Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Abolishing “Heart Balm”: Jack Anthony - 1935


FULL TEXT: Jack Anthony is engaged in the very tangled business of trying to get justice, as he sees it, for the many husbands who have run afoul of the alimony laws.
He heads the Alimony Reform League of New York state, organized to aid the estranged, but still-paying-the-bills husbands of New York. However, "SOS" calls from other stales never fail to gain his sympathetic ear.
He feels jubilant over this year's legislative freshets which are wiping out opportunities for women to collect under beach of promise or alienation of affection lawsuits.
"Heart balm laws today," he says, "simply give freedom for the most part to women who want money or publicity from wealthy men, or from men with prominent positions.
~ A 'Chivalrous' Law ~
"If a show girl wants to break into print what better way has she than to bring a heart important and have been sued by people they have never even seen.
"Maybe many, many years ago there was sonic justification for payment of money by a man to a girl whom he suddenly decided to leave at the altar.
"The legal theory behind the breach of promise law in the beginning was that of contract. It originated in the fine, old ideal of chivalry. Woman was the weaker vessel, and needed the protection of man.
~ Men’s Turn to Struggle ~
"But women have achieved equality, and now it's the men's turn to struggle for a new equality in the courts.
“Under breach of promise suits the damages were assessed, first, for the intangible losses suffered by the woman; and second, as a punitive gesture against the man.
~ Trousseau Compensation ~
“When you think of it, a man can he just as much heart by a broken promise to marry as a woman. But do the men go into court and demand money? Not much. They may commit suicide, or they may shoot the other man, but they don't demand money.
"There are cases, of course, where two people love each other sincerely, but can't marry for some reason or other. Money won't compensate them hurt their feelings.
"And I'll grant if a man promises marry a woman, and she goes out and invests quite a sum in a trousseau, she should be reimbursed for the expenditure, just as in any other contractual relationship. But that is quite a different matter from these quarter-million and half-million dollar sums which are demanded.
"The present drive against heart balm suits is just an opening wedge for the laws which must be enacted before men, involved in martial tangles, can enjoy justice in the courts. he crowd. Some day I hope we can empty the n on the thrilling star!! alimony cells in prisons."
[“Love’s Old $weet $ong - Or, Is It Goodbye to Heart Balm?; Alimony Expert Speaks,” Harrisburg Telegraph (Pa.), May 2, 1935, P. 13]


For more revelations of this suppressed history, see The Alimony Racket: Checklist of Posts 
[2094-11/21/21; 2580-1/26/22]

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