The Weird World of Petticoat Discipline
Now for something different: Petticoat Discipline.
No, we’re not joking!
Petticoating, otherwise referred to as pinaforing, is a kind of rare, humiliating, and socially unacceptable punishment, which involves dressing a boy in girls’ clothing as a form of discipline.
Not just limited to certain subgenres of erotic fantasy and role-play, there is credible evidence in social history that this was a form of punishment actually employed and dating back at least to the Victorian era. It was even discussed openly in family magazines during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
Until World War One, it was fashionable to dress small boys in the same attire as their sisters, up until age five or six: ribboned vests, lace dresses and petticoats, and even bonnets. .
Older boys would be dressed by their mothers or nannies in pretty, girlish clothing as retribution for minor offenses. Boys were feminised by being forced to wear female clothing, and made to feel like “sissies” in the presence of strong females, such as mother, aunt, grandmother, and often in the presence of his siblings, cousins, and other girls of their own age. By humiliating and embarrassing the boy, and dressing him conspicuously in feminine clothing and fabrics, moderate behaviour which did not draw attention was encouraged.
The said boy may even have been forced to appear in public dressed thus, sometimes even in matching garments as those worn by his mother or sister. He may have been made to perform tasks which, at the time, were considered to be “girls’ work”. This was unendingly humiliating, and as such, was deemed to be a deterrent from behaving in such a way as provoked the punishment again in future. At the lighter end of the spectrum, boys were dressed in bow ties, velvet and short pants; the extreme end had boys being forced into lace, bows, and even shaved legs and female underwear. Sometimes petticoat discipline did not involve girls’ clothes; a sailor suit or Little Lord Fauntleroy outfit was enough to keep a boy in line. This was used up to age twenty in some extremes.
There are claims that petticoating had an additional, sexual context for some mothers; some women had long wished for daughters and hence gained some satisfaction from feminising their sons.
What was the impact of this childhood punishment? Some adult male transvestites in the past have reported experiencing petticoating as children. At the very least, identity crises and self esteem issues must have ensued.
This scenario is actually re-enacted today by some as a fetish. Whatever rocks one’s boat!