Virtuous women

I saw this post on Scott's blog, and it made me wonder what it would take to get into that salon. What defines virtuous, anyway?

1. You will not marry during the term of your contract.
2. You are not to keep company with men.
3. You must be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless attending a school function.
4. You may not loiter downtown in icecream stores.
5. You may not travel beyond city limits unless you have the permission of the chairman of the board.
6. You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he's your father or brother.
7. You may not smoke cigarettes.
8. You may not dress in bright colors.
9. You may under no circumstances dye your hair.
10. You must wear at least two petticoats.
11. You dresses must not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle.
12. To keep the school room neat and clean you must sweep the floor at least once daily, scrub the floor at least once a week with hot, soapy water, clean the blackboards at least once a day, and start the fire by 7 a.m. so that the room be warm by 8 a.m.

We found this in a coal-mine museum school-room where we took the in-laws today. It was right next to a set of punishment rules. Boys and Girls who played together got four lashes, but Boys who misbehaved with Girls got ten.


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About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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13 Responses to Virtuous women

  1. Scott says:

    Sounds like the boys and girls are having a lot more fun than the teachers.

  2. Aubrey says:

    Clearly in 1915 school teachers were considered equal with housemaids. Every item would be brought up in an interview between the mistress of the house and the skivvy-to-be.

  3. Emjay says:

    LOL. When I was completing all those forms for my green card I kept coming across the question: was I guilty of "crimes of moral turpitude" …. it cracked me up every time. It was 1999/2000 but the question seems to come from the 1800's! I love that they are responsible for warming up the room!!!

  4. [this is making me shiver]GAH!!!!!! I'd've been thrashed and lashed and torn into little sub-virtuous pieces, if only for the ice cream part — not to mention the hair dye.Being female shouldn't be so difficult — it's tough enough without the rules that society sometimes forces on women. And what makes me shiver is that there are places in the world that would LIKE this list and agree with the ideas behind it.GAH again!!!Hey, is it hot where you are? We're supposed to go to 80 tomorrow……….

  5. Lakshmi says:

    Umm.. to be honest, that sounds a LOT like the school I studied in. Especially the petticoat bit. We were forced to wear a chemise under our terricot uniform of skirt and blouse, and in the Madras summer, where the thermometer often read 110, it was short of capital punishment.

  6. bee says:

    sounds quite like the convent school i went to, run by frustrated irish spinsters – i mean nuns.

  7. Boy, this sounds like a Catholic school in Japan. Such schools create two types of women: super naughty girls and really bitter old spinsters. Both types could have been "virtuous" if they were not so constrained.

  8. Purplesque says:

    I should have taken a picture of the paddle they used to administer lashes. It certainly looked well-used.

  9. Purplesque says:

    Interesting. In India, schoolteachers had a lot of respect, even though they were poor. Students went away to study and live in the teacher's household, and it was the students who worked as maids for their guru. The students' labor was a payment for the teaching, along with the final gurudakshina offered when the student left the teacher's house (gurukul) for the final time.

  10. Purplesque says:

    LOL I think one of the questions on the regular entry form for visitors is, 'Are you a terrorist?' I wonder if anyone has ever marked it 'yes'.

  11. Purplesque says:

    It was 80 yesterday, and today! Gimme back my fall..The only virtues I managed out of that list were not smoking and not dyeing my hair. If someone had told me 'under no circumstances', though, I'd probably get it dyed immediately!

  12. Purplesque says:

    Yikes. We had an issue with too-long skirts. The nuns famously took scissors to a girls' skirt for being too long! The kid's parents did not appreciate that.

  13. We're supposed to get cool weather on Thursday……I'm looking forward to it, even though it means spending more $$$ eventually. This warm stuff isn't good. It gets — yes, it's amazing how being told NOT to, will make us want to do things…..

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