I don’t know whether to kiss you or spank you

14Apr16

moviespank1 Ann Margaret spanked at 20; supplied by TipToppermovie 1927 my best girl movie mcfadden flats movie mcklintock _500 movie melvyn douglas our wife movie mexicanspitfire_poster movie RUSSELL-HAYDEN-SPANKING-SHIRLEY-PATTERSONThe online magazine Jezebel got very excited about spanking this week. I expect most here will be more interested in the extensive illustrations and the compilation of movie clips. But it does make some interesting historical points about spanking and views on women.

Here is how it opened:

In early 1946, a woman from Carmel, California wrote the Hollywood fan magazine Screenland to say how much she had enjoyed the recent Christmas release Frontier Gal—not just for its lovely performers and dazzling Technicolor vistas, but for saving her marriage by teaching her husband to spank her.

After he’d returned from the war, she’d struggled to warm up to him again, she wrote, which caused a problem—and here was the solution. “In desperation, after seeing the show, he tried little Beverly’s philosophy,” wrote Mrs JBM “Daddies spank mamas because they love them. While this old-fashioned approach probably wouldn’t work in all cases, it did for us, and I would appreciate an opportunity to publicly thank Universal and Frontier Gal.”

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The rest of the article was a somewhat long and occasionally confusing, but nonetheless it was an extensively researched look at spanking in the movies (mostly) intermingled with sometimes rather less thought out comparisons with domestic violence.

It made a pretty good fist of analysing the infantilising of women during the so-called Golden Age of Movies, and it did stop to ponder if there wasn’t some coded sex at work (among other theories).

It struggled a bit with separating horseplay, fun and old fashioned spanking romance, but it did shed some light on the almost routine and extensive deployment of spanking up until the 1960s.

I am not entirely sure what point was being made as there was little attempt at contrasting and comparing this movie practice with the treatment of women in the modern cinema. Instead its focus is almost entirely on movies made before the mid-sixties in terms of an exposé 50 years too late.

The comments were interesting. Many were amused or vaguely supportive of spanking as a cultural bit of fun, many just picking up on it being sexy. But many others went overboard with nausea at the injustices piled up on their grandmothers – many actually claiming that they were physically sick.

The outrage over the injustices of yesteryear might have been better placed if they had been focussed on the attitudes of the courts at that time or at least if they had been more discerning about their movies targets. Although some distinction was made between consensual and non-consensual spankings, ultimately they were all thrown in together with equal puzzlement rather than scorn.

I actually liked the details about actual movie starlets being spanked by paternal directors, but that probably makes me a bad man.

Here is another excerpt:

But sometimes they were punished in life. In 1934, the Hollywood press reported that Lupe Velez, spanked in Hot Pepper (1933) and Mexican Spitfire’s Blessed Event (1943), had been spanked off camera—by her director: “In the midst of some of her didoes, Director Van Dyke reached the end of his patience and grabbing Lupe, threw her across his knee and administered a good, old-fashioned spanking where it should be delivered. And Lupe was a good girl for the rest of the picture.” She was 25.

Ten years later, 21-year-old Linda Darnell was struggling to play a part in Summer Storm, take after take failing to muster the right emotions. Finally, director Douglas Sirk walked over to her, “administered a few sound swats” to her behind, and then asked her to do it again. The next time, she got it right, and she said her relationship with Sirk was wonderful from then on.

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I think the point of all this was that the movies served to reflect and reinforce a particular attitude to women in an almost propaganda way. The truth however could be said then and today about any number of issues. I think it might be overstating the case that women were oppressed merely because of what they saw in movies or that spanking was the greatest threat posed to them. In any case I am not sure what it tells about the modern woman or the modern spanko come to that.

You can read the article in full at Jezebel.

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10 Responses to “I don’t know whether to kiss you or spank you”

  1. 1 Maria White

    Lupe Velez was not spanked in “Mexican Spitfire’s Blessed Event”. Her exasperated husband has her in an appropriate position, as shown in the still, when she reveals her pregnancy, and the spanking is immediately aborted.

    • 2 DJ

      No – only in Mexican Spitfire – but this is about the spanking she got from the director on set. 😉

  2. 3 George

    You know: “I want to ki?? you”. I would do both… (and I don’t mean ‘killing’).

  3. 4 MrJ

    I find that title confusing. NOo for myself, I mean, but for some of the girls

  4. 5 Enzo

    Thanks for this post and the link to this very interesting Jezebel article. I think if the author had interviewed or supplied thoughts from the actual spanked actresses of the time it would have made for a better and thorough article as I am still unclear of the overall point(s).
    Regardless the comments are always a bit disheartening on the public view of consensual spanking.
    Best,
    Enzo

    • 6 DJ

      Yes I would like to have seen a comparative with now – even a feminist one – otherwise it is just misplaced rage at a misunderstood other world.

  5. The title of this post reminds me of something completely unrelated.
    When Elizabeth Smart was found and returned to her family after her supposed kidnappers were caught, her mother’s statement was “I didn’t know whether to hug her or spank her.” The first thing that went through my mind was “WTF???”
    I always thought there was something fishy about that whole thing and the evidence did not support the story.

    • 8 DJ

      No idea what you are talking about (sorry if that sounds rude) but I have no idea who ms smart is or if any discussion is even appropriate. The quote is an old one used as the title of the article.

      • Just feel free to delete it.

        • 10 DJ

          No need – I am sure others are on the same page – sorry I just meant I couldn’t comment – not heard of this. 🙂


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