Part VII: Rules for Girls

Girls and boys are not allowed to go riding or boating together, and evening association is forbidden. Girls are not allowed to receive calls by gentlemen except in the parlor of the Ladies’ Hall, or, if they room outside, in the parlor of the family with whom they stay. Boys are not permitted to take girls to church on Sundays or Sunday outings.

  1. Don’t give yourself wholly to reading novels. An excess of this kind of reading is one great vice among women. Good novels are good things, but how can women hope to occupy an equal place with men if their intellectual life is given to one branch of literature solely?
  2. Don’t on making a call, keep talking about your departure–proposing to go and not going.
  3. Don’t make endless adieux in leaving friends.
  4. Don’t be slatternly. Neatness and cleanliness are among the first requisites of decent society.
  5. Don’t, young ladies, giggle or affect merriment when you feel none. If you reward with a smile, it is sufficient. There are young women who always cover their faces with their hands, or indulge in some other violent demonstrations – to whom I say, don’t.
  6. Don’t eat confections to excess.
  7. Don’t talk in a loud or shrill voice. A low voice is a great charm in all women – young or old.
  8. Don’t be affected. Try to have a simple and natural manner. Don’t be pert.
  9. Don’t use slang words. No one likes to hear from the lips of a girl or woman the coarse and fast terms that happen to be the vulgar fashion of the time.
  10. Don’t be found in the kitchen unless to get a drink. You should not go down there even to get a drink just before a meal.
  11. Don’t forget to bathe at least once a week, and brush your teeth at least once a day.

Ole Voices No. 2: Etiquette 101


St. Olaf College: A Selected Chronology

Section I: Etiquette 101
In General
In the Drawing Room
In Public
Dress and Personal Habits
Table Manners
Rules for Boys
Rules for Girls

Section II: Transgressions
Keeping the Rules