Archive for March, 2022

The Woman and the Stick

In 1922, New York Times Magazine published an opinion column — written by the pseudonymous “A Barbarian Bachelor” — advocating for wife-beating. It seems a safe bet he remained a bachelor for a while after this.

Woman feels in her natural sphere, and therefore satisfied and happy when she is controlled absolutely by a man. Therefore, for the happiness of both, it it necessary that the man be dominant.

Outside of all this bunkum about the soul, there is only one way that the superiority of man appeals to woman — and that is physically. To make a woman happy, a man must keep fixed in her mind this physical superiority at all times. The failure of the New York man to do this is resulting in the decadence of the New York woman.

The way for him to recover his lost position is by the use of the stick.

By this I mean the actual physical beating of his wife.

One wonders what the author would think of the NYT’s 2020 Democratic presidential nomination joint endorsement of Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.


The Woman and the Stick (PDF)

Published: Sunday, March 26, 1922

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Written by Jesse Rifkin

March 27th, 2022 at 11:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Wild West’s Own New York

What place did New York occupy in the American imagination in 1922?

This piece by Anne O’Hara McCormick acknowledged it was the highest-population city and the country’s cultural capital, but noted that in a nation so geographically large (and still expanding), it couldn’t dominate the nation as some European countries’ political and/or cultural capitals did.

We read New York papers. We flock to New York shows. We wear New York clothes. We tremble over New York tickers in our business hours and shake to New York jazz in our hours of ease.

New York has not, it may be, the charm to evoke emotion in the provinces as do older national metropolises. We do not love New York as the English love London. We are not proud of it as the French are proud of Paris. We do not thrill to it as the Italians thrill to Rome.We do not weep over it as the Austrians weep over Vienna.

Her article also predicted that New York state was perhaps losing its stronghold in that another metric: producing U.S. presidents. Although there was a period where three out of five consecutive presidents counted New York as their political home state — Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, and Theodore Roosevelt — by 1922:

We watch the political spectacle in New York and Philadelphia and Boston and rejoice in our emancipation from the corrupt and stupid civic slavery of the east. We used to resent it, but since we have abandoned the east to its sins, since we have chosen four out of the last five presidents of the United States from small towns and three from Ohio, since we have enthroned the small town in the Senate and in the White House, and have given Congress over to the west.

She was wrong: New York’s own Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected 10 years later. As for Ohio, it actually hasn’t produced a president since the incumbent in 1922: Warren G. Harding.

As for the last five presidents, they’ve really hailed from all over the map: Arkansas, Texas, Illinois, New York, and Delaware.

The Wild West’s Own New York (PDF)

Published: Sunday, March 5, 1922

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Written by Jesse Rifkin

March 6th, 2022 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized