Today in Feminist History: Women Deserve to Smoke in Public Too! (March 27, 1922)

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March 27, 1922: In a show of solidarity not seen since winning the battle for Statewide suffrage four and a half years ago, local women are protesting tonight’s first attempt to enforce a New York City law passed on March 14th which bans women—but not men—from smoking in public places.

PHOTO: Mary Garrett Hay.

Mary Garrett Hay, a non-smoker, well-known and highly respected veteran of the suffrage movement, and presently head of the New York City League of Women Voters, expressed the view of many women’s rights activists that the issue is not smoking, but male legislators imposing restrictions on women only:

“If they are telling the women they must not smoke in public they should tell the men not to also. It is perfectly ridiculous. Women should not be discriminated against in any way.”

Ruth Hale, who last year founded the Lucy Stone League, which fights…

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