Outlawing Flirting in Public

January 9th Celebrates Outlawing Flirting in Public

Today on Days to Remember we celebrate how on January 9th 1902 the State of New York introduced a bill to outlaw flirting in public.

The stuff I see on television especially with reality show commercials is more than I would ever want to see. If you get my drift, which is why I thought today’s story was interesting.

My how times have changed, of seeing a little skin with some exchanging words would be outlawed in public, but who designed this bill?
Another little known fact: DC has a long history of anti-street harassment advocacy. In the 1920s, the DC Anti-Flirt Club worked to “protect young women and girls from unwelcome attention from men in automobiles and on street corners.”

Back then women weren’t treated like equals like they are now, and she was single things wouldn’t work in her best favor.

Maybe I’m old fashion but I think they should bring back that law, because maybe if they did the Bill Crosby episode could be handled more sympathy to his victim.

Instead the statue of liberations can’t be rectified because it’s been too many years ago.

The last thing a victim wants to hear is, “It’s your fault.”

However the skirt chasers in the 1920’s were very abundant during that time, which is why on January 9th 1902 the State of New York introduced a bill to outlaw flirting in public.

A Washington Post article from February 28, 1923, titled “10 Girls Start War on Auto Invitation,” laid out the problem: “Too many motorists are taking advantage of the precedent established during the war by offering to take young lady pedestrians in their cars, Miss Helen Brown, 639 Longfellow Street, declared yesterday.” Brown, the secretary of the nascent Anti-Flirt club, warned that these men “don’t all tender their invitations to save the girls a walk,” and while there were “other varieties of flirts,” motorists were the absolute worst.

Brown, along with the president a Miss Alice Reighly of 1400 Harvard Street made their plan of action known. On March 4, 1923, the first-ever Anti-Flirt Week (and only since) would commence. The Post published the club’s rules:
1. Don’t flirt; those who flirt in haste oft repent in leisure.
2. Don’t accept rides from flirting motorists—they don’t all invite you in to save you a walk.
3. Don’t use your eyes for ogling—they were made for worthier purposes.
4. Don’t go out with men you don’t know—they may be married, and you may be in for a hair-pulling match.
5. Don’t wink—a flutter of one eye may cause a tear in the other.
6. Don’t smile at flirtatious strangers—save them for people you know.
7. Don’t annex all the men you can get—by flirting with many you may lose out on the one.
8. Don’t fall for the slick, dandified cake eater—the unpolished gold of a real man is worth more than the gloss of lounge lizard.
9. Don’t let elderly men with an eye to a flirtation pat you on the shoulder and take a fatherly interest in you. Those are usually the kinds who want to forget they are fathers.
10. Don’t ignore the man you are sure of while you flirt with another. When you return to the first one you may find him gone.

Perhaps these rules don’t apply to us today but “A Masher,” similar to a skirt chaser, wolf, or philanderer was a man who made his amorous intentions known in an aggressive manner, maintaining brief relations with various women.

What remains unclear, though, is what these men could have actually been charged with if the New York coalition had secured a lawyer. Several politicians had tried and failed to pass legislation regulating mashers.

As early as 1897, Missouri representative Prichard B. Hoot introduced a bill that sought to regulate flirting on trains, but the endeavor ultimately proved unsuccessful.

That same year, Senator James G. McCune recommended Virginia make flirting a misdemeanor; like his earlier proposal to outlaw football, this bill did not come to fruition.

So how do you get rid of a jerk that’s bothering you?

Guess what ladies it has nothing to do with what you’re wearing, or just being you. Some men with low self esteem issues think of it as having power over you.

So what do you do?

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Be who are, and don’t let anyone change you!

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell


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