Women’s Mug Shots from the 1930s-1940s

As humanity has progressed through time there have been a lot of changes in social norms and the way society works. Women have had the biggest change though in a short time span because for the longest time the people who help keep the house and family together just recently got voting rights. But a big change is the charges women can face in the criminal system and how we treat them.

The two biggest charges in the article of the different mugshots of women in the 1930s and 1940s is mental case and lesbian. For the mental case back in the these times was still a new thing for society and still did not know what to do with them, and they surely did not have the medicines we have today to treat these women. So, the only thing they  could do really to prevent them from doing  it again was to lock them up. For the lesbian this was something that society in the 30’s and 40’s was really not familiar with, and homosexuality was still something society did not agree with. This was something society could not deal with so they would get locked up because they were not of the social norms of society. Being lesbian meant breaking a norm of the social order and to police that is a crime to them.

Now was this same treatment done to men for being a mental case or being a homosexual? for the mental case their sentences were not as harsh and probably got more treatment and help for the mental disability. For homosexual, more likely they did get the same sentence because they were breaking a social norm. As for the other crimes in the 30’s and 40’s women did face harsher sentences because women rights were still not on the same level as men, which is messed up, but that is how the generation lived for awhile.

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5 Responses to Women’s Mug Shots from the 1930s-1940s

  1. It still astounds me that in the not too distant past (like the ’50s) it was illegal for women to wear men’s clothing and that there were laws in place which specified exactly how many articles of feminine clothing a woman needed to be wearing in order not to be charged with being a lesbian. That just blows my mind.

    To think that only a few generations ago the queer lifestyle was totally underground. This is what people mean by “in the closet,” that being gay was something that had to be hidden, not just on an individual level – like for a person in a small town or with strict parents – but on a society wide level. All of it. It was like, another world. Gay people had to live a double life. Bizarre.

    • Mathew says:

      that is actually really good information, I did not know that. I have just learned something new and something to bring up in my criminal justice classes. But I am happy we do not do that to people that are homosexual because that would be very wrong.

    • 1ltlos says:

      And people of both communities – the lesbian/gay & the heterosexual community respected that — There was no strange ass “gay rights” bullcrap and parading around as if gays are normal – This is a choice of a lifestyle and that is that — Gay people in the 1950’s simply lived their lives – NOW they have a double life – one that features them in their ridiculousness and another where they attempt to tone themselves down to keep a damn job. The flamboyant bull$hit is not appreciated in ANY WORK ENVIRONMENT.

  2. eg iaerjgoseuighseuioghliwuevhuileaghaurjuliawang says:

    Now I understand why Carly Rosenfeld went to jail.

  3. taneka says:


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