Mary Forschner, one of the victims of Jack the Strangler, was armed by her mother with a hatpin. Why? The “Masher Menace.” Mashers, men who flirted with women on the streets by whistling, yelling, flirting, kissing and other disgustingly male devices, roamed the streets of industrialized cities preying upon women. The industrialization of cities had brought women onto the streets at all hours of the day taking trolleys back and forth to work, unescorted by males such as their husbands. This left them vulnerable to mashers. One defenses was a 6-9 inch stainless steel hatpin. A thrust in the gut or the cheek would leave a masher second-guessing his flirtations. The imposition upon maidens by mashers became so problematic that cities passed ordinances, fining mashers for their actions. A woman’s word was all that was needed to convict a masher. The cartoon below shows the fines for mashers in the city of Spokane, Washington.
Below: Cartoonish suggestions for masher punishment.
Coming next: MASHERS REVOLT