Tips for Single Women Circa 1938


Okay ladies, save your eye rolling for later. These guidelines were obviously written by a man if not an old spinster living in such a joyless marriage.

The 1930s was a time where modesty and proper etiquette was a sort of a life and death thing for women. Ladies were expected to strive for perfection while keeping their lesser gender status. They were trained to wear make up, dress properly and act like a duchess not for themselves but for men. Not surprisingly, in this set of dating guidelines circa 1938, single women are taught how to please a man by being an enhanced version of themselves instead of finding love or someone who accepts them for who they are in the dating scene.

Men don’t like girls who borrow their handkerchief and smudge them with lipstick.

Makeup in privacy, not where he sees you.

If you need a brassiere, wear one.

Don’t tug at your girdle and be careful your stockings are not wrinkled.

Don’t sit in awkward positions, and never looked bored even if you are.

Be alert, and if you must chew gum (not advised) do it silently, mouth closed.

Don’t use the car mirror to fix your makeup.

Man needs it in driving, and it annoys him very much to have to turn around to see what’s behind him.

Careless women never appeal to gentlemen.

Don’t talk while dancing, for when a man dances he wants to dance.

Don’t drink too much, as a man expects you to keep your dignity all evening.

Drinking may make some girls seem clever, but most get silly.

Don’t be sentimental or try to get him to say something he doesn’t want to by working on his emotions. Men don’t like tears, especially in public places.

Don’t be familiar with your escort by caressing him in public.

Any open show of affection is in bad taste, usually embarrasses or humiliates him.

Don’t talk about clothes or try to describe your new gown to a man.

Please and flatter your date by talking about the things he wants to talk about.

Don’t be familiar with the headwaiter talking about the fun you had with someone else another time.

Men deserve, desire your attention.

Don’t be conspicuous talking to other men.

The last straw is to pass out from too much liquor.

Chances are your date will never call you again!


It's really nice to see these evidences of gender inequality from the old times. Makes me appreciate how amazing it is to be born in the 21st century. Anyway, these aren't all that ridiculous and I'm sure you won't be rolling your eyes for too long. Some are actually funny.

Unfortunately in the 21st century, some men like to get you drunk and hammered. And yes, you won’t see them again.

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