Short trousers for all schoolboys
I find the accounts by Smartlad and Geronimo and others about older boys in short trousers being under the control and sometimes actually punished by younger children exceptionally interesting. It is humiliating enough being forced to wear short trousers at an advanced age but then being ordered about and even punished by a younger sibling or whoever is totally shaming.
The account by Smartlad of the 20 year old boy put back into short trousers and into a class of 14 year old boys and then to come under the authority of his younger brother who was a Prefect must have been awful since the other boys at the school would have known that this was the case. Geronimo seems more relaxed about having his legs slapped by his younger babysitter but I imagine the bare bottom spanking over his mother's lap at the end of the evening in front of the younger girl was more humiliating.
My parents were generally strict and from the age of 16 I was occasionally punished by being made to wear a special school uniform complete with grey short trousers and blazer and cap for a weekend. This included having to go out in public and to Sunday Evensong so I was seen by those who knew I normally wore longs and was therefore back in shorts as a punishment.
When I reached 18 my parents joined a Bridge club which meant they went out every Friday evening. If I was unlucky enough to be undergoing a punishment weekend in short trousers and uniform they added to my disgrace by insisting I needed a babysitter despite my being legally an adult. I would be dropped off at the house of friends of my parents and put in the charge of their 15 year old daughter whom I had to address as Miss.
She was told to treat me as a naughty little boy which included slapping my legs whenever she felt the need. For this reason I was always dressed in a very short pair of short trousers with barely two inches of inside leg although the trousers were loosely cut allowing each leg to be lifted even higher. Miss would make me stand on a low stool with my hands on my head and lifting each trouser leg in turn would apply her hand or a short thick leather tawse which was extremely painful. She would inflict 10 to 20 strokes per leg leaving my thighs throbbing with pain and me usually in tears despite trying desperately not to cry. I was rarely babysat without having my legs slapped and on some evenings I would undergo two or even three sessions resulting in very red legs which were strikingly obvious to my parents when they collected me later that evening.
My babysitter's parents were present in the house throughout the evening and knew exactly what was happening but were quite content to leave their daughter complete freedom to deal with me as she saw fit. She viewed me with undisguised contempt for being such a baby for allowing my parents to dress me as a child and for submitting to her punishments. In her eyes I was a total wimp who deserved to be punished for not being a normal boy!
These babysitting evenings happened about three times a year and ended when I reached 21 and my parents decided I was too old to be treated like this.
A few years later I met my old babysitter at a party where she introduced me to one of her girlfriends as "this is the little boy whose legs I used to slap". She then proceeded to explain that she was my babysitter despite my being three years her senior while I went bright red with embarrassment. Her friend looked incredulous and simply laughed.
May I ask when this happened? It does seem rather extreme. Did your parents use corporal punishment? I assume they must have given their approval for the girl to slap your legs and that her parents were also in agreement.
You must have been terrified of your parents to have meekly accepted this treatment so I can well understand that your young babysitter viewed you as a wimp. I would have though most girls would have felt sorry for an 18 year old boy put back into short trousers but it seems she did not feel this and must have enjoyed slapping your legs.
I agree with Lucien's comments, and wonder whether Mountford has exaggerated his story somewhat. I never had to deal with a son who was a wimp, and who could not stand up for himself. But I find Mountford's parents attitudes as incredible as the way that Mountford went along the way that he was treated.
What I found far more interesting was the story of someone who has not posted for quite a while, Sage2, whose younger brother gradually acquired authority within the family because by a quirk of the schools' uniform rules he found himself for 2-3 years back in short trousers at the very point where his younger brother had progressed to longs. This was a very subtle and gradual process, within a very normal and loving family, where the change in the relationship between the two brothers and the ascendancy of the younger seems to have been the result of being allowed to wear long trousers whilst his brother (who had previously worn longs) found himself back in short trousers as result of moving on to a grammar school. It was simply the length of his trousers that allowed the younger brother ultimately to take over the role of older brother I think that is far more interesting than the stories of incredible families where younger children are encouraged by the parents of older child to physically bully him.
Lucien & Vicar's Wife
I can assure you both that my account is no exaggeration. It really happened as I described in the first half of the 1980s.
My father was the disciplinarian in my family but my mother always supported his methods. Actually I was not spanked or caned after 11 or 12 but I was punished with early bedtimes, corner time (including in front of visitors) and the occasional mouth washing throughout my teenage years. Lucien is right to say I was terrified of my father which is I why I meekly accepted his treatment. I was a timid boy and was far too frightened to stand up to either of my parents.
In my twenties I discovered that the reason I was made to wear short trousers some weekends from 16 to 21 was because my babysitter's father had recommended the punishment and my father thought it an excellent idea. They were good friends and shared similar views including that teenage boys should be properly controlled and disciplined. My father's friend was delighted when he found out I was put into short trousers as a punishment and he and his wife and daughter saw me dressed like this. It was he who suggested that his daughter should be my babysitter when my parents attended Bridge evenings on Friday night.
My babysitter only punished me the way I was punished by my parents, that is, by having my legs slapped. She was not allowed to spank or cane me and nor was I spanked and caned by my parents. Instead, when in short trousers I had my legs slapped and slapped hard so she was only punishing me the way I would be punished at home.
I have no doubt that she enjoyed the authority she exercised over a boy three years older than herself and especially smacking my legs. She was a female bully (they certainly exist) and my timorous attitude simply encouraged her to take advantage. I suspect that had I stood up to her she would have backed off but I never did because I was scared that I would be reported to my father and an even worse punishment would ensue.
It is easy to say I was a wimp but how many men who have posted messages on this site submitted to their parents by being put back into short trousers in their late teenage years and even suffered the shame and ignominy of being taken out in public. For example, Oliver tells us he was forced back into shorts at 18 and had them in his wardrobe ready for use until he was 21. I may well have been a wimp but I was not the only one.
What my experience also demonstrates is that girls can be cruel, perhaps even more so than boys. The delight my babysitter took in recounting how she treated me me to her incredulous girlfriend some years later at that party clearly shows that she had not changed.
I hope this clarifies matters.
A well argued reply.
It seems that you were a victim of a conspiracy between your father and his male friend while the 15 year old babysitter was used as the willing agent of their cunning plan. From what you are saying the suggestion is that she was encouraged by her father (and perhaps your own) to slap your legs.
Men are often more likely to be the instigators of punishments involving short trousers because I think they like the idea of seeing an older boy humiliated or simply his appearance in shorts. For women like my mother for instance there are similarities but also differences. They see short trousers as a way of keeping a teenager as a boy and more under their control. I do not feel that humiliation is their driving force.
I believe there is a sexual element with some men to all this but others genuinely hold the view that boys are better behaved and look nicer in traditional grey schoolboy short trousers. After all shorts are more comfortable and smarter than longs on the right type of boy.
I agree that girls can be cruel and sometimes even more so than boys. Your babysitter must have loved slapping your legs and making you cry and I bet that your being three years older increased her pleasure. Have you ever wondered why she did not like you and wanted to treat you so severely. Had you annoyed her in the past.
It reminds me of the incident I related in one of my posts about my mother slapping the backs of my legs just before the arrival of her lady friend and her 13 year old daughter. The girl smirked when she saw my red legs and was told I had just been slapped. She seemed amused and pleased by my suffering and shame.