Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Same, Only Different

I grew up in a city that was sharply and clearly divided into separate groups that tolerated and accommodated one another, interacted out of necessity, but usually avoided one another. Some of the factors at work in determining the makeup of these divisions included socioeconomic level, race, language and, not surprisingly, religion.

Where schoolchildren were concerned, it was easy to tell who belonged to what group, because uniforms were mandatory at both the Protestant and the Catholic schools. During the school year, a quick glance told you who was an ally and who was someone to steer clear of, as well as which language to use to address that young person.

Younger girls wore tunics very similar to the ones in this picture I found on the internet.

Older students wore uniforms similar to these. The colours were different at each school.

An incident from my childhood comes to mind. I was ten years old, and my friend and I went to the park on a summer afternoon to spend a few carefree hours on the swings. Uniforms had been put away for two months, and the park was full of anonymous children dressed in t-shirts and shorts.

We approached the playground apparatus and saw two girls, roughly our age, climbing the jungle gym. We paused and listened, and were pleased to hear that they spoke English. So we joined them, and although we didn't know one another, somehow we quickly discovered that we all loved Barbie dolls. For the next half hour we chatted happily about Barbie, Ken, Midge and all the details of life with fashion model dolls. We eventually got around to exchanging names, but then someone asked the inevitable question.

"What school do you go to?"

"Wellington School." That was the Protestant school two blocks away. "How about you?"

"St. Martha's." That was the English Catholic girls' school.


"Well, we gotta go now."

"Us too. See ya."

"See ya."

And that was that. We never saw them again. That was just the way it was back then.

The reason I mentioned this incident at all was because in some way it's similar to the distinctions that sometimes arise among us. Those of us who enjoy reading these blogs are all spanking enthusiasts of one sort or another, but it's easy to apply labels that lead to judgements and misunderstandings. DD, D/s, TPE, TTWD, S&M, BDSM, erotic spanking, disciplinary spanking, playful spanking - yes, they're all different from one another in significant ways, but the similarities are what bring us all together as a spanking community.

I hope we can all play nicely together in the same sandbox.

From Hermione's Heart


Paul said...

Hermione, a nice thought, human nature being what it is, doubtful!
Warm hugs,

PK said...

You are so right! With our particular 'kink' and with the knowledge that vanilla's of the world would see us all as strange we really need to have one another's backs. I always try to but I was recently hurt when someone I viewed as a friend stopped speaking to me because I didn't live up to her expectations of what a spanko should be. It made me sad. So I guess Paul is right.


Bonnie said...


I completely agree. People have a natural tendency to categorize. It's how we make sense of the world and carry what we know from one situation to the next.

But labels can divide us as well. We especially get into trouble when we equate "That's not my kink" with "That kink is bad/wrong/weird/sick." The former is unavoidable. The latter statement lies at the core of many disagreements within our community.

Where I end up in such discussions is that whatever competent adults freely choose to do, so long as they don't involve non-consenting third parties, is basically OK. I feel no need to pass judgment because it's not my affair.


Sara said...

Well said Hermione, and thanks for saying it!

BTW, the 1st pic...omg that was me!
(Well not really but we dressed just like that!)

Janet said...


I completely agree. I have been lucky enough not to have come across any negativity from anyone in the spanking blogosphere. Just the opposite I have found some incredible friends, I have read blogs that have really helped me through problems and I have read blogs that just don't click with me.

That's the beauty of blogging. We as adults have the right to pick and choose what we read, what we comment on, who we agree with or even disagree with. Hopefully as adults we are mature enough not to be negative or judgmental of those we may not agree with. It is such a small community of people in the spanking world. We need to be supportive of one another not tear each other down.

Great post!!!

Hermione said...

Paul - Well, one can always hope.

PK - That is a real shame! No one has the right to "expect" someone else to live up to their own way of being a spanko.

Bonnie - That's very wise. It's sometimes tempting to judge, but really not advisable. The high road is much nicer.

Sara - It was something I felt I had to do.

I couldn't believe the picture, and wonder how many other readers see themselves in it too.

Janet - Luckily, I haven't had any negative comments directed at me either. This was a reflection on things I see here and there on other blogs.

You are right. We can choose to read, or not read.


ronnie said...

Hermione, I agree, thank you for saying and posting this.

I wish people would just live and let live.


morningstar said...

oh my god !!!! i remember those box pleat tunics.. with bloomers underneath!!

and there isn't much change when it comes to the language thing here even now.. though the religious boards are gone.. we are now divided by language.. which in my opinion is a shame.. we should all play nice in the sandbox of life... no matter what sandbox we are in !!!

(sorry i am as usual a day late and a dollar short.. but i couldn't resist commenting on the school uniforms)


Hermione said...

Ronnie - So do I.

Morningstar - Yes, bloomers too! And I think this was a picture of British schoolgirls. It was labelled "gym slips" which is what they call our "tunics".

I'm glad you dropped in! Too bad nothing has changed there, and the division still exists.



Anonymous said...

Wonderful post Hermione. I well remember similar days.
One advantage now for kids is sport teams, or many group activities, outside the school system. Many are from a diverse community, but not all.

Hermione said...

Red - Sports teach you so many things besides just the athletic skills involved.