FYI-More on Florida's love of Old English property law from Florida Now
Here is a description of the legal limitations grown women in Florida faced in 1941 thanks to an archivist in Los Angeles. Many of the inequalities noted were not corrected in Florida until 1972 when the Legislature passed the Married Women's Property Act. Democrats were in the majority then to bring us other progressive and humane legislation, like the Baker Act for the mentally ill. With this tradition, any wonder why the ERA has not been ratified in Florida?
APATHY OF WOMEN IS BLAMED
FOR LEGAL STATUS IN MANY STATES
In Florida married women are classed
wi th idiots, lunatics and minors, according
to Mrs. Ethel Ernest Murrell, Florida lawyer,
author and lecturer.
This status obtains under the old com-
mon law of England, she says, which was
adopted by Florida at the time it became a
State and abandoned the Spanish laws. It
was cited by Mrs. Murrell as an example of
the legal discriminations against women
which still exist in the United States.
The Florida attorney, who visited Boston
in the course of a lecture tour, explained that under this statute a married woman may not even open a charge account without her husband's written approval - a restriction which amazes tourists from other states. And if a married woman wants to go into business, she must first go to court and prove her competency.
A bill to revise this law - which was thrown out in England in 1873 - is being placed before the Legislature at this session, said Mrs. Murrell. She has been working for four years in her State to liberalize its laws with respect to the rights of women, and is chairman of the legislative committee for the National Woman's Party in Florida.
Pointing out that there are still eleven
backward States in the matter of women's
rights, Mrs. Murrell deplored the fact that
women on the whole are apathetic about the
American women, she claims, are "over-
privileged, under-worked and tragically spoiled," and affect a childish dependence which stunts their growth as contributing citizens of the community and the nation. Mrs. Murrell believes that women should "grow up and take their responsibilities. "
When this country was colonized by the
early settlers, she pointed out that women
stood b eside their men in every occupation
and worked with them. The trouble today,
said the woman attorney, is "that women
don't have enough to do."
She feels, too, that there is a mental
and moral decline in women who, after
being highly educated, get married and then
devote themselves to card playing and
Mrs. Murrell would like to see women
become excited about their status, believe
in their future and work for it. "We go to
great length," she said, "to promote democ-
racy abroad when we haven't yet completed
our own democracy at home."
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THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
APRIL 17, 1941 PAGE 15Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] I will not SHUT UP , GIVE UP and I WONT go away!!.