For a draft version, see "What Every Man Should Know," Dec. 26, 1920 in Margaret Sanger Papers Microfilm Edition, Smith College Collections, S70:877. This article was also published in the Milwaukee Journal.
"SHORT SKIRTS HELP MORALS".
Feminist Says It Has Removed the Lure of Draperies.
Take it from a woman who ought to know, these diaphanous gowns, low-necked dresses and knee-length skirts displayed by the fairer sex haven't led the poor, harrassed, male astray. Perish the thoughts!
The answer? Why these feminine fashions have actually raised the standards of morality among men. So says Margaret E. Sanger, feminist and birth control addvocate of the most "modern school"--and Mrs. Sanger professes to know. She said as much in delivering what she termed her "most intimate lecture to men." She spoke on "What Every Man Should Know."
“Woman’s dress hasn’t aroused the worst in men,” she declared. “It has removed the lure of draperies. Woman has moved toward a higher plane of morality, because she is accustoming man to view her as she is.
“Down on the beach where the girls are barelegged there isn’t half the mischief brewing in the minds of men spectators as in the heads of chaps who used to hang about the drug store corners waiting for a puff of wind. At the beach bare legs are taken for granted. Now that women are wearing knee-length skirts on the streets men will soon take for granted also what used to tempt them on drug store corners.”
Belief that woman resorts to abbreviated costumes to arouse man is all wrong, according to Mrs. Sanger. She believes it the natural reaction for morals to be raised when necks are lowered.
“It would be impossible,” she said, “to go into every phase of what men should know--especially about women.”
“Man can never know the secret emotions of woman. It is high time they should know how woman approaches the mystery of her calling.”
Mrs. Sanger is the mother of two boys.