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(8,361 posts)
Thu Jul 6, 2023, 10:44 AM Jul 2023

POLITICS & HISTORY: Women Against Women's Suffrage

The fight for women’s suffrage is often depicted as pitting women against men. But some women made it their life’s mission to campaign against it.

By: Livia Gershon July 6, 2023

Read a typical textbook account of the US women’s suffrage fight, and you might come away with the impression of a battle of the sexes. But, historian Joe C. Miller argues that that’s a serious distortion. In fact, not only was the campaign to give women the vote taken up by plenty of men, but there was widespread opposition to the cause among women.

Miller notes that suffragists frequently opposed referendums in which women would have the opportunity to vote on the issue, tacitly acknowledging that their cause would be unlikely to prevail. For example, in 1871, Susan B. Anthony said that women’s “condition of servitude” meant that they shouldn’t be polled in a proposed Washington State vote. Even at the time of the Nineteenth Amendment’s ratification in 1920, suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt wrote in a letter that only about a third of women supported suffrage, another third was opposed, and the rest didn’t care either way. (This wasn’t the message Catt sent to the public, though. Publicly, she claimed that most women wanted the vote.)

Some “antis” also warned that if women became more like men in their public roles it would threaten their existing “special privileges.”
And it wasn’t just apolitical or conservative women who opposed suffrage. “Antis,” as they were sometimes known, included leaders in women’s education as well as prominent professional figures such as journalist Ida Tarbell. Among the most active was Josephine Dodge, an advocate for child care for working mothers. In 1911, Dodge and some allies formed the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage. The all-female organization peaked at about 500,000 members in 1919.

Why did women oppose suffrage? For some, Miller writes, it was part of a larger hostility to the expansion of the franchise to constituencies they saw as ignorant or liable to sell their votes, such as immigrants and Black Americans.


( I posted this primarily due to my total revulsion for Moms for Liberty. History is a tool for learning, let's hope we can minimize the damage from hatred and ignorance..evidently always ongoing. )

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POLITICS & HISTORY: Women Against Women's Suffrage (Original Post) BeckyDem Jul 2023 OP
important. and deserves a hearing. stopdiggin Jul 2023 #1
This was always the way. I think today, the women who vote republiQan are primarily Scrivener7 Jul 2023 #2


(11,815 posts)
1. important. and deserves a hearing.
Thu Jul 6, 2023, 10:56 AM
Jul 2023

'Movements' have had a variety of, not only internal struggle and disagreement, but concerns over potential allies and alliances ... It isn't all a march forward.

That's humanity - and that's history.


(51,374 posts)
2. This was always the way. I think today, the women who vote republiQan are primarily
Fri Jul 7, 2023, 08:22 AM
Jul 2023

the ones who are financially dependent on white men and therefore want the status quo of white male entitlement to thrive. This group would have a large overlap with christian fundamentalist groups.

I think in the old days, some of the women bought into what was said about them: that they were not capable of rational thinking. And some, rightfully, might have been concerned about the very low educational levels of women, though there were no educational requirements for male voters.

It would be interesting to poll female republiQan voters to see how many are financially dependent on their husbands.

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