** Part I of this series is on The Night Witches, Part II is about Sister Rosetta Tharpe.**
The Anti-Flirt Club first popped onto my radar via Tumblr, as so many good things do. The name sounds a bit ridiculous, but their aims? Not so much. Started in the 1920s in Washington, DC, the Anti-Flirt Club published a set of rules, meant to protect women and girls from leering jackasses in automobiles. (I may have editorialized that a smidge.) Here are the 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 kind
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. 

Numbers 8 and 9 kill me.

The above photo is of Alice Reighly, president of the Anti-Flirt Club in DC. (Source.)
The idea of making flirting illegal sounds insane, but that wasn’t their purpose; they were just trying to put an end to men harassing women from their cars and on the streets. The Anti-Flirt Club spread to several other cities, including Chicago and New York, and police did indeed arrest men for harassing women. The Acting Police Commissioner in Chicago, John Alock, even publicly called for men to stop ogling women in public. 
Though the movement did spread, it had all but died out by the 1930s. I find it very interesting that as far back as the ’20s, women (and men!) were trying to put an end to the catcalling that women still have to deal with today. 
It makes one think. 
See you later!

One thought on “History is Not Dull and I Can Prove It: The Anti-Flirt Club”

  1. While this is the first I've heard of the Anti-Flirt Club, it seems as though their rules still apply almost 100 years later. So much for progress.

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