures (more on that in a future post), some of which are familiar, but others not so. Among the sorority pictures, were some modern ones of young women clearly being or about to be spanked. These cannot be published as the girls concerned are clearly identifiable and may still be at college.

However taken together, they reveal a clear picture of spanking a punishment in American sororities during the 20th century. For instance, in the earliest picture the are Edwardian sorority girls are all holding little canes. Note that the kneeling unsmiling girl appears to be being inducted. The caption submitted was ‘grandmother’s sorority initiation’.

Previously a contributor to this blog explained how she had seen old sorority pictures in a confidential archive showing such pictures. She was told that early photography did not allow ‘action shots’ such as the one seen in the 1940s picture above, but the girls ‘sure got a lot of action.’

Although this has been published elsewhere on the web, the context of the picture is usually not included. Apparently, it is from a magazine published in the wartime US. With the men away the girls got to fighting over the few that were left and stooped to devious methods such as wearing their skirts too short to entice other girls boyfriends. The second picture above shows the culprits being punished.

The picture below that is from the early 1950s. The girl who appears nervously at the door is apparently reporting for her housekeeping, a practice where pledges are routinely paddled for petty breaches of the rules.

The innocence and modesty of the three top pictures contrasts starkly with the last picture, which shows sorority girls apparently displaying their paddle marks after ‘suffering’ at the hands of their ‘big sisters’.

Times may change but maybe sorority spanking is not as rare as some might claim. But perhaps these are just the exceptions.

More on sororities here.

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