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France Outlaws Ban on Women in Pants

coco chanel marlene dietrich

Coco Chanel and Marlene Dietrich in Trousers

French lawmakers have struck a 200-year old law preventing Parisian women from wearing trousers.  The law passed in 1800 prohibited women in Paris from “‘dressing like a man’ unless she received permission from the local police.”  While exceptions were made to the law for women who were holding a bicycle handlebar or the reigns of a horse in 1892 and 1909, it took over two-hundred years to overturn the law.  The law was not enforced with any form of regularity in recent history but overturning the law was a gesture by the new French government to “do right by women.”  It’s about time!

This is just one of many examples of surprising laws that are still on the books.  Fortunately, most are not enforced but when you hear about them they are nonetheless jaw-dropping.  They are a nice reminder that “we’ve come a long way, baby.”  Now, we just have further to go.

Source: The World

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