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These obscure traffic laws are surprisingly sexist

Published July 3, 2012
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Gender-equality and political correctness have taken a backseat with these old laws that are still on the books in some U.S. States. Keep them in mind on your summer travels south of the border.

Ladies, even if he won’t stop and ask for directions, you still can’t hit your hubby in Georgia, USA. There it’s illegal to strike a man on the back or front. (Hint: maybe aim for his sides.)

In California, it’s illegal for a woman to drive a car while dressed in a housecoat. (I guess my neighbours, who don’t cover their pajamas when outdoors, won’t have a problem.)

In Memphis, Tennessee; New Orleans, Louisiana; and the State of Alabama, the law requires that a man must either be running or walking in front of a car driven by a woman, and wave a red flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians. (Obviously, this law needs to be updated. The flagman is unnecessary. Require amber strobe lights and a warning klaxon on the car instead – just kidding.)

Men, don’t bother packing a razor in the car or motorhome when travelling in Missouri, USA. There you need a permit to shave.

It’s not exactly sexist, but couples should be pleased to hear that in Cour d’Alene, Idaho, police are required to honk their horn or flash their lights and then wait three minutes before investigating vehicular hanky panky. (Talk about “doing time” if caught by police.)

If your canine Romeo is feeling frisky, you’d better keep him in check in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. There you can be fined if your pet “molests” a motor vehicle. (So, it might cost you a leg either way.)

Now, this last one isn’t a law, but two words comprise the most blatantly sexist phrase you’ll routinely encounter when scanning used car ads. It completely stereotypes and vilifies an entire gender class while holding up another on a gilded pedestal as “holier than thou.” And those words are: “lady driven.”

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