Isn't this a good law?

  1. From the NY Times:

    January 26, 2005
    Old Law Shielding a Woman's Virtue Faces an Updating
    By SARAH KERSHAW

    SEATTLE, Jan. 25 - It is about time, politicians here are saying, for the state of Washington to catch up with the rest of the world.

    Florida has struck down a law forbidding unmarried women from parachuting on Sundays. Michigan has done away with a law making it illegal to swear in front of women and children. Texas women no longer face 12 months in prison for adjusting their stockings in public. And the ladies of Maine can now legally tickle a man under the chin with a feather duster.

    But here in Washington, in 2005, it is still illegal, under a 1909 law, to bring a woman's virtue into question publicly, to call her a hussy or a strumpet.

    And now, a state senator from Seattle - who is not saying she supports attacking the chastity of Washington women - is, nevertheless, trying to overturn the state's "Slander of a Woman" law.

    The law was enacted here at a time when women could not vote, when they were viewed by society as delicate flowers to be kept in the kitchen, tending to wood-burning stoves for their genteel gentlemen, vulnerable maidens in need of legal protection from verbal assaults on their purity. It was upheld by the State Supreme Court in 1914, which researchers say was apparently the last time it was before the courts.

    Now, Senate Bill 5148, introduced this month by Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a Democrat, would repeal the law, which makes it a misdemeanor to slander any female older than 12 - other than prostitutes - by uttering "any false or defamatory words or language which shall injure or impair the reputation of any such female for virtue or chastity or which shall expose her to hatred, contempt or ridicule."
    I for one don't think this law needs to be repealed. Am I sexist? Too old-fashioned? :stone
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  2. 38 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    NO but i don't think that free speech should include calling anyone [be ye f/m] any names
    that old saying about sticks and stones is WRONG...names do hurt
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Now, Senate Bill 5148, introduced this month by Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a Democrat, would repeal the law, which makes it a misdemeanor to slander any female older than 12 - other than prostitutes - by uttering "any false or defamatory words or language which shall injure or impair the reputation of any such female for virtue or chastity or which shall expose her to hatred, contempt or ridicule."
    Call me old-fashioned, but I'm sick and tired of the words b****, h*, s***, and the like. And i'm sick and tired of people getting away with using those kind of words instead of the word "woman". Yes, the law's out-of-date, but some of the idea of it should not be.
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Jan 26, '05
  5. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    From the NY Times:



    I for one don't think this law needs to be repealed. Am I sexist? Too old-fashioned? :stone

    Sexist? NO. Old-fashioned? Maybe. There's nothing wrong with that. Criminalizing insults is silly. And like it or not, that is all they are.
  6. by   Tweety
    Womyn are not genteel little flowers, I'm sure the good females of Seattle will be hable to handle themselves fine without this law. Otherwise you would have to include everyone, no racial slurs, no homophobic slurs, religious slurs, to slurs to men and boys, etc.

    I agree with Marie, I'm a little tired of the name calling and degrading of females. Turn on the MTV, and you're bound to hear it sooner or later. (I was a bit tired of being called a f*g back home too.)

    However, any male who says to a female "whatsamatter, you got PMS or something", if the female doesn't kill him first, should go to jail.
  7. by   fergus51
    Tweety, my older brother made a similar statement to me when I was a teenager. I beat him with a hairbrush.... he never said it again
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    I really like the idea of not being able to cuss in front of women and children.



    steph
  9. by   weetziebat
    I kinda like the law. Remember when I was a child and men opened doors, held out chairs, stood when a woman stood, allowed women to go first, helped her on with her coat, tipped their hats to females they passed in the street, opened car doors for the woman first, etc.

    Yes, maybe I am hopelessly old fashioned, but I miss being treated as a 'lady.' and am really tired of the attitude that has replaced it.
  10. by   Tweety
    Quote from stevielynn
    I really like the idea of not being able to cuss in front of women and children.



    steph
    Gotta be inclusive. Your statement is very sexist. What about men? You think I like being cursed at?

    Can't have equality and feminism and be that exclusive too.
  11. by   Tweety
    Quote from weetziebat
    I kinda like the law. Remember when I was a child and men opened doors, held out chairs, stood when a woman stood, allowed women to go first, helped her on with her coat, tipped their hats to females they passed in the street, opened car doors for the woman first, etc.

    Yes, maybe I am hopelessly old fashioned, but I miss being treated as a 'lady.' and am really tired of the attitude that has replaced it.
    Where were you raised and how old are you? :chuckle

    I grew up in the 60s and 70s and that kind of sexist behavior was discouraged by FEMALES. You opened a door for a lady, and she gave you an evil look, or even told you "thank you, I'm capable of opening my own door".

    I think it's polite to open doors for anyone. When I open a door and someone is in close proximity, male or female I politely let them pass. Manners shouldn't be gender specific imo. I wouldn't mind a lady opening the door for me once in a while either.

    If men don't open doors for ladies any more, it's your own fault.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jan 27, '05
  12. by   Tweety
    Quote from fergus51
    Tweety, my older brother made a similar statement to me when I was a teenager. I beat him with a hairbrush.... he never said it again

  13. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Gotta be inclusive. Your statement is very sexist. What about men? You think I like being cursed at?

    Can't have equality and feminism and be that exclusive too.
    Tweety, real ladies don't cuss.

    I try very hard to keep my frustrations from spewing out with profanity. My grandma always said "Profanity is ignorance made audible".

    I, like Weezie, think being treated with respect is missed in today's society . . of course some of it was brought on by women themselves. Guys can get pretty confused. Respect, as you said though, goes both ways.

    I think when the tone of things is negative, people treat each other negatively. It just seems to slide on down the slope of disrespect.

    Like the adage . . . attitude is a choice.

    steph
  14. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from weetziebat
    I kinda like the law. Remember when I was a child and men opened doors, held out chairs, stood when a woman stood, allowed women to go first, helped her on with her coat, tipped their hats to females they passed in the street, opened car doors for the woman first, etc.

    Yes, maybe I am hopelessly old fashioned, but I miss being treated as a 'lady.' and am really tired of the attitude that has replaced it.
    I kinda agree with Tweety.

    I been raised as a kid to open doors, and be polite to elders (especially female) and be very nice to children. Open doors, give up my seats while travelling (public transport) to ladies, the elderly or pregnant women or a single parent with kids to look after. I rarely give it up for males. Always assisted any women I could with carrying loads.

    My Father always told me that "Any man who doesn't respect women isn't a man". Most of us are raised/taught in school to consider the other with respect. It follows through in our language as well - most strangers are called an "Uncle" or "Aunt", "brother" or "sister", or if they are elderly the grandparent equivalent.

    But many times, I've been given a real "evil" look while being refused, sometimes with the comment of 'MCP' - Male Chauvanist Pig!

    Sheesh! A simple "No thank you!" would have sufficed!

    So in that respect, I agree with Steph - real ladies behave like ladies

    Gosh! Did I just agree with both sides of the argument here?! :chuckle
    Last edit by Roy Fokker on Jan 27, '05

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