The Courage to Submit: An Unlikely Role Model

Okay, after several articles exploring all the serious psychology behind DD (domestic discipline) it seems time to lighten things up a bit.

Note that this article will make much more sense if you first CLICK HERE to view the video that inspired it.

Of course, I enjoyed this clip immensely. For starters, it's a rare example of the sort of thing we women who are DD-inclined spend a lot of time fantasizing about: a real-life example of a young, attractive woman being spanked by a nurturing but stern older man.

But beyond the erotic power of this video being about a real person in a real disciplinary situation, this video caught my attention in another, even more compelling, way. The more I watched it, the more I realized that Nancy, the "star" of the video, was in many ways, the person I aspire to be both in life and in DD/disciplinary situations.

For starters, Nancy is attractive and very feminine. She is, we learn, a beauty queen -- Miss Booneville 2008. By definition, an archetype of femininity. That her excuse for her repeated lateness to school involves being a "lady" who needs extra time to get ready further reinforces this archetype. I'm reminded of John F. Kennedy's remark about Jackie's lateness to a social event: "Mrs. Kennedy is organizing herself. She takes longer than we do, but then again, she looks better than we do when she's finished." Powerful iconic images of femininity are invoked here. This is a young woman who, consciously or not, taps into many women's most deeply-cherished images of what it means to be female.

Nancy's dilemma re: the extra inconvenience of being female is mirrored sympathetically by Principal Halter, who sympathizes with a smile that "he's spent half of his life waiting for women to get ready." Relieved, Nancy believes she's going to avoid a punishment because she has used her feminine wiles to charm her would-be disciplinarian. This is fantasy fulfillment, too, of course -- we often long for our disciplinarian to understand and forgive us our transgression because we are so charming, rather than holding us accountable.

But deep down, most of us also realize that if we were to be forgiven without punishment, a big part of us would feel let down, unsafe, incomplete. Justice must be done for us to feel balanced. Nancy herself acknowledges with a small smile that even though half the student body is female, presumably with the same necessity to get ready that she has, "they're not late." She is admitting here her need for justice and fairness. In an indirect way, she is asking to be punished and admitting that she deserves it.

It's clear that Nancy is nervous about what's to come, of course. Her body language and nervous smiles and winces make it fairly clear that she knows she's not going to get out of being punished. And yet when Principal Halter offers her the choice of a paddling or a half day's detention, she keeps her cool. Instead of flinching, panicking or begging for mercy, she does something that I, at least, found surprisingly courageous and adventurous for a 16-year old teenage beauty queen facing what is apparently her first paddling. She asks to see the paddle.

How brave, how empowered this is! How inspirational, really, for Nancy to keep her cool in this most embarrassing situation enough to have the presence of mind to inspect the implement of her humiliation before making her decision. This is real-life girl power in action. It's clear that Principal Halter is also taken aback and perhaps even impressed by her chutzpah. His smile as he tells her to "have at it" and indicates the paddle on his desk seems to reflect at least a little admiration.

But Nancy doesn't just "see" the paddle. She picks it up and tests its weight, obviously imagining how it will feel on her bottom. Then she experimentally swings it in a mock swat. In picking up the paddle and swinging it, she becomes an active, rather than a passive, participant in her punishment. In this moment, she empowers herself and shifts from victim to willing partner in her punishment.

"Wow," she says as she holds the paddle, "I actually have your paddle in my hands." she jokes, with apparent genuine delight. Despite the seriousness of the situation, she finds humor and the self-confidence to see the fun of the situation. As Principal Halter laughs, she is able to share a moment of companionship with her "executioner." To take matters further, she is even able to come up with a pun: "This is disciplinary action," she says as she swings the paddle. Here is a girl who can laugh as she faces the chopping block - a modern heroine in the spirit of Mary of Scots telling her executioner that she hopes he has good aim.

While still holding the paddle, Nancy announces that she will take the three swats and the half day of detention to "get it over with." That she does this while still holding the paddle feels especially empowered -- she makes her decision while holding the symbol of that decision -- claiming, in a sense, her pain. And notice the confidence with which she makes that choice. She never, not once, tries to negotiate for more leniency or plead her way out of her punishment.

In addition, I was struck by the clear, confident way in which she says potentially embarrassing words like "paddle" or "three licks." She doesn't seem to feel there's anything shameful and degrading about discussing this subject. Instead, the whole attitude surrounding being paddled feels matter-of-fact and respectful.

This is perhaps an issue unique to me, but even after years of discussing these things with my partner and writing about them on the blog, I still have difficulty saying words like "paddle," "discipline," "punishment" and "swats" out loud, feeling that somehow in doing so, I am debasing myself. This reluctance is a source of frustration to both myself and my partner, because it's difficult to have an actual, adult conversation about what I need and want without an awful lot of hesitation and stuttering and vague euphemisms. But here is a 16-year old girl who can say these words without hesitation or apparent shame. (Later on, she adds with equal confidence that she'll just have to "take her punishment.")

Having been told that she has until Friday to decide for sure whether she'll choose the paddle or a full day of detention, Nancy smiles and genuinely, even happily says, "thank you" to the principal for offering her the choice as to how she wants to be disciplined. There doesn't seem to be any irony or petulance in her thank you. She seems genuinely grateful and appreciative of his time and energy in meting out punishment. And she seems more relaxed and confident on her way out the door than she did on her way in -- despite the fact that she's facing a certain punishment.

Friday comes, and Nancy is back along with about six other students to receive her paddling. Although she smiles nervously upon entering the office and it's clear she's scared, she is consistently courageous and in charge of her own decision to take the swats. Even when Principal Halter gives her another chance to get out of it, she doesn't back out, although the look on her face suggests clearly that she's scared. And indeed, she does express doubt as to the wisdom of her decision.

Nancy is the only girl to have selected a paddling instead of day-long detention. Waiting outside the principal's office along with the boys for her turn to be paddled, she is now in a situation where she will be pressured to act as courageously as the boys who are in for the same punishment. To get over her fear, she seems to find strength in her femininity. In an alternate take from the same documentary (CLICK HERE TO SEE IT), she offers comfort and support to a boy also waiting to be paddled -- putting her own fears aside to offer nurturing to him.

When Principal Halter opens the door and asks her if she's ready, she pauses a moment to gather her courage and silently enters the office -- the picture of courage in the face of doubt, fear and impending pain and embarrassment. Nancy maintains her dignity and self-respect in a situation in which one might expect anyone, much less a 16-year old girl who's never been paddled before, to fall apart completely.

Once Nancy enters the principal's office, we don't see what happens, but we get to hear the swats being administered. Although the swats sound pretty severe, other than a small "ouch," she takes her punishment bravely and apparently obediently.

Walking out of the office after her paddling, Nancy even manages a small smile for the camera. I can't help but feel that while this is partly to cover her embarrassment, there's also an element here of pride in her having overcome her fears and going through with the paddling -- one of the few kids in the clip with the courage to do so.

Although we do see her rubbing her bottom as she walks away, Nancy tells the interviewer that the paddling wasn't as bad as she thought it would be She has discovered that the fear of the unknown is worse than the actual object of fear itself.

Most importantly, throughout the clip, it seems clear to me that Nancy in no way associates submitting to justly-earned punishment with a loss of self-respect or self-worth. In fact, it seems the opposite is true -- in submitting to discipline with dignity and courage, she has affirmed her self-worth and her identity as someone who can survive an embarrassing or painful situation and come out stronger on the other side.

Nancy is, for me, the model of how to take a punishment and come out the other side a stronger, better, more attractive and feminine person than she was before. Her example is one that I would like to keep in mind and emulate in similar situations in my own life -- both literally when facing a spanking, and throughout my life when facing difficult or embarrassing situations.

PS -- By the way, it probably shouldn't go without saying that Principal Halter does a terrific job in his role as disciplinarian. He's kind, sympathetic and nurturing -- but it's also clear from the get-go that there's no way he's going to let her out of her punishment or give her less than he feels she's got coming. And while this could be a very humiliating experience for Nancy, he consistently shows her with respect by including her as a partner in her own punishment rather than treating her like a passive victim. His matter-of-fact approach to inflicting the paddling, I suspect, does much to contribute to Nancy's ability to come out of the experience more empowered than when she went in.

SPECIAL NOTE: If anyone out there has the capacity to download and save the file for this video so I can link to it internally on this blog rather than relying on Photobucket to keep the link up, I'd appreciate it. I know there are programs out there that can do this, but they're too large for my little dial-up connection to download!

12 comments:

  1. I like what you say about Nancy being a partner in her own punishment. To me that is the key to making a punishment really work. It isn't a matter of one person imposing his will on another, but of two people coming to an agreement and then following through so that they both gain a sense of closure. It takes strength and courage from both partners for this to happen. Meow

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  2. Anonymous12:28

    Nancy's ability to talk about the aspects of her punishment without hesitation or shame is probably due to this being a "normal" part of life, as a teenager in a school that uses corporal punishment. If adults hear about her being paddled they might think she deserved it, and some might even tell her so, but they wouldn't think there was something "wrong" with her. Likewise other students are going to view it as a "fact of life" in their school.

    Nancy may feel some amount of embarrassment about being paddled -- I think the video shows that she does feel that, and admirably braves her way through it. But she knows that the punishment she received is finally just something that sometimes happens to kids at her school.

    Debbie

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  3. Hi Debbie,

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

    I think you're absolutely right. It's the acceptance of her punishment as normal by those around her that help her to talk so freely about it.

    I think for me personally one of the goals I've always strived for was that kind of experience with my partner.

    DD relationships seem to work best when discipline has been practiced to the point where it's a normal part of everyday life rather than something odd or experimental.

    To me, at least, that's where the real closeness, safety and bonding start to come.

    When I was in grade school, there was one particular girl who got paddled pretty frequently. She and the teacher had such a comfortable, relaxed relationship (in a non-creepy way) and I always wondered if the paddlings contributed to that (or vice versa).

    Warmest,
    Viv

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  4. Anonymous11:21

    There is absolutely no punishment here. She has done nothing but
    "Bratt" her self into a paddling. What she got into trouble for, being tardy is very minor. She negotiated what she was going to get. And since a lot of kids get paddled there is not any social stigmatism to it.

    I have known a lot of people who wanted to get paddled in school and did things to get one. But this was in situations where there were enough paddlings so you know what you were going to get.

    She is obviously a spanko. She fulfilled a fantasy of older male punishing younger female. I love your description of the fantasy and I enjoyed both videos to a point.

    I understand the realty too well to truly enjoy watching it. When I was in ninth grade in Florida teachers were allowed to paddle. Quite a few obviously enjoyed it and enjoyed making the kids cry.

    A co-worker from Texas said that most of his teachers could make even the toughest football player cry on one lick. And a lot of the students were crying even before the paddling in front of the whole class.

    I betcha this girl has to get paddled again. I know if I had been able to control the paddling to the extent she has I would have gotten it a lot.

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  5. I don't think she's a spanko, really, like the person who posted right before this. I don't--I think it's simpler than that. She viewed the paddling like ripping off a bandaid. I couldn't imagine any of the kids I went into highschool with NOT making that decision--it's either that, or you don't get to sleep in.

    It would have been a very different deal if she wasn't allowed a choice in the matter, like we really don't as DD folk. I mean, yes--it's consentual, but not on a spanking-to-spanking basis. At least, not for a lot of us--not for me. But I can't tell my husband right before a spanking that I opt out of it. There's no 'opt'. Like the rule book the school follows, there's a sort of "rule book" where I understand that if I do the crime, I get a certain punishment, and that's that. And there's solice in that, too. I at least know what's comming, what his reaction's going to be, and a lot of wives DON'T know how their husbands will react when they do something wrong, so in that case, I have a one-up.

    It was an excellent documentary, no doubt--but I don't know if I emmulate her. I mean, I think she's a brat, and I think that 3 swats were nothing compaired to what she needed. She liked to think that because she was attractive, she required more leeway than someone who wasn't, and instead of blow-drying, or waking up early to do so--they got their ass to class. Classic teenage egotism. Also, I think she was WAY too happy after the paddling. This is what I took away from it when she said, "Oh, it wasn't too bad"... I heard, "Now that I know how not bad it is, I'll just sleep in on Monday, too." A good punishment is supposed to frighten you away from doing bad, so I don't think she got a good punishment. As the person before me said: She will be paddled again. In fact, probably for the same thing.

    But I do really like the principal. He was a good male-role model and punishment-dealer. He actively listened to her, he made it seem like he cared--but he was unwavering. That, I really liked. Thanks for sharing that with us!

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  6. Anonymous22:48

    Thanks for posting the link to the clip. Nancy does indeed seem a strong, well-centered girl. It’s touching how young people can sometimes present virtues like fairness and dignity in their simplest forms. My butt hurts, but I’ve earned this punishment and I accept it. Getting my ass beat embarrasses me, but I am not demeaned by it.

    You’re also right about Principal Halter honoring his responsibility to his student by keeping the punishment so matter-of-fact. The paddling wasn’t abusive or weird because he’s not. It wasn’t kinky for him; he just wanted the girl to get to school on time.

    Finally, a tip of the hat to the filmmakers for staying outside the door during the actual paddling. It’s nice when someone on TV knows when to stop.

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  7. Yes, it is nice to see TV crews with a sense of respect, though this credit may well lie with the school board or officials.

    I was paddled several times in junior and senior high, and it was no big deal. Once, in drafting class, the whole class got it for taking advantage of the teacher's temporary absence to leave class and school early (last class of the day). The only reason I was not paddled was because I was absent that day! I wonder if it works better alone or as a group: perhaps the group aspect would offer a binding as a group of miscreants. Hmmm.

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  8. Anonymous10:20

    Not sure how to get this to you... so I'll just tell you what I did. It's on YouTube called "The Principal's Office - Nancy's Punishment". There's a firefox extension called DownloadHelper that allows you to download the file directly, or there are other ways of downloading YouTube videos if you don't like that.

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  9. Thanks! I'll give that a try, now that I know how to find it on You Tube.

    Warmest.
    Viv

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  10. Anonymous07:39

    I have to say that I don't think this was really punishment. I feel that if she gets to choose her punishment, then it is not very effective. She chose a paddling rather than a whole days detention, so she should have gotten the whole day of detention. She obviously would rather not lose a whole Saturday.

    I was paddled twice in school, and neither time was I given an option about it. It's a funny thing, but in elementary school, we feared getting paddled (I was scared half to death about what was coming during the lectures that my principle gave us prior to the paddling), and I never repeated my misdeeds again. Same as when I was spanked at home. By the time I got into high school, my friends and I always hoped to get a paddling rather than lines or detention. A paddling lasts less than a minute and then its over. Other punishments take up precious time when we could have been goofing off.

    Of course a paddling at school is very different than a DD spanking. If I were to stop at three licks with the paddle with my girl, she would get very resentful towards me and feel hurt and uncared for. This is the big problem we had when we got started in this lifestyle. I didn't understand her need for discipline, and so I did not spank near hard enough or long enough. It's been over a year and I still have to make myself punish her as hard as she needs, which is well past my comfort zone.

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  11. Anonymous15:10

    The video "Nancy's Punishment" is quite obviously fake. The girl doesn't even have the proper AR accent. Aside from that, I've heard from multiple sources that none of the stuff on the show, "The Principal's Office," is real. It is all scripted and acted out. It would have to be for them to catch some of the stuff that they catch on camera. Also, Ive heard from sound specialists that the impact sounds were added in. Aside from that, Ive heard from students from some of the schools where the show takes place and they say its all faked and planned out. Its about as real as pro wrestling.

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  12. There is a part of me which are touched by her punishment and it is only because I am male. I believe that corporal punishment should be outlawed by the very same reason.

    She would have so much more respect for the rules if her actions would have resulted in community service (cleaning, painting, gardening work).

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