The Scarlet Letter
The victim was forced to wear a fabric “A” of bright red on the outside of their clothing for a certain period of time. The length of time varied depending on the communities anger.
This punishment was assigned to one crime: adultery. Adultery is having sex with someone you are not married to.
It was also assigned to one gender: women. If she had the misfortune to become pregnant from her illegal relations she would be confined to prison until she gave birth.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, an early American author, wrote a famous (awesome) novel about Hester Prynn entitled The Scarlet Letter.