Strange Times 173: Fears For Modern Woman
Today we have stories of modern women and auto spooners, of Lady Astor and a man who stole velvetine. Shatter the double standard on…
June 23, 1921
Opening the Ulster Parliament, King George implores the Irish people “to forgive and to forget.”
A year earlier, the New York Police Department discovered a Soviet plan to infiltrate and seize international shipping vessels—which seems to support the theory that the Caroll A. Deering and other missing ships were attacked by Communists. Meanwhile, Lulu Wormwell, daughter of the captain of the Deering, believes her father and his men were taken by pirates.
Confessions of Emperor Charles V, one of the world’s smallest books, sells at auction for £800.
The Weather: Partly cloudy today; Friday unsettled, probably showers and cooler; fresh, southwest winds.
File under “Sexist to the Point of Incoherence.” I read the whole thing twice and I’m still not fully clear on whether or not Doc Crafts thinks the double standard is good. I think he thinks it’s good? He thinks it’s good. I think.
PITTSBURGH, June 22.—The knell of the traditional double standard of morality has sounded, according to Dr. Wilbur F. Crafts, Superintendent of the National Reform Bureau, who stopped here today on his way to New Jersey, where he will try to prevent the Dempsey-Carpentier fight. Women have destroyed the old distinction by embracing masculine vices, said Dr. Crafts.
“The short skirt and other fashions adopted by women are rapidly eliminating any such problem as the so-called double standard becasue these things are dragging woman down from the place where men, by commen consent, placed her,” declared Dr. Crafts. “The adoption of cigarette smoking is the beginning of the end—an end where virtually all the male vices will be feminine vices, too. When that situation comes the world will cease to expect anything better anything better of its women than it expects of its men. That will remove the double standard automatically.
“One of the Reform Bureau’s investigators,” he said, “has reported to me that there are sixty-four gambling pools being conducted in the Pittsburgh district and that New Kensington is a regular Monte Carlo. Violations of the liquor laws and circulation of immoral literature also are particularly noticeable in the Pittsburgh district.
“Gambling and Sunday observance regulations and liquor laws must be strictly enforced and restrictions must be put on public dances, motion pictures and the habit of many thoughtless girls of going for automobile rides with perfect strangers.”
And Doc Crafts’ warning leads us straight into this story about how auto spooning leads to criminality…because auto spooning is apparently criminal all by itself.
Benjamin Rubin of 122 West 114th Street, said to be a wealthy stockbroker, was sentenced to two days in the City Prison and fined $10 by Chief Magistrate William G. McAdoo in the Traffic Court yesterday.
Rubin pleaded guilty to having his car parked at Riverside Drive and 198th Street, a site known as “Inspiration Point,” with his lights out, on the night of June 11. He had been served with a summons, but failed to appear on June 14, the return date, and his case was adjourned until Tuesday. When he failed to appear Magistrate McAdoo issued a warrant for his arrest. Yesterday Rubin appeared and pleaded guilty. He admitted having had his arm around a young woman.
Magistrate McAdoo, in imposing sentence, declared that jail terms would be imposed with increasing severity hereafter in all such cases.
Ah, the incomparable Lady Astor, last seen in these pages telling a room full of maids that she considered herself a servant too.
LONDON, June 22.—Replying to the toast to “The Ladies” at the Rotary Club banquet at the Hotel Cecil tonight, Lady Astor said that there was a great difference between the peoples of America and England. The Englishman had a great sense of justice and the American of brotherliness, and it would be a good thing to take a little of these qualities from each other.
“The Englishman cannot jump off his toes as you can,” she said. “He takes a little time to get friendly, but once you get him you never lose him.”
She added that the toast used to be, “To the ladies, God bless ‘em,” but now that women had the vote she felt that it ought to be, “To the gentlemen, God help ‘em.”
I was at the fabric store just yesterday—a shout out to the magnificent Gaffney Fabrics in Philadelphia—and nothing this exciting happened. Ah well, maybe next time. It’s disappointing that we don’t learn why the thief wanted the fabric. Perhaps he was hoping to make 35 pairs of velvet pants?
Albert Bacher of the firm of Bacher & Co. was busy assisting in closing the cloth display room of the company at 29 East Thirty-first Street, about 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon, when he noticed a young man with red hair and a self-assertive air open the front door and walk to one of the counters on which velvetine was piled. To his surprise the intruder, instead of waiting for a salesman, picked up a bolt containing seventy yards of the goods, placed it on his shoulder, and walked out as quietly as he had entered.
Before the merchant had recovered, the young man had thrown the bundle into an express wagon and was driving toward Madison Avenue. When Bacher got to the door the wagon was turning north in Madison Avenue and when he reached the traffic policeman on the corner the wagon was a block away. After a pursuit of three blocks the bolt of cloth was recovered and the driver of the express wagon made a prisoner. At the East Thirty-fifth Street Station the prisoner said he was Louis Schneider of 63 Clinton Street. The cloth was valued at $140 and Schneider was charged by Bacher with grand larceny. The prisoner offered no explanation.
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