From Cherie

Dear Susan,

Greetings from Arizona! I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your magazine. It has, in a very short time, made a difference in my life. You should be proud. I also believe in Petticoat Discipline as a very effective way to get boys and men to a better level of empathy and respect for girls and women. I also believe that a little public humiliation can go a long way.

I remember vividly the first example of Petticoat Discipline (in the mid-sixties) I ever witnessed. I was young myself (around nine), and I was at the town's ballpark to watch a little league game that a boy I knew was playing in. As I was walking in, through the parking lot, I noticed a bit of a commotion coming from a parked station wagon. I heard what sounded like a boy, perhaps a little older than me, crying and pleading with his mother, No way, no way! I wanna go home! Please, Mom? Please? It's not fair! I don't want to be here like this!'.

She was replying, 'You know the deal. You are going to learn to behave, or this will keep happening. If you are a good girl today, and can manage to stay out of trouble, we'll talk about letting you back on the team next week.Otherwise, I'll take you shopping again for some more clothes!'.

I tried to look, without being too obvious. As I caught a glimpse of the scene, I could see that the boy (who I didn't recognize) had a girl's wig on (long hair on boys had not yet made it to the Heartland in '65), in a flipstyle, with a single blue ribbon and bow above the bangs. As his mother guided him out of the car, I could see plainly that he was wearing a short, light blue summer dress, with white, open toed sandals. His fingernails and toenails were painted bright red. I could plainly see a girl's necklace and bracelet, too. It looked like he was wearing blusher, but his face was tear stained, so it was hard to tell. His mother blotted the tears, and said, 'Now, what's your name again, young lady?'

'Debbie', he managed to say, between sobs.

'That's correct. Now let me fix your face'.

As she opened her purse and reached inside, I sensed that they might become aware of my presence, and I started to walk away before being noticed. Later on, I saw the feminised boy sitting quietly by himself in the bleachers. He was wearing bright red lipstick, and there was a lollipop stick jutting out of his mouth. He wasn't crying anymore, but he did seem to be more than a little bewildered. I had never seen anything like this sort of punishment before, and I was fascinated. I couldn't help but wonder what he must have done to cause his mother to take such drastic steps!


I do not favour painted nails, jewelry, or make-up for children younger than 16 or so. In fact painted nails look ghastly at any age. I have no doubt that the idiocy of treating primary school children as if they were miniature adults has, over the last four or five decades, added significantly to the increase in crime and social problems that the United States, in particular, has experienced.

So if petticoat punishment is to be employed, please do not do it as described here. Girls of 9 or 10 should be dressed as children, with no make-up or jewelry (!) and boys under petticoat discipline the same.

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Letter 10