Thursday, 1 December 2011

Stern Sophistication

A few shots of some retro no-nonsense ladies:

I can't tell exactly what this last one has in her hand, but she looks like she is not timid about using it....


  1. It looks to me like one of those Japanese folding fans, but let's face it, symbolically - that is a riding crop. You're not imagining things - those women all have, "pull down your pants, young man!", written all over them... We have no idea how many people are attracted to spank-like themes, but they do seem to get hinted at a lot. It's all quite mysterious...

  2. Yeah, you're probably right - it does look like a folding fan, but I can't imagine the 'Mad Men' behind a shot like this were unaware of the subtle implications of the arrogant hand-on-hip stance, the haughty glare, and the brandishing of something that looks like it could be used for a spanking implement.
    Spanking was not an uncommon theme in advertising in the 50's, but it was almost always M/F. I am tempted to think they felt that M/F was acceptable behavior, but that the American male was not ready to accept the idea of F/M - at least not openly. Nevertheless, Madison Avenue felt safe to now and then - as you say - 'hint' at it .
    After all, it's just a picture of a woman holding a fan... right?

  3. And don't forget the wars. In the first part of the twentieth-century our societies were highly militarized and tended to view only ultra-manly "warrior" types as being of value. It wasn't until the '60s that the "counter hero" started to emerge with actors like Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Hopper. So, yeah, a guy being spanked by a woman was entirely out of the question and could only be presented as something terrible or funny that you would want to avoid...but we're presenting it anyway, heh, heh, heh... Nobody wants that mob with the lederhosen, the pitch-forks, and the torches to arrive at their front door. It's all layers of deception and denial and arousal and ignorance and fear swirling about each other...who the hell knows?