Katritzky examines the skimmington
or social shaming ritual in Samuel Butler s three-part poem Hudibras (1664).
The play makes much of this image, depicting Swetnam muzzled by a group of angered women in a carnivalesque episode redolent of a skimmington
For example, his discussion of the Skimmington
ritual is a fine example of how he uses case studies to explain his argument.
The practice of riding skimmington
appears to have been less common in North America.
Here the playwrights amplified a detail from the deposition, supplementing the boy's alleged equine transformation with a number of other horses, including Robert's and Mistress Generous's metamorphoses as well as Mall and Robert's riding of a magic horse, and the animal used in a skimmington
in act 4.
27) As Michael McKeon observes in his study of domesticity, the skimmington
punished "the unbalanced household by the shameful spectacle of the husband and wife.
The continuation of the ancient meme of patriarchy, as expressed, for example, by the Skimmington
, is shown to predict the controversy over the existence of female-perpetrated violence and male victims, a controversy that saw academics who sought to expose such violence being subjected to intimidation and abuse.
Many of these theatrical moments aptly mirror medieval and renaissance rituals of shame that deliberately provoked humiliating, social exposure, techniques like the dunce cap, charivari, the skimmington
, and the scold's bridle.
15) This episode is also reminiscent of the skimmington
folk ritual or "rough music," an English variant of the charivari in which various sorts of gender transgressors, including men who allowed themselves to be beaten by women, underwent public humiliation; it involved pots, pans, and especially the skimming ladles for which it is named, as well as cross-dressing.
Chapter 4 begins with a discussion of a group of women in Quemerford who fought against a planned skimmington
of one of their friends by destroying the drum that was to be used in the event.
As interesting as Waddams' study is, one cannot help regretting that he did not pursue the question of how formal defamation sui ts compared to popular Skimmington
Rides and charivari as ways of drawing and policing social boundaries.
This paper explores the evidence of an early social custom, Skimmington
, whereby husbands who had been beaten by their wives were publicly humiliated (Steinmetz, 1977).