Street Harassment, Flirting and the Law: What Do YOU Think?

Alice Reighly, President of DC's Anti-Flirt Club, which was active in the 1920s.
Alice Reighly, President of DC’s Anti-Flirt Club, which was active in the 1920s.

One-hundred and twelve years ago today (1/9/1902), New York State introduced a bill to outlaw flirting in public.

Another little known fact: DC has a long history of anti-street harassment advocacy. In the 1920s, the DC Anti-Flirt Club worked to “protect young women and girls from unwelcome attention from men in automobiles and on street corners.”

What do you think your community would be like if flirting in public were criminalized? How would “flirting” be defined, and what would be the criteria? How would flirting be distinguished from harassment? How would community interactions change? If this something you’d want to see? What would be some of the negative effects? (We can think of lots!) Let us know what you think in the comments!

DC street art by ADAPT!


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