1913: Sentenced to 20 days for winking


In 1912 conservatives in New York declared war on “mashing”. Flirtatious and inappropriate behaviour towards women had reached plague proportions in the Big Apple, they claimed. Attractive females could not walk down a New York street without being wolf whistled, propositioned or subjected to a barrage of provocative remarks. State assemblyman Richard F. Hearn carried out his own research into ‘mashing’ and declared it the leading cause of divorce in the United States. In early 1912 Hearn sponsored a bill that introduced prison terms for convicted “mashers”. This crackdown produced several arrests over the next two years – though judges tended to be lenient, if not dismissive. This was not always the case, however, as revealed in this report from November 1913:

winking


Source: Daily Capital Journal, November 12th 1913. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2016. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.

1895: Long Island teachers are banned from bicycles


In June 1895 the Long Island Board of Education issued a stern directive to its female teachers: stop riding bicycles. A member of the board, William Sutter JP, explained this to the press:

cycling woman 1895

“We as the trustees are responsible to the public for the conduct of the schools [and] the morals of the pupils. I consider that for our boys and girls to see their women teachers ride up to the school door every day and dismount from a bicycle is conducive to the creation of immoral thoughts…”

Another board member, Dr A. Reymer, added his support. Reymer suggested that if they continued to ride bicycles, women would eventually end up “wearing men’s trousers”. Long Island’s female teachers, many of whom relied on bicycles to get to and from school, were said to be “very indignant” about the order.

Source: The Sun (New York), June 15th 1895. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2016. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.