Bars not serving unescorted ladies

I was watching an old Alfred Hitchcock Presents and a woman walked into a bar and hailed the bartender. He immediately said “I’m sorry, we don’t serve unescorted ladies”.

Was this ever a thing? If so, what was the reasoning?

Keeps the hookers out of classy joints.

To keep out prostitutes basically. They might be posing as prostitutes just to scam guys but in that day and age respectable women did not go to bars alone.

Some bars were even “men only”. Of course, so were some golf courses.

Same thing I guess, some hotels would not rent to customers from in town. Same idea - an unescorted female in a bar was considered to be probably either a prostitute, or a bar fight between male patrons waiting to happen. Just as hotels did not want a reputation as a place to bring hookers or not-your-wife, bars did not want a reputation for being a pick-up bar. I assume these were the more “classy” places, trying to stay that way.

What a coincidence! I watched that same episode not more than a week ago and wondered the same thing.

That came out wrong. They wouldn’t be posing as prostitutes, rather they’d be posing as ‘easy’ women. They might actually be prostitutes, or just trying to get free drinks, or planning on leaving with the guy so her boyfriend can roll him in the alley.

Long enough ago, it may have been an actual law in several states and Canadian provinces, rather than just a practice by the bar itself. A lot of them seem to have been repealed in 1960s.

Hmm, I didn’t think of that. I guess that’s better than discrimination which was my first thought.

In the U.K. ladies could go into the saloon bar (snug) but never in the public bar that was the realm of men getting drunk, cussing and fighting

in ‘My Little Chickadee’ WC Fields is tending bar when a woman comes in and tries to order a drink. She’s told he can’t serve women at the bar - she has to go to a table (There are several men at the bar.) As the scene proceeds she asks if Fields has seen her husband - shes looking for him - kinda rules out being a prostitute.

It was the same in Australia until the 1970s. Wiki cite

These days the women get drunk and fight in the public bar, while the men hide in the snug.

Well, even if that is the reason, it’s still discrimination. On a level that makes your jaw drop, really.

It makes mine drop, anyway.

Me: :eek:

Nowadays at clubs and such it’s no unescorted men, to keep the gender ratio from being like 10-1.

I guess an alternate explanation could be that all the high end places back then were gay bars.

Yes surprised no one else has pointed this out. The assumption that all unescorted women are prostitutes is appalling discrimination.

Same thought appeared to me. What straight man would have liked to go to a bar with nothing but male customers?

The also discriminatory answer is that all bar customers were assumed to be married and wanted a place to socialize free from their nagging wives.

So, that particular woman in the bar wasn’t a prostitute, but that was still the reason for the policy.

It is appalling, but given the mores of the time it was probably a safe assumption. No respectable woman would have even considered an unescorted visit to a bar.