Hat-pin self defence?!

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Stray Cat, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Stray Cat

    Stray Cat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Funny (yet, amusing!) thing:

    A wealth of evidence from the period demonstrates that hatpins were popularly regarded as secret weapons, and indeed as “every woman’s weapon” against the depredations of hooligans and ill-mannered brutes.
    According to a story in the New York Times of January 10, 1898:
    The picture emerges, though, of a two-phase counter-strategy against over-confident ruffians who seized their intended victims by the shoulders or arms. First, the defender would feign shock and indignation, her hand flying up apparently to steady her enormous hat, but in reality to pluck out a hatpin. Then, in one movement, she would jab the weapon forcefully into the offending hand or wrist; Mr. MacGrath was not the only writer to compare the resulting pain to “the sting of a hornet”. This might well suffice to discourage any further offence. If not, the consensus on following-up was to stab the assailant in the face or, if more conveniently accessible, “the place where it hurts the most”.


  2. Stray Cat

    Stray Cat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Never Go Walking Out Without Your Hat Pin

    My Granny was a very shrewd old lady,
    The smartest woman that I ever met.
    She used to say, “Now listen to me, Sadie,
    There’s one thing that you never must forget.”

    Never go walking out without your hat pin.
    The law won’t let you carry more than that.
    For if you go walking out without your hat pin,

    You may lose your head as well as lose your hat.”

    My Granny said men never could be trusted.
    No matter how refined they might appear.
    She said that many maidens’ hearts got busted
    Because men never had but one idea.

    I’ve heard that Grandpa really was a mess,
    So Grandma knew whereof she spoke, I guess.

    Never go walking out without your hat pin.
    Not even to some very classy joints.
    For when a fellow sees you’ve got a hat pin
    He’s very much more apt to get the point.

    My Mama, too, set quite a bad example.
    She never heeded Grandmama’s advice.
    She found that if you give a man a sample,
    The sample somehow never does suffice.

    In fact, it’s rumored I might not have been
    If Mum had not gone out without her pin.

    Never go walking out without your hat pin.
    It’s about the best protection you have got.
    For if you go walking out without your hat pin,

    You may come home without your you-know-what!

  3. Stray Cat

    Stray Cat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    From Harold MacGrath’s novel “Parrot & Co”, 1914:

    [size=+1]Yet another brilliant reason to wear a hat![/size] :love:
  4. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    I know my mother (born 1920) regarded a hat pin as a weapon. No doubt this was common wisdom at one time. I know some of my older relatives (my grandmothers and mother's aunts) made formidable foes with or without a hatpin. When I read about women in the past being meek, downtrodden and without opinions of their own I just laugh.
  5. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Melbourne, Australia
    Surely that's a redundancy?

    But whatever.

    Interesting reading. Back in the day, a lot of everyday items did double-duty as defensive weapons.

    Women's hatpins were actually BANNED in Melbourne back in the 1800s (and thereafter, I believe), because during one public event (the name of which, escapes me), a baby had its eyes gouged out by a hatpin.

    So the story goes, a mother held her infant son in her arms in the middle of a crowd. A lady nearby turned to face another, and her hatpin spiked the baby in the eye.

    Thereafter, hatpins were banned as a danger to public safety. The ban was modified later on, however, and hatpins were made legal once more. But for the safety of others, by law, every hat-pin had to have s safety-cap at the end (such as with some varieties of gentlemans' tie-pins) to prevent any incidents in the future of eye-gouging.
  6. Stray Cat

    Stray Cat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Pardon my ENGRISH, sir. :D

    Oh, my...
    They WERE dangerous!
    (safety covers at the hatpin's tip) :D
  7. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Melbourne, Australia
    That's right, Cat. Hat pins like that were legal. But the ones with the bare points were not, due to the above-mentioned eye-losing incident.
  8. Stray Cat

    Stray Cat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    That does give space for some creative ideas. WHO could imagine that a girl nowadays has that sort hidden weapon? (Pepper-spray, small knife.. some may pack a gun.. that's expetable!)
    ...could you write a story on that subject? :D
  9. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I don't need a hat pin -- I have a sharpened key on my key ring that I carry protruding from my fist whenever I'm out and about at night. Anybody tries to mess with me will get shanked.
  10. Stray Cat

    Stray Cat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I'm giving you 5 out of 5 for originality in choice of weapon! :thumb:
  11. CaramelSmoothie

    CaramelSmoothie Practically Family

    With my Hats
    There is an exhibit at the Cleveland Historical Society that shows some beautiful hat pins. In the exhibit it is stated that they had to pass "Hat pin laws" to prevent women from using them as a weapon.
  12. Stray Cat

    Stray Cat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Oh, yes.
  13. katiemakeup

    katiemakeup Practically Family

    HA! Very helpful photos :)
  14. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

    Hampshire, UK
    Well, last year I was searching charity shops in the UK for hat pins and was told by several volunteers that they were not allowed to sell them because they were too dangerous. This explains it all!
  15. LoveMyHats2

    LoveMyHats2 I’ll Lock Up.

    The way this world is going to hell in a hand bag, I think it is a smart move for a woman to have a hat pin if not more, for protection. I would only also hope if any woman had to use one for defense, that the court would praise her and not want to prosecute over it. If a man is stabbed with one for a good reason, I would hope that the lady using the hat pin would get in one more last deep "jab" for good measure!

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