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This is prompted by a promise I made in the comments section of Scott Wooledge's diary, Women's suffrage next?  It's more than three months later, but I needed the exercise, and it's prep for a spring course now.

Suffrage for women was a cause that began over seventy years before the nation saw fit to give women the vote, and it's one of those complicated stories you get in history that make the process even more interesting and dramatic. Here's the So-called "Susan B. Anthony" Amendment that it took so long to ratify:


Follow me below the great orange scrunchie to see what my classes learn about the process.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Doesn't seem like that would be so difficult, does it? The origins of Women's Suffrage in the United States are entwined with the antislavery movement. Scholars believe that antislavery activity was acceptable political activity for women who weren't allowed to take part in traditional politics, and that created a situation in which some women began to wonder why there couldn't be more. A committed abolitionist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
after she went to the World Abolitionist Convention in London in 1840 and was denied access to the floor, began to wonder if maintaining the moral nature of the antislavery movement was the only contribution women could make, and began to emphasize the importance of full participation in politics.

It took eight years, but Stanton, Lucretia Mott, who was with Stanton in London, and several other women organized the first women’s rights conference in history at Seneca Falls in 1848. 300 men and women crowded into the Wesleyan Chapel and debated the issue for two days (women only the first day, men the second to hear Lucretia Mott speak). The conference produced a Declaration of Sentiments, modeled on the Declaration of Independence, as you can see from the preamble:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.
 The declaration then presented 15 clauses that enumerate the repeated injuries and usurpations women have endured from men throughout history, and the assembly voted on each one. #1,
He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.
was considered especially extreme, and this was the only resolution produced by the convention that was not ratified unanimously. THESE included #s 2 and 3.
He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.

He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men--both natives and foreigners.

Nothing much happened on the women's rights front for the next twenty years because of the increase in antislavery activity (thank you, Mrs. Stowe, for writing Uncle Tom's Cabin and letting The National Era publish it as a serial starting in the spring of 1851) and because of the Civil War. The 14th Amendment was adopted after the war in 1868 to supersede Dred Scott v. Sandford, but it went well beyond that. Emancipation had invalidated the 3/5 clause, which had given the south even greater representation. The amendment altered federal-state relations by instituting the idea of national citizenship and a national principle of equality before the law, with enforcement powers to protect the civil rights of citizens against violations by the states. Here are the first two sections:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. [This sentence in and of itself renders Dred Scott invalid and it’s STILL provoking debate] No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.

Section 1 might be the most important set of words added to the Constitution after ratification, and it's certainly up there with the text of the 1st Amendment. Section 2, however, caused a problem.  Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and other leaders of the women’s suffrage movement  
felt betrayed by the amendment because this clause introduced the word “male” into the constitution for the first time. Women had been instrumental in securing passage of the Thirteenth Amendment which abolished slavery; women’s rights leaders collected over 400,000 signatures, and Senator Charles Sumner gave them much of the credit for its ratification. These women's rights leaders took every opportunity to point out that the principle of unconditional emancipation led directly to that of universal enfranchisement.

As Stanton said, the black suffrage issue opened the constitutional door, and women intended to “avail ourselves of the strong arm and the blue uniform of the black soldier to walk in by his side.” Unfortunately, the political claims of women and those of the freedmen had become increasingly antagonistic. The champions of black suffrage spoke in terms of historically specific needs, and, as Frederick Douglass said, when women were “dragged from their houses and hung upon lamp-posts” they would need the vote as much as black men would. End of subject for the time being.

The following year, the 15th Amendment, which prohibited the federal and state governments from depriving any citizen of the vote on racial grounds, was approved by Congress in February 1869 and became part of the constitution a little over a year later. It looks good on the surface, but the amendment failed to say anything about the right to hold office (a provision that guaranteed black rights to hold office might have jeopardized the prospects of ratification in the North). It also failed to make voting requirements uniform throughout the land.

And of course, proponents of either a strong or weak Fifteenth Amendment ignored the claims of women, who began to claim their rights to the ballot not as individuals but as a sex. Now, the reason women gave for why they should vote was not because they were the same as men but because they were different: as Elizabeth Cady Stanton said, “There is sex in the spiritual as well as the physical and what we need to-day in government, in the worlds of morals and thought, is the recognition of the feminine element, as it is this alone that can hold the masculine in check.”

Unfortunately, the women involved in this early suffrage movement disagreed on tactics. The National Suffrage Association (NSA) took as their slogan: “national protection for national citizens.” Even more unfortunately, they demonstrated some race antagonism in combination with elitist arguments for rejecting the enfranchisement of black males while women of culture and wealth remained excluded. As Elizabeth Cady Stanton said,

“Think of Patrick and Sambo and Hans and Ung Tung, . . who never read the Declaration of Independence . . . making laws for Lydia Maria Child or Lucretia Mott”
The NSA purged all men from their organization which led Lucy Stone to form the more moderate American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), which welcomed sympathetic men.

Other women in the movement took a different direction, resting on the premise that women had merely to take a right that was already theirs, because it came with citizenship (as the 14th and 15th amendments suggested).

Virginia Minor and her lawyer husband Francis, both suffragists, were responsible for the first outline of a new strategy, the “New Departure,” in which women would attempt to register to vote, and if allowed to, would vote; Susan B. Anthony and 15 of her friends succeeded in voting in Rochester, NY, in 1872, and were arrested a few weeks later for violating the Enforcement Act.  These cases began to move through the judicial system, but Republican judges consistently ruled against them. As Judge Carter of the Washington, DC District Court said,
“The result [of allowing women to vote] is political profligacy and violence verging on anarchy . . . the fact that practical working of the assumed right would be destructive of civilization is decisive that the right does not exist”
As you can see, the war on women has been going on for a loooooooooooong time.

The Minors initiated their own lawsuit, based on the idea that the Constitution already gave women the right to vote, arguing that the benefits of national citizenship guaranteed in the Fourteenth Amendment included the universal right to suffrage. In Minor v. Happersett (1875), the Supreme Court ruled that the right of suffrage was not a necessary attribute of national citizenship, affirming that the Fifteenth Amendment forbade only disfranchisement by race, and this led to major abuses in the registration of freedmen who now could be discriminated against based on education or income.

By 1890, since neither the NSA nor the AWSA could claim gains (and since Lucy Stone had died) the two groups merged as the NAWSA, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton became its president.  Two year later, she turned the group over to Susan B. Anthony, because she said she was getting more radical as she aged (that sounds familiar!). Despite the organizational challenge, there were gains.  Wyoming gave women full voting rights in 1890, and Colorado, thanks to the efforts of Carrie Chapman Catt,

followed suit in 1893. By 1896, Utah and Idaho had given women the vote too.

Susan B. Anthony died in 1906, and again the movement was split between moderates and radicals. Carrie Chapman Catt, the consummate tactician, became the head moderate, and under her direction the NAWSA became today's League of Women Voters upon passage of the amendment by Congress. But I'm getting ahead of myself there.

The radicals were led by Alice Paul, a generation younger than Catt (and two generations younger than the founders of the American suffrage movement).  She went to England for graduate study in social work, and, while in London, met Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst, at the forefront of the British suffrage movement. Paul was arrested at a number of protests. When she returned to the United States in 1910, she found the NAWSA meetings unpleasantly boring, and when Washington passed a referendum giving women the vote the same year without the NAWSA's help, she knew there had to be another path that would give women suffrage everywhere.

By 1910, women made up 80% of the nation’s teachers, 93% of the nurses, and 79% of the librarians. The leaders in each field aspired to professional autonomy, social status and economic rewards enjoyed in other fields, but they achieved minimal success, and the control of institutions in which they worked remained largely in the hands of men. Librarians often described their work as an extension of traditional sphere as guardians of culture, and, during the Progressive era, a university-educated elite among library workers began to concentrate efforts on working-class and immigrant children (traditionally barred from libraries because feared that fiction could distract from schoolwork). This went along with the settlement house movement: the rise in social work as a career created what was essentially missionary work for non-religious women. At base these women were“friendly visitors,” who took up residence in immigrant neighborhoods although they judged working-class life by their own middle-class standards. Conditions for women were improving, but this didn't necessarily translate into political success.

Nevertheless, women got the vote in California in 1911, and in Oregon, Arizona and Kansas in 1912. In 1913, Harriot Stanton Blatch (who we saw earlier in her mother's arms),

who had been working with working-class women in New York City, changed the name of her organization to the Women's Political Union and held the first suffrage parade on the streets of New York.

( “Suffrage parade, New York City, May 6, 1912,” 1912. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Reproduction Number LC-USZ62-10845.)

By the time the Presidential campaign of 1912 came around, both Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party and Woodrow Wilson’s Democratic party included woman suffrage in their party platforms. Thus it's not surprising that 8,000 women held a suffrage parade organized by Alice Paul in Washington D.C. the day before Wilson's inauguration in March 1913.

It IS surprising, even in 1913, that 300 women were injured by an unruly mob of men egged on by the Washington DC police force. This resulted in Congressional hearings and the firing of the chief of police, but it got women no closer to the vote, especially since Wilson reneged on the promise of his party's platform. World War I provided a further distraction.

Beside, the movement was fragmenting as Paul and Catt realized they couldn't work together, and Paul created her own organization, the Congressional Union. The House of Representatives took its first vote on suffrage in January 1915, and defeated it by a vote of 207-174. Suffrage became a serious issue in the election of 1916. Republican candidate Charles Evans Hughes, like Teddy Roosevelt, had been Republican governor of New York (1907–10), where he brought about the establishment of the public service commission, the passage of various insurance-law reforms, and the enactment of much labor legislation. Hughes resigned the governorship after President Taft appointed him Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1910, but left the Court in 1916 to run for President on the Republican ticket. Hughes was supported by woman suffragists because Hughes accepted the federal amendment while Wilson rejected it (although by 1918, Wilson made a speech in which he stated “We have made women partners in the war; shall we admit them only to a partnership of suffering and sacrifice and toil and not to a partnership of privilege and right?”) A difference of fewer than 4000 votes in California (because Hiram Johnson couldn’t support Hughes) would have removed Wilson from the White House, and Wilson wound up with a margin of nine seats in the Senate and basically none in the House (216 D, 210 R, 6 I).

The first women's picket line went up at the White House on January 10 1917, and Alice Paul kept up media interest in it well into 1918.

By the time the United States entered World War I April 7, 1917, nineteen states had given women the right to vote and New York was voting on a referendum which passed by 140,000 votes. As the picket lines went on, Wilson became increasingly annoyed with then and on September 4, thirty were arrested and sentenced to a workhouse.  Three days later, one of Wilson's oldest political backers resigned as collector of the Port of New York to protest the treatment of the women. Even Alice Paul was arrested and jailed late in October, where she began a hunger strike and was fed forcibly. The suffrage prisoners were released in late November.

Congress convened December 4, and the House voted on suffrage January 10, 1918, passing it 274-136. The Senate stalled until June 27 (Why? Several states had by referendum rejected women's suffrage, and some Senators didn't want to go against the will of those states to impose suffrage on them), when they decided not to vote on the amendment during that session. On August 6 48 women were arrested outside the White House and given light sentences. The Senate finally voted at the beginning of October 1918 and failed to reach the 2/3 required by two votes. FINALLY, after more demonstrations and more arrests, this time in Boston, the Senate passed the amendment June 4, 1919.

When the Amendment went to the states, 15 states had full women's suffrage and another 13 allowed women to vote in presidential elections, but the amendment needed 36 states for enactment.By Mid-February, 1920, 24 states had ratified the amendment, and another 9 ratified by Memorial Day. By now, there was an active anti-suffrage movement which tried (and failed) to get some of the ratifications annulled. Here's a map that details the order in which the states ratified the amendment, and here's the key to the map: Ratification on June 10, 1919 (yellow); ratification from June 16, 1919 to July 28, 1919 (chartreuse); ratification from August 2, 1919 to December 15, 1919 (aqua); ratification from January 6, 1920 to March 22, 1920 (gray-green); ratification on August 18, 1920 (gray).


Tennessee seemed like the most likely state to be the 36th, and Carrie Chapman Catt arrived in Nashville on July 17. A special session of the Tennessee legislature convened on August 9 as the fight over suffrage played itself out on the society pages of Tennessee's newspapers. On Friday, August 13, the State Senate voted for ratification by a comfortable margin. The House stalled, finally voting 50-46 for on August 18. The certificate arrived in Washington D.C. August 26, 1920, and the 19th Amendment became law. Now women could vote!

What impact did the women's vote have in 1920? 20,000,000 of them voted in the Presidential election, mostly for Warren Harding and his "Return to Normalcy." As Eleanor Clift, whose book Founding Sisters and the Nineteenth Amendment provides an excellent summary of the events described above (and which I mined shamelessly for the post-1877 parts of this diary), wrote

Almost as soon as women got the vote, they took it for granted. It was as though the decades of struggle had never happened. They resumed their lives, caring for families and communities. Voting rates for women dropped nearly as precipitously for women as they did for men, a reality that Catt, who died in 1947 at age eighty-six, would find despairing. "Women have suffered an agony of soul which you can never comprehend that your daughters might inherit political freedom. That vote has been costly. Prize it."

Another case where a picture is worth a thousand words.  The 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18, only took thirty years from conception to final ratification; Congress to 3/4 of the states only took four months. By then, the war on women was being waged against an amendment Alice Paul wrote in 1921 that came through Congress at the same time the 26th Amendment did: the Equal Rights Amendment. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 7:06 AM PT: Thank you, Pink Clubhouse and Community Spotlight, for republishing this!

Originally posted to History for Kossacks on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:43 PM PST.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse, Sexism and Patriarchy, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for the great diary. (15+ / 0-)

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:04:25 PM PST

  •  Very informative, but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cohenzee, Steveningen

    Really great, informative diary, but I'm curious how you feel about women making up a more and more outsized proportion of the voting public in comparison with men.

    You mention that the war on women has been going on for a long time, but in terms of turnout it seems men are the ones suffering.

    Despite being a liberal and being personally excited that a large liberal group is voting more consistently I wonder if it isn't time we started focusing on how to encourage more men to vote. I think it's important we take ownership of this issue before we cede ground to Republicans and allow them to become the party pushing for gender equality.

    •  At this point, I don't think it's advisable (6+ / 0-)

      Unless you can be sure that the men who don't vote are reliable Democratic voters, I'm not sure it isn't to our advantage in this increasingly majority-minority country to be able to brand the Republicans the rich white men's party.

      Remember also, this is 92 years after the amendment was added to the Constitution. If women make up a majority of the voters because they've finally learned why voting is important as men have forgotten, it's fine with me.

      -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:17:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't really agree with you on this point, (4+ / 0-)

        Dave.  Yes, based on exit polls, men do vote more for Republicans than do women, but based on polls of the non-voting public one would think more of those men are probably left-leaning at a minimum.  And I, for one, want as many people as possible to vote just because it's the right thing for the country as a whole.

        Still your main point is valid, a higher percentage of women means better results for us.

        I must end each and every day with a dose of a regularly scheduled Top Comments. A regularly scheduled Top Comments diary is a must for developing the calmness I need to get the required eight hours of sleep. - cohenzee

        by cohenzee on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:27:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If women are exercising their right to vote (15+ / 0-)

      in disproportionately greater numbers than men, I believe that tells us something about how people really don't like their personal liberties interfered with. If they've been driven to the polls by these Republican men who are demanding control over them and taking their rights back to the 1950s or beyond, these men have only themselves to blame. Until the Republicans finally learn this lesson, I say double that voting number ladies.

      •  If they continue to increase at the rate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        they are graduating college over men, it will be a sign for the GOP going forward.  Now all we need is to get them to come out in down ballot and off-year elections.

        I must end each and every day with a dose of a regularly scheduled Top Comments. A regularly scheduled Top Comments diary is a must for developing the calmness I need to get the required eight hours of sleep. - cohenzee

        by cohenzee on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:44:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hmm now men need to be encouraged? (11+ / 0-)

      Being the one's who make the more money for the same work? The one's whose opinions are the most respected in the media? Being the one's who make up the vast majority of the house and the Senate? Being the only sex that has ever held the presidency? That's not enough encouragement for them?

      •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Because despite your points the fact is our democracy is driven by those who vote, and having a smaller and smaller percentage of men voting is not a healthy trend.

        While there have been many studies showing that by and large women do now make equal pay for equal work (when accounting for hours worked, qualifications, etc.) your other points are valid. However, our collection of politicians represents a highly skewed, significantly older than average sample. The fact is young women are making as much or more money than young men, they represent ~60% of college graduates and they vote at a significantly higher rate. These are real problems and they provide an excellent opportunity for those of us on the left to demonstrate our commitment to equality regardless of the situation in the past.

        •  I would disagree slightly on one point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dave in Northridge

          While I do agree that the representation of men in the upper levels of our government is completely disproportional, I would also make the point that few if any of them are currently pushing policies that benefit men.

          (Obviously there are any number pushing policies that attempt to restrict women's access to abortion and a number of other reproduction-related resources; but this is no way benefits the greater male population and in many regards, harms them in an ancillary fashion.)

          In essence, I do not believe there is any evidence to suggest that the men in Washington are concerned with courting their own gender (Mark Foley jokes and the like aside).

          •  They don't HAVE to push for policies for men (0+ / 0-)

            Because most of the established policies benefit men.

            No need to push for what you already have.

            Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

            by splashy on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:50:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Could you possibly point some out to me? (0+ / 0-)

              I don't mean to be contentious, but the strong majority of established policies generally strike me as being gender-neutral in their outcome. The exceptions appear to lean toward the benefit of women.

              Just off the top of my head:

              ~ The Affordable Care Act promotes access to women's healthcare. No such equivalent emphasis appears to exist within the act for men.

              ~ Government spending on prostrate cancer research is approximately half that of breast cancer research, despite the fact that both claim approximately forty thousand lives every year.

              ~ Women now represent sixty percent of college enrollees and two thirds of graduates. Meanwhile, the current administration is looking closely at the predominately male STEM fields, and ways in which to rectify this imbalance.

              ~ Some $350 million earmarked as stimulus money for construction and related industries was redirected into the education and healthcare at the behest of NOW - purely on the basis of the former being predominately male occupied.

              ~ The Violence Against Women Act, in name alone, is a rather clear indicator regarding the beneficiary party.

              As I said, I'm not looking to be contentious - but it seems to me that the premise that established policies benefit men does not seem to gel with the immediate evidence.

    •  I'm not sure "suffering" is the word (6+ / 0-)

      for "not getting themselves out there to vote".

      Unless you intend to suggest that men are being discouraged or prevented from voting?

      •  Word choice. (0+ / 0-)

        Perhaps it wasn't the best word choice, but I think there are some significant structural issues (such as the drastically lower level of educational attainment among men) that are indirectly discouraging men from voting.

        •  I don't see the connection (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dave in Northridge

          but I'm also not aware of there being a drastically lower level of educational attainment among men (and Google proved unhelpful).  Help me out here?

          Personally I think everybody should be encouraged to vote, but I don't think pursuing the male vote as a demographic is a thing that can or should be done.

    •  Agreed. (3+ / 0-)

      On the one hand, you have the left attempting to empower women in the areas of work-related pay, education, and healthcare. On the other hand, you have the right attempting to disempower women specifically in the area of their access to abortion and to a lesser extent, reproductive health in general.

      What you do not have is a concerted effort, on either side, to court men; it is currently an open field - and as such, there is a distinct danger that a future, post-wingnut incarnation of the GOP might pick up the torch of male gender equality and run with it.

      I for one would rather not see the next couple of decades marred by a left - right / female - male split. The Democrats could very easily be making inroads right now, if only they were prepared to share the proverbial love. A college program here, an increase in prostate cancer research there...

  •  Glad to see this series back, Dave. (4+ / 0-)

    One question.  I know Emma Goldman was an anarchist and dealt mostly with help helping the poor and immigrants fend off the Capitalist Plutocrats, but did she have any involvement in the suffrage movement?

    I must end each and every day with a dose of a regularly scheduled Top Comments. A regularly scheduled Top Comments diary is a must for developing the calmness I need to get the required eight hours of sleep. - cohenzee

    by cohenzee on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:19:45 PM PST

    •  Well, of course she had opinions (4+ / 0-)

      From the Jewish Women's Archive:

      Goldman opposed the contemporary fight for women's suffrage and efforts to open professional careers to women, believing they would result at best in the illusion of improvements to a fundamentally corrupt system. To her, these causes were mere distractions from deeper, more important internal struggles.
      But I think that's what you would have expected, no?

      -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:24:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pretty much what one would expect (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave in Northridge

        from her.  Since her life's work was fighting the system, she would have wanted it changed wholesale before dealing with the edges.  


        I must end each and every day with a dose of a regularly scheduled Top Comments. A regularly scheduled Top Comments diary is a must for developing the calmness I need to get the required eight hours of sleep. - cohenzee

        by cohenzee on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:30:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you! (5+ / 0-)

    A wonderfully informative diary!!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:39:17 PM PST

  •  Outstanding effort, Dave (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, cohenzee, LSophia

    I learned so much more than I ever knew about the movement. My modern brain can't comprehend a time when women did not have the right to vote. I'm glad I don't live in such times.

  •  Thanks. We really do need to get back to (8+ / 0-)

    the equal rights amendment  --- so that they can't prevent our reproductive health care and other equality issues.

    Deliberately closing down abortion clinics, trying to destroy planned parenthood, etc.  --- are sex discrimination which risks our lives unnecessarily.    Eggperson laws are attempts to remove our rights by ceding them to fertile egg and preventing us from healthily spacing childbirth with many contraceptive.  

    Like counting soap bubbles to get to vote --- the states must be overruled when they steal constitutional rights,  including medical self defense.

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:13:09 PM PST

  •  I wrote about suffrage in WA state (7+ / 0-)

    On Daily Kos back in 2010. Here's the link: 100 Years Ago: WA Women Get The Right To Vote. It went back and forth. "Citizens" had the right to vote, but then women weren't allowed to vote. Then women could vote for  school boards (because they have an interest in educating kids), but then they couldn't vote. Then women could vote, but if they could get selected for a jury (and be exposed to all sorts of stories about crime), we need to prevent them from voting. We don't want women on juries, hearing sordid details of crime!

    A lot of businessmen who got rich off prostitution, gambling, or alcohol, were opposed to woman suffrage because they thought women would vote for candidates who opposed brothels, slot machines, and hootch. As you said, plus ca change, plus the same damn thing.

    “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

    by Dbug on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 12:24:11 AM PST

  •  Great look at this half-the-world movement (6+ / 0-)

    Tennessee, last to ratify, almost did not - until a 24-year-old state rep received a note from his mother urging him to and to "be a good boy!"  That swing vote passed the whole shebang.

    Interesting to note that when Wyoming gained statehood in 1890, women already did have the vote there on territorial issues since 1867!  Interestingly, Utah had women's suffrage in 1870; this was revoked in the 1880s in the battle with the federal government over polygamy; then restored in 1895 prior to statehood.  

    Western territories were first (in the world) to gain women's suffrage.  This might be attributed to insulation from the market economy, that was transforming social structures and playing a powerful role in marginalizing the rising population of middle-class women.

    The entire topic is fascinating, and is one of the most earth-shaking retorts to cynics who either don't believe that real change is possible or assert that that it never really has been.  Great diary!

    P.S. - did you know that in Switzerland, the last Canton to provide women the voting franchise held out until 1990??  Tangent, but interesting!

  •  Thank you. (5+ / 0-)

    So much information, and yet obviously so much is summarized.  I'm eager to learn more--sounds like Eleanor Clift's book might be a place to start.

    The map is fascinating.  It's tempting to conclude that those pioneer states in which husbands and wives did hard physical labor in partnership were more amenable to treating women as participants, compared to the more settled society of the East and South.

  •  Interesting Map (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    Once again the Confederacy (of Dunces) is way behind the curve on rights and freedom.

    Great diary Dave, always informative to dig deeper into our history, thank you.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:47:13 AM PST

  •  Wow, this was a lot of good information (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, Neon Mama

    I see parallels with marriage equality and have faith it will eventually happen.

    Also there was a portion of Amendment 14 (section 2) that struck me as particularly relevent to trend of attempted disenfranchisement. It allowed for denying the right to vote based on rebellion or "other crime". Here in Florida, a lot of ex-Felons are denied the right to vote, and they are disproportionately black. What especially interesting was the representation definition, eliminating the 3/5ths rule.

    .... or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.
    Does this mean our EV numbers should be lowered for all those we disenfranchise? Is this leverage against unreasonably inclusive purge lists and picture id requirements?

    Of course the 21 and male parts don't apply any more, but I think it shows if states are going to deny the right to vote to a significant number of citizens, they don't get to claim representation for those citizens.

  •  Very Nice Summary History, But... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enhydra lutris seems there is one crucial element not highlighted in this loooooooong war on women: The central role of religion at the heart of the misogyny of patriarchal systems.

    If I understand my readings of the history of Western civilization correctly, the subservient/subordinate position of women in the West (much of the world, really, until you go back far enough in history and arrive at the original fertility religions that were primarily matriarchal) relates directly to primary gods being male gods.

    I believe there is less-than-no coincidence that we see the rise of neo-federalists wanting to re-fight the civil war issue of "states rights" primacy (and all the ills such primacy brings every time it's asserted on women's and minority rights) and the concurrent rise of the evangelicals. Every time you hear somebody disparage the "we the people" central government and suggest that states should be able to decide who gets which rights, you are most likely hearing from a bible-thumping, breast-beating, fire-breathing T-vangelical Christian male (or his authoritarian-follower, subservient wife, daughter, mother or sister).

    Turn over the rock of the rhetoric and nine of ten times that's what you find slithering there.

  •  What's Wrong with "Radical"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, LSophia

    "By 1890, since neither the NSA nor the AWSA could claim gains (and since Lucy Stone had died) the two groups merged as the NAWSA, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton became its president.  Two year later, she turned the group over to Susan B. Anthony, because she said she was getting more radical as she aged (that sounds familiar!)."

    Damned right that's familiar.  One gets old and one of the most aching signs to oneself that one IS getting older is that one's body pains seem to match the pains one feels seeing what one works for deliberately mired in bullshit by the enemies of that work.

    I become aware that time for me is short and I can become frantic and infuriated by walls and deliberate obtuseness as public policy.

    I see no way of breaking through that obtusness except with a fishslap instead of ENDLESS slow polite pressure.
    At heart ageing doesn't bring patience....

    And maybe it shouldn't.  Time on this planet is running out and maybe more women should be saying "this MUST NOT be 'all there is' to what we must accomplish for this world, for ourselves, for our daughters and sons, for all living things."

    Oh, hell, now I'm pissed off again.

    Carry on.

    Snce they wasted MY lifetime nullifying the Constitution in lieu of the job they were ELECTED to do, to run this country, let's DENY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ANY MAJORITY IN EITHER HOUSE UNTIL 2052 and DENY THEM A PRESIDENT UNTIL 2044.

    by Adelante on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 07:15:26 AM PST

  •  Always enjoy your history lessons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, LSophia


    Please proceed, governor

    by Senor Unoball on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 08:18:30 AM PST

  •  Terrific diary, Dave! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    Thank you.

  •  Great diary, Dave, glad to see it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 08:31:59 AM PST

  •  Very nice diary, Dave, lively and direct. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, KenBee

    I especially like your countdown of the states granting suffrage rights before the nation did, since it's an interesting contrast, and not always in a direction one might expect.
    I'd make one suggestion: to mention the contribution of nativist/anti-immigrant sentiments toward achieving the vote for women (who were typically conceptualized as being white and native-born). It's already evident in that blockquote you offer from Stanton, who names the hypothetical ignorant Hans and Ung Tung as far from ideal voters. She was herself regrettably pretty xenophobic, and those attitudes were much in evidence on the part of others who eventually came to support woman suffrage in  the nineteen-teens.

    I'm seeking to organize DKos members in SE Michigan--roughly, from the Ohio line at Lake Erie NE to Port Huron, W to Flint and back S from there. If you'd like to join our new group, Motor City Kossacks (working title), please Kosmail me.

    by peregrine kate on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:08:56 PM PST

  •  Thank you for this excellent essay, Dave (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    Thoroughly enjoyed it!  

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:42:39 PM PST

  •  So what was with Vermont and Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    that Tennessee had to be the tipping point state for the Amendment?

    •  It's the problem we have today! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Per Eleanor Clift: Both Vermont and Connecticut were in the hands of conservative Republicans, and the governors refused to hold special sessions of the legislature for a matter like women's suffrage. They've changed too!

      -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:23:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bad Romance: Women's Suffrage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    And, Behind-the-scenes of "Bad Romance: Women's Suffrage"

    Thank you for this very informative diary, Dave.

  •  Should have added ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    ... the lead singer portrays Alice Paul.

  •  Wonderful! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    Tipped, Rec'd, Hotlisted!

    Loved that last cartoon!

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 08:48:58 PM PST

  •  Turning Point Suffragist Memorial (3+ / 0-)

    Only slightly OT:

    I volunteer with an organization whose sole purpose is to build a national memorial for Alice Paul, Lucy Burns and others who picketed the White House for the right to vote in 1917 (as mentioned above), and were incarcerated as a result.  Their picketing, imprisonment,the harsh treatment they suffered and the negative publicity they caused is recognized as the "turning point" in the woman's suffragist movement.  The memorial is being built in Lorton, Virginia, near the site of the Occoquan Workhouse, where much of the harsh treatment was suffered.  Read more here:

  •  75 year struggle to "win" the vote (0+ / 0-)

    It's nick-picky but the difference is huge between "give" and "take" / "win."

    "I've got this pen. I'm ready to do it."

    by mrobinson on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 09:11:56 AM PST

  •  Looks like the Southern states (0+ / 0-)

    As usual, were behind the times.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:47:34 PM PST

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