A knock-down-drag-out brawl has ensued over my recent post about "Saloon Etiquette for Cowboys," where I made the case that you should not touch, or try to grab and put on your head, a cowboy's hat. This led to a spirited discussion, both online and in our house, about exactly where a cowboy should take off his hat. In a church, for sure, around women (see photo, below), but then the trail gets a little fuzzy. This led me to wonder if this "domesticated" version of hathood was instigated and, or influenced, by women. In many of the comments, you hear,"My mother said you take off your hat when you are in MY house."
I'm wondering if the photos of all those cowboys in saloons with their hats on had more to do with no women being there. And, by extension, there were less women in the Old West (we're talkin' "respectable" women) so the cowboys were less concerned about taking their hats off for ANYBODY! Imagine someone in a remote bunk house saying, "Now Cody, take your hat off when you come in here."
My theory is that women have influenced the Hats Off Rule more than any other factor.
Women Rule The Rules
Okay Bob, you will probably have as many responses for true hat etiquette as you do the responders. But, basically since I am a SW gal, born in Prescott (before it became a “cute”cow town it was a real cow town), raised in Arizona and NM and having lived with ranchers and cowboys in Lincoln, here is what I have to say.