Sunday, December 10, 1995

Fiction: The Aphroditian Penalty for Adultery

The women of the Aphroditian colony, since the 20th Century, have become more and more assertive.  Once, they would have calmly submitted to their husbands' wishes, even to the extent of beatings and humiliation.  But the Aphroditian women have effectively asserted their equal, if not superior, place in Phroditian society in the past few generations.  I witnessed myself an incident of relative rarity among their community, and certainly absurd by the standards of our culture.

My kind hostess often invited me to witness the execution of justice in her country, and I gladly accepted.  Mostly, the Aphroditians administer justice exactly as we do here.  But for one particular crime, the law differs.  In cases of serial adultery, men are tried through the regular system, but the punishment, codified by law, certainly passes for cruel and unusual punishment by our standards.  But the rate of such incidents is so low that convictions on such charges have become virtually non-existent.  The convict in this case, a Mr. A, stifled his tears as the sentence was passed down. 

I was floored when I heard the sentence, and did all I could in that stern court to contain my laughter.  It seemed to me that the punishment was absolutely ridiculous, and even somewhat light considering the weight this society places on the offense.  But when I saw justice being carried out, I realized that this was cruelly effective, in the most shocking, most grotesque way.

The punishment is completely public.  All waking moments of the long sentence are broadcast on television (for it is a very visual torment: the punishment comes from the fact that it is being witnessed), and the highlights replayed in a two-hour special, which the vast majority of people truly enjoy watching, even, though it surprises me, the men.  The convict is made to suffer the constant ridicule of the public, by having a constant audience.  These punishments become a public feast for the citizens.

Essentially, the punishment consists of this: the convict is made to strip naked, or else this is forcibly done, by scantily clad women, no less.  Then, his clothes are destroyed before his eyes, and his victim reads the crime for which he was sentenced, and orders him to don women's under-clothing.  If he refuses, again, he is subdued and forced into it by scantily clad women.  This usually consists of  ornate and beautiful lingerie, taken directly from one of the women tormenters.  Then the men and women all around him laugh at him, and scorn him.  This poor A. had cruel insults thrown at him from the entire populace.  When his victim feels that he has been sufficiently mocked, she approaches him and tells him, "you have treated women poorly.  Now you shall learn what it is to be a woman, for believing that you were being masculine in your adultery."  The women all laugh in unison, because the poor man, burly and hairy, wears the underwear of a woman.  A. cringed and fought as his sentence was being carried out.  He looked so pathetic in his emasculated state, yet still male.  He defiantly resisted his punishment.  The men then laughed at him as the women had, laughing at his effeminacy.  In this way, the convict is made to feel ashamed of his having been emasculated like this.  Normally, I have been told, this has little effect on the first day; but this punishment goes on for days, weeks, months, until the convict is reduced to tears of shame.  This is assisted by incessant teasing by beautiful women, who taunt him, and slink about in the same skimpy clothing that he wears.

These women flirt with him, and tease him, and arouse him, but they never allow him to release his sexual energy.  They tie up his hands so that he cannot masturbate in any way.  They rub up against him sensually, but slink away, laughing at him for wearing their clothes.  They torture him like this constantly.  They change his lingerie every day, to let him get a taste for feminine clothing.  They declare him a woman, and when they finally release him (only when they know that his will is broken), to run free in his monitored cell, they give him only a choice of women's underwear to wear.  The convict has two choices: accept the clothing, or go about naked.  If he chooses the latter, the women disappear, and a male is sent in to sodomize him.  All of this is done publicly -- A. was thus anally raped for more than a week.  The sodomizer taunts him, too, by calling him his "bitch" and his "whore."  Thereby, he comes to wear the clothing eventually of his own volition, either to avoid the sodomy, or to accept his now feminine role.  I watched horrified as A. wept slipping on a garter belt.  When the man begins to wear his lingerie voluntarily (with or without misgivings), he is given a safety razor with which to shave his body hair.  He must pay special attention to the legs.  In this way, he makes his body look as feminine as it can without having the more drastic features of women.  The women encourage him to enjoy his femininity, by allowing him to hump them, as long as he wears the lingerie, and doesn't take control.  If he does not respond, or if he misbehaves, they send in men, instead.  Thereby, he comes to appreciate wearing women's underwear, by associating it with sexual pleasure.  In all events, he is rewarded for being feminine.

Eventually, the convict becomes by all appearances a woman.  He begins to accept his femininity, and openly aspires to it.  He takes female hormones, which form his body as a woman's: suddenly, the man has breasts, a thin waist, wide hips, a smooth, soft body, long hair -- but still has a penis.  He is thus made to perform acts of prostitution as a public service for a period of ten years, at the end of which he is operated upon and fully effeminated.

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