Saturday, February 26, 2011

Today -100: February 26, 1911: Of extreme hobble gowns, despots, and lynchings

Pope Pius X comes out against various fashionable forms of women’s dress, including – and I have no idea what any of these somewhat alarming terms mean – the jupe-culotte, pneumonia blouses, harem skirts, sheath robes, and hobble gowns. He writes, “The fashions of these women – women, not ladies – would have had a most unfavorable judgment from pagan Roman matrons. ... In the old Roman days the demi-monde was publicly marked; but now even young women called ladies so dress that one class is mistaken for the other.” I think he’s saying those clothes make them look like whores.

The Socialist Party holds a women’s suffrage meeting in Carnegie Hall. The Times just can’t refrain from mentioning the clothing of the meeting’s chair, Anita Block (“a gown of the extreme ‘hobble’ variety”).

Norway will allow women to occupy state offices. Well, except for the Cabinet. And the military. And the diplomatic service. And the Church.

Lorin Collins, until two months ago a justice on the Panama Supreme Court (the Canal Zone’s Supreme Court, I assume), and before that Republican speaker of the house in the Illinois legislature, says that Taft is acting as a despot in Panama: “The president’s word, not the law, governs all and everything.”

Two negroes are lynched in Warrenton, Georgia.

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