Friday, 14 October 2011

Petticoat Punishment for Lord George

On a bitterly cold day in the December of 1800, the very few relatives of Lord Lucius Lothario Ghastleigh dutifully arrayed themselves in mourning garb and attended the funeral service being held in the small chapel on his estate. They then witnessed the ornate and oversized coffin being lowered into the ground and covered over.

Apart from a multitude of retainers, servants and acquaintances of the deceased, only seven people present could claim kinship with the late Lord. His only son, George, aged ten, who was now the new Lord Ghastleigh, the late lord's sister, Amelia, her four daughters, Emily, Sara, Catherine and Emma, and Amelia's husband, Peter Stockton, a doctor whose fortune was a tiny fraction of that of his wife's family.

Amelia stared at her dead brother's massive and hugely expensive headstone with mixed emotions. A little sadness and a great deal of resentment for a life wasted. Dead at the age of thirty as the result of a fall from a horse. Lucius, she remembered, had been spoilt as a child and had spent his adolescence and adulthood eating and drinking far too much, spending his money on fine clothes and on horses, and gambling, a pastime he was very bad at.

All he had to show for his brief existence was his son, who was already a minaturised version of his father, complete with a gold watch and chain and a gentleman's cane. He also already had a haughty and superior manner, bossing his girl cousins around even though he was the youngest of the children present.

The funeral party returned to Ghastleigh Manor. Whilst Lord George made his cousins line up for him to inspect them, as if he were a General and the girls were merely footsoldiers under his command, the adults retired to the study for the reading of the will.

But there was, it turned out, no will. Lucius had failed to make one, announced his solicitor. The estate was entailed so the Manor and title went to the nearest male relative, namely George, automatically but as George was a minor it was unclear as to who would act as his guardians.
At length, it was agreed that as George's sole relatives, his Aunt and Uncle should be his guardians.

Amelia's husband, a kind, decent man, ran a busy practice in town. He had no time to look after the estate and would continue to live in the small house above his practice. Amelia would therefore run the estate and would live in the Manor with her daughters. And George, of course.

George was most indignant at finding himself under female rule. He was deliberately disobedient and determined to rebel against Amelia's authority. He was a insufferable monster to his cousins and said and did things that were so unkind that he caused them to cry.

However, George had underestimated his Aunt. Amelia was a forceful and determined woman. She had tried to assert her authority over the boy by various punishments such as spanking him or confining him to his room but these had had no effect.

So when George defied her again, scorning her for being a mere woman, Amelia decided to punish him by stripping him of his assumed superiority by virtue of being masculine. Summoning her maids, she outlined her plan to them. George had been as unpleasant to the servants as he had been to his cousins, so they had no love for him and gleefully became Amelia's instruments.

When George awoke the next morning, he found a quartet of maids waiting from him, instead of his valet. In spite of his protests and resistance, the maids hauled him out of bed and stripped him and then dressed him in the lacy chemise and befrilled knickers of a girl, and a small girl at that. He was put into a white lace baby frock with puffy sleeves and frilled edgings. Then the maids applied hot tongs to George's fine blond hair to give him ringlets and finally tied a girl's bonnet on to his head.

George had resisted fiercely throughout the entire process, threatening dire retribution, but he was no match for four fairly strong women and he found himself dressed up as a babyish looking girl. George was so ashamed at how he looked that he tried to hide under his bed. But the maids were having none of that and dragged him out and marched him downstairs to join the rest of the family at breakfast.

He was dragged, kicking and even biting, into the presence of his Aunt and cousins, who all of course burst out laughing at the sight of George. Like his father, George had been a glutton and was consequently a fat boy. His plump face and body helped to make him look even more babyish. His arms and legs were bare and he wore nothing on his feet whereas his Aunt and cousins wore dresses that at least covered all of their bodies. Most humiliating of all was that the baby frock was too short, due to George's plumpness, and so it was obvious that he was wearing girls' underwear.

George burst into tears at the shame. Amelia ordered him to stop making such a racket and sit down to breakfast. George flew into a tantrum, demanding his normal clothes back and threatening to do terrible things. Amelia and the girls ignored him. Realising that his tactics to get his own way weren't going to work, George eventually dried his eyes and sat down. Then he started crying again when he discovered that his breakfast was merely a bowl of cooling porridge instead of the feast he normally had.

Whilst George ate his paltry fare, Amelia spoke quietly to her daughters, as if George was of no consequence. Amelia explained why George was dressed the way he was. He had failed to act like a little gentleman should, showing kindness and courtesy to his friends, relatives and servants, and obeying the wishes of his legal guardian. He had also developed a low opinion of the female sex. This was not all his fault, Amelia explained, he had clearly been badly brought up so it was her duty to correct his aberrant behaviour. Petticoat punishment and experience of life as a small girl would improve him.

Turning to George, who listened to all this in horror, Amelia told him that from now on until she decided otherwise, he would be dressed and treated as the youngest girl in the household, and just like any girl he had to observe the rule that little girls were seen and not heard and he would do needlework and embroidery just like a girl would. If he showed improvement in his behaviour, Amelia said, she might relent and restore him to boys' things.

George stared at her in shock, his pouting lips quivering at this announcement. Reduced to the status of a small, babyish looking girl, and without the accroutrements of masculinity, the arrogant bully became a pleading supplicant. He begged Amelia to give him back his clothes. He even went down on his bare knees and pleaded with her but Amelia smiled and shook her head and told her daughters to take their cousin away and play with him.

Tittering and giggling, the four girls took their weeping cousin away. They put braclets and necklaces on him and made him play with one of their dolls. When he angrily threw the doll away, Amelia punished him by making him take off his frock and stand in a corner, clad only in his underwear, much to the hilarity of the the girls and the servants.

Amelia made another change, moving her daughters into George's large room, intended for occupancy by the lord of the manor and hence a very masculine environment, whilst George was moved into their old room, which was smaller and decidedly a ladies' bedchamber. Amelia intended to ensure that George was exposed to total femininity.

What made it much worse for George was that there was no pretence that he was a girl. He was still addressed by his male name and it was obvious that he was a boy being forced to dress as a girl.

Over the next month, George continued to be rebellious and he spent many hours in the corner in only his knickers but he could not hold out indefinitely. The effect on the wearer of feminine clothing and being forced to adopt traditionally feminine behaviours such as submissiveness and gentleness is that he becomes more feminine, no matter how masculine he is.

During the second month, a dressmaker came to the house and carefully measured George and then went away again. A few weeks later, a carriage arrived at the manor with boxes and boxes of things for George.

George was disgusted to find that the boxes contained brocaded gowns, dainty underwear, jewelley, hats and clothes. To be worn by him from now on!

The babyish clothes were removed and George found himself being perfumed and dressed up as a lady in the height of feminine fashion. His hair was styled in the lastest fashion. He had to move around in the cumbersome skirts and petticoats, which swished as soon as he moved. Worst of all was the realisation that he looked just a like a girl (and a plump girl at that!) and that everyone could see him dressed this way.

To make matters worse still, George's cousins were allowed to go riding, whilst he was not, and they were even allowed to wear trousers. George was envious. and chafed at the restrictions imposed on him.

After six months of this treatment, George's will was broken. The tantrums, tears and rebellions gradually petered out as George realised that only obedience would serve him well. He became a quiet, submissive little flower and did whatever his aunt and cousins demanded of him. He became adept at needlework and even completed some embroidery, which was given pride of place over the mantlepiece instead of the stag's head put there by his father.

Another month later, George was summoned into his Aunt's study. Strictly speaking, it was George's study and indeed George's house, but his Aunt's power in this house was now absolute. She was his legal guardian and so had complete authority over him until he reached the age of twenty one, which was many years in the future. George's cousins and all the servants did whatever Amelia told them. George, for all that he was peer of the realm, had no power or authority even within his own household. He was at the mercy of a female he had once scorned. He understood this now and knew he had no choice but to accept it.

George was dressed in a pale pink gown with many petticoats and his hair was in ringlets and beribboned. He was perfumed and made up. Underneath his voluminous skirts he wore shoes of a preposterous height and George struggled to walk in them and a pair of frilly drawers that made him blush underneath his cosmetics. He knew that, having lost a lot of weight, he actually looked quite pretty! His cousins had told him so. When he had studied himself in the glass after being dressed by his maids he found it hard to reconcile the image with anything resembling masculinity.

George was hoping that his Aunt would finally relent and restore him to his previous maleness. Amelia complimented him on how well his behaviour had improved. He was completely unrecognisable from the horrid boy he been before. Everyone had commented on it. Amelia paused. The tension was unbearable for George. He was desperate to get out of these clothes and back into trousers. He hadn't worn trousers for so long now that he had quite forgotten what it must be like to wear them after months in skirts.

Amelia sensed the tension and decided to put him out of his misery. She had come to a decision about his future, she informed him. There was a nice girl, the daughter of a dear friend, who would be most suitable for George to marry when he was older. Mary Hardcastle.

George was horrifed. Mary Hardcastle was five years older than him, much taller than him and stronger than him. She also liked to wear male attire and was very bossy. George remembered her smirking at him when he had last met her for she was dressed in her riding outfit, with trousers and boots, whilst George was dressed in a very similar way to the way he was dressed now. It had been an extremely humiliating episode and Mary had scorned him for being a sissy and calling him "lady boy". Mary would be wearing the pants in the relationship, quite literally.

Tremulously, George asked Amelia if, in the meantime, he could go back to being a boy. Amelia laughed and said, of course not. Mary wants you kept in dresses until you are married. Downcast, George looked down at his silken skirts and the frilled drawers peeping out from underneath them and realised that he would be trapped in skirts forever!

The End

3 comments:

  1. Nice story about gender role reversal.
    I like the end of the story. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. i really enjoy your story from beginning to end :D please keep us updated on george:D

    ReplyDelete