Cheeky List of Flirting Rules From 1920s Still Rings True Today

anti flirt club

Back in the 1920s, Alice Reighly was fed up with the way women were being embarrassed by men hooting and hollering at them from every street corner and decided that the ladies needed to take back some control. Clearly a whippersnapper of a young woman, she founded the Anti-Flirt Club in Washington, D.C. to effect some change in the nation's capital. To that end, the club had a set of 10 rules.

As you can imagine, they're pretty awesome.


The entire list of 10 can be found on, but I want to highlight three of my favorite rules that are just so good, so casually compassionate, so timelessly toughened, so brilliant in every way, shape, and form, that to not discuss them would be remiss.

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In no particular order of magnificence:

Rule #9: Don't let elderly men with an eye to a flirtation pat you on the shoulder and take a fatherly interest in you. Those are usually the kind who want to forget they are fathers.

Yes, yes, and more yes. So well said. It's hardly ever a good match if your first thought upon meeting a man is whether or not he knew your dad in high school or if that's breath mints your smelling, or Bengay. Reighly is right on.

Rule #2: Don't accept rides from flirting motorists—they don't invite you in to save you a walk.

Truth. Granted, getting a ride from a stranger is highly frowned upon these days, but the same theory applies for any Don Juan inviting you in to his office for drink, his apartment for some coffee, or into a cab to share a ride uptown. And things become doubly suspicious if it's happening after 2 a.m.

Rule #8: Don't fall for the slick, dandified cake eater—the unpolished gold of a real man is worth more than the gloss of a lounge lizard.

First of all, I'm totally going to start calling people "dandified cake eaters" and "lounge lizards" ASAP. Second of all, the adage still holds true today. Money can't buy you happiness, little ladies.

The only thing I think the list left out is a rule or two about how to appropriately get your flirt on on the dance floor or in line for expensive coffee, but other than that, I think Reighly nailed it. Flirting in the 2010s is not totally dissimilar to flirting in the 1920s -- the stakes may be a little higher these days just because of the freedoms we now enjoy, but Reighly and her club are right -- it's never a bad idea to act like a lady when trying your best to be coquettish. 

What do you think of these rules?


Photo via Wikimedia

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