Friday, April 22, 2011

Oh My, How Times Have Changed...!

Seems to me that back in the old days, it was dangerous to even approach a young woman and strike up a conversation!

When you consider all that goes on today, we've come a long way since then. I'm not sure that where we are is any better, but it certainly is different!

I found this interesting fact at and thought you might like to see just how different things really are today!

Apr 22, 1886:

Seduction is made illegal

Ohio passes a statute that makes seduction unlawful. Covering all men over the age of 18 who worked as teachers or instructors of women, this law even prohibited men from having consensual sex with women (of any age) whom they were instructing. The penalty for disobeying this law ranged from two to 10 years in prison.

Ohio's seduction law was not the first of its kind. An Virginia law made it illegal for a man to have an "illicit connexion (sic) with any unmarried female of previous chaste character" if the man did so by promising to marry the girl. An 1848 New York law made it illegal to "under promise of marriage seduce any unmarried female of previous chaste character." Georgia's version of the seduction statute made it unlawful for men to "seduce a virtuous unmarried female and induce her to yield to his lustful embraces, and allow him to have carnal knowledge of her."

These laws were only sporadically enforced, but a few men were actually prosecuted and convicted. In Michigan, a man was convicted of three counts of seduction, but the appeals court did everything in its power to overturn the decision. It threw out two charges because the defense reasoned that the woman was no longer virtuous after the couple's first encounter. The other charge was overturned after the defense claimed that the woman's testimony--that they had had sex in a buggy--was medically impossible.

On some occasions, women used these laws in order to coerce men into marriage. A New York man in the middle of an 1867 trial that was headed toward conviction proposed to the alleged victim. The local minister was summoned, and the trial instantly became a marriage ceremony.

I'm thinking that the TV commercials we have on now days might just be frowned on by the courts of that day! If I don't like 'em, then I'm sure that they wouldn't have much use for them either!

Let's face it! We don't have anywhere near the moral character of the folks in 1886! Sometimes I don't know if the majority of folks today have any morals at all!

Of course, most of the folks I know are a moral bunch! And that, my friends, is a good thing!

How about some fresh coffee on the patio? Maybe we should do a rain dance or something! Sure is dry here!


Gorges Smythe said...

Folks say that you can't legislate morals, yet that's exactly what every law is (except for the immoral ones). Obviously, things CAN be taken too fat, though.

Sixbears said...

I know a man in Maine who went to prison for having sex with a 19 year old. He was a part time instructor at her college, so it was a law quite like the one you pointed to.

Momlady said...

Heck, nowadays men don't even take off their hats when they enter your home (not that that's immoral, just bad manners).

JoJo said...

Moral's what are they? No there aren't any today. Just us older folks seem to have them and not all of them either.
And I liked yesterdays post too. I would not like to see another Nam thing happen. I like the way those people handled that.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
I guess what bothers me about the fact that who gets to set the tone for the morals?

I'd say that, judging by past performance, most politicians are NOT qualified to do that!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Sixbears...
Makes you wonder just where the age limit should be!

Definitely needs to be a reasonable guideline, I think!

Hey, I appreciate you coming over today!

Hey Momlady...
I'm afraid that, like common sense, manners are mostly a thing of the past!

My friend, I appreciate you coming by today!

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
Getting harder and harder to find those folks of strong moral standing, I think!

Glad that most of us are OK in that area!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!

Kyddryn said...

I think morality has become more flexible, but I can't bring myself to see that as necessarily a bad thing - consider, by some antiquated laws, I should be jailed and possibly killed for bearing a child out of wedlock. The child herself would be held accountable for my actions, suffering her entire life the label "bastard", which would relegate her to the lowest levels of society, able only to perform the most menial tasks for her living, a target for the advances of men who will believe her virtue easy (as mine must surely have been).

That said, I believe that what goes on between consenting adults should not be subject to any laws. What on earth a woman's (or a man's, for that matter) virginity...ahem...virtue...has to do with moral chartacter is beyond me.

I'm much more interested in folks keeping their word and behaving according to the laws they set themselves...which is danged rare, if you ask me!

Thanks for the history lesson - fascinating, the laws people have felt the need to pass. I wonder what laws we have on the books now that our grandchildren will scoff at?

Shade and Sweetwater,

HermitJim said...

Hey K...
Judging by the old laws of that day, I should have been in prison by the time I was in my late 20's!

Things change so fast over the years that we can only guess at what is to come!

As far as folks keeping their word about things...that too is going the way of the dinosaur! Sad but all too true!

Maybe I'm just too old!

Thanks for coming over to my house today! said...

How ironic the subject this a.m.. I was watching a show with Debra LaFave (a very gorgious teacher convicted of having a sexual affair with a student at her school) and thinking to myself how one can try to justify anthing one does...sometimes successfully and sometimes not so.
I hate to rub salt in the wound, but it is raining here again and quite cold.
To Mizz Kyd, what about the law still on the books in Kansas that states nobody can own a cat!? Well, it is rather true isn't it because the reasoning behind the law is that a cat lives it's own life by going as it chooses, eating when it chooses, etc.!
Love you.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

HermitJim, you always give us something to think about and it's certainly true thatg morals have changed and not always for the better (sadly). Hope the Easter bunny is good to you, my friend. Enjoy the weekend.

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

First I must declare.. no more Rain dances! lol. I have had so much rain and its in the forcast for the next 6 with 1 sunny following then back to rainy days. I think your dancing must be flowing in the wrong direction since it has all come here. ;)
I can not deny I am saddened by my generation. The responsibilty towards family, the morals of truth right & wrong have fallen to the way side in so many areas of our lives. It appears life & morals are going to H*** in a hand basket.