A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

History: Matawan Mayor Allows Women to Wear Shorts, Limits Police Actions to Those Indecently Exposed (1952)

What women could wear on the streets of Matawan became an issue in the summer of 1952 when the chief of police challenged their wearing of shorts. The text below appeared on the front page of the 24 Jul 1952 issue of The Matawan Journal.


Mayor Spafford W Schanck took up the cause of the fair sex wearing shorts at Tuesday's council meeting. The mayor announced the women of Matawan had his sanction to walk the streets with them on. He said only persons who were beyond question "indecently exposed" by scanty attire would be subject to questioning by police. Chief John J Flood, of borough police, announced last week women wearing shorts on borough streets had been asked to change to other garb as shorts were considered not in keeping with the atmosphere of a home community the type of Matawan.

There's an interesting discussion in the 28 Feb 1918 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 4) of the change in men's perceptions of women's wear from indecency to patriotism brought on by shortages of fabric during World War I.


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