02 June 2020

This woman was sent to jail because of her clothes

For wearing pants, as reported by the Los Angeles Times:
On Nov. 9, 1938, Helen Hulick, 28, wore slacks to court to testify against two men. Judge Arthur S. Guerin rescheduled the case, asking Hulick to return wearing a dress. 
Hulick was quoted in the Nov. 10, 1938, Los Angeles Times. “You tell the judge I will stand on my rights. If he orders me to change into a dress I won’t do it. I like slacks. They’re comfortable.”.. 
In a scathing denunciation of slacks — which he prosaically termed pants — as courtroom attire for women, Municipal Judge Arthur S. Guerin yesterday again forbade Helen Hulick, 28, kindergarten teacher, to testify as a witness while dressed in green and orange leisure attire. 
Miss Hulick, who Thursday was ordered to return to court in a dress, was called to testify by Dep. Dist. Atty. Russell Broker against two [men] accused of burglarizing her home. 
“The court hereby orders and directs you to return tomorrow in accepted dress. If you insist on wearing slacks again you will be prevented from testifying because that would hinder the administration of justice. But be prepared to be punished according to law for contempt of court.”.. 
The next day, Hulick showed up in slacks. Judge Guerin held her in contempt. Given a five-day sentence, Hulick was sent to jail.


  1. Ye gods and little fishes!!!

  2. a before and after image: https://california-times-brightspot.s3.amazonaws.com/f5/16/c564700e46e7b798ee0549170315/fa-1315-hulickslackscombo1800.jpg


  3. Possibly relevant; everyone knows Joan of Arc was famously burned at the stake. What you might not know is that it wasn't for witchcraft or heresy; the only formal crime she was ever charged with was 'the wearing of mens' clothing'.

    Think about that.

    1. It really comes down to the 'crime' of women believing their equal to men. Joan of Arc and this case were all about keeping women 'in their place.'


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