The 12 rules a local church leader prescribed to govern community life
In Spain, traveling through a cork forest near the Portuguese border, James Michener once stumbled upon a small town in a clearing, where he found posted to the oak door of the church a list of twelve rules. They’d been promulgated years before by a local bishop intent on shaping local life. And they capture something about Spanish life in the days of Franco and Catholic dominance.
Dated July 11, 1943, the poster read as follows:
1. Women shall not appear on the streets of this village with dresses that are too tight in those places which provoke the evil passions of men.
2. They must never wear dresses that are too short.
3. They must be particularly careful not to wear dresses that are low-cut in front.
4. It is shameful for women to walk in the streets with short sleeves.
5. Every woman who appears in the streets must wear stockings.
6. Women must not wear transparent or network cloth over those parts which decency requires to be covered.
7. At the age of twelve girls must begin to wear dresses that reach to the knee, and stockings at all times.
8. Little boys must not appear in the streets with their upper legs bare.
9. Girls must never walk in out-of-the-way places because to do so is both immoral and dangerous.
10. No decent woman or girl is ever seen on a bicycle.
11. No decent woman is ever seen wearing trousers.
12. What they call in the cities ‚modern dancing‘ is strictly forbidden.