It's 2017: Women have been able to legally vote for nearly a century, but you wouldn't know it by some laws still on the books. The United States has all kinds of strange, outdated laws still technically in effect — and many of them are no longer enforced — but it's startling to realize how many of those long-antiquated laws pertain to women. Despite the right to vote, hold a job, buy a car, and more, American women can't do many everyday things, according to the off-beat laws in their states.
If you're a woman in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California, think twice before strapping on your favorite stilettos. Likewise, if you're a woman in Florida, don't fall asleep under your hair dryer. Fortunately, many of the laws that will make you say, "Huh?" aren't enforced anyway, but it's the other rules that seem the most startling.
Beyond the weird, unenforced state laws, there are real rules that block women and girls from taking advantage of certain opportunities. Rather than state laws, these rules may be only school- or district-wide, but the precedent they create no doubt impacts the women under their jurisdiction. From the obsolete to the impactful, you'd be surprised what American women still can't do in 2017.
Fall Asleep Under A Hair Dryer
As Miss Florida tweeted last year, it is against the law for women in Florida to fall asleep under a hair dryer. Florida also banned the more common practice of cohabitation, living with your heterosexual partner before marriage, up until last year. The anti-cohabitation law was repealed in 2016, but there has been no news of the hair dryer law facing repeal.
Live With A Boyfriend
Cohabitation may be legal in Florida now, but it's not in Mississippi. The Mississippi code still criminalizes the practice, and landlords can reportedly refuse to rent space to an unmarried couple.
Skydive On Sunday
Wear High Heels In Public
In Carmel-By-The-Sea, California, individuals are prohibited from wearing "shoes with heels which measure more than two inches in height and less than one square inch of bearing surface" along the city's streets and sidewalks. If they wish to wear such heels, women must obtain a permit.
According to the municipal code, the city's "quiet, semiforested neighborhoods" pose a risk to individuals in high heels.
Wear Leggings Or Yoga Pants
Hide your Lululemons, hide your Nikes: In New York, it is reportedly still illegal for women to wear "body-hugging clothing" of any kind. While the law has likely never been used in the 21st century, a Montana lawmaker just two years ago tried to replicate it in his state. Fortunately, the Montana bill to ban yoga pants died shortly after it was introduced in 2015.
Play Basketball With The Boys
It seems increasingly common that women and girls are joining male-dominated sports organizations. But in one New Jersey private school, fighting for the opportunity to play with the boys can get you kicked out of school. A pair of sisters was denied enrollment after their family sued the school last year for their daughters' ability to play with the school's boys basketball team.
Walk At Graduation
In June, a female student was banned from walking at her private school's graduation because she was pregnant. The girl reportedly had a 4.0 GPA and served as student council president, but she broke the school's abstinence code. She was also suspended.
Most of the off-kilter laws against women that remain on state or local books to this day would require legislative or judicial action to change. Given the slow-moving nature of the legislative process and the fact that most of the strange laws aren't enforced anyway, it's unlikely they'll come off the books anytime soon.