Towards the end of 2012, an international polling company conducted a survey of more than a thousand Frenchwomen, the results of which purported to show that spanking became markedly more popular during the previous sixteen years or so. Asked whether they had ever been spanked by their partner, nearly half of the respondents aged 18-34 said they had, whereas among the over-65s it was only a little more than one in twenty – and presumably across a much longer period of opportunity, too.
No doubt that is very good news for around 47% of all young Frenchmen, but what most caught my attention was the infographic with which the poll results were presented for a popular readership:
Looks familiar? Of course it does. It’s an image that goes all the way back to 1945, when all those relatively unspanked old ladies, if born, were still far too young to take part in surveys about whether their partners had ever turned them over their knees.
To be precise, it’s Barry Sullivan and Marie MacDonald in the movie farce Getting Gertie’s Garter, a scene that failed to fulfil its obvious promise. (Or, putting it another way, at the eleventh hour Gertie manages to talk her way out of being spanked.)
As you can see, the image in the infographic has been adapted in a number of ways! But the most pleasing of the changes isn’t attributable to the artist in 2012, since he demonstrably didn’t work from the original movie still. Instead, he drew on a version created by a spanking artist named Fritz some time in the 1980s or 1990s.
And he wasn’t the only artist to use Fritz’s image. The infographic has siblings, like this strikingly stylized copy…
… or this piece of Batman fan art featuring the Joker and Harley Quinn:
And it isn’t an isolated phenomenon associated with one particular spanking image, either. Which is the cue for a fuller investigation next week!