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Women Voting?! That Is Crazy Talk.
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While the controversy rages over gay marriage, it is interesting to note that all changes in society have been met with ridicule by those in power. Throughout history, there were people who did not want women to vote. Women would work, they would pay taxes, they would technically be considered citizens... but voting was for men. In America, when the right to vote was extended to include all races, all social positions, and all incomes, women were still not included. It didn't matter if a man was illiterate, had been to jail, or if he was the town drunk. He could vote, and a woman, no matter who she was, could not. Women suffragists (suffragettes) began campaigning in democratic countries all over the world to change this, starting in the mid-19th century. Their campaigns were largely peaceful and dignified... at least by 21st century standards. But by 19th century standards, these women were abhorrent and indecent, making fools of themselves by demanding to be treated like men. One of the most notable things about the arguments put forth by the anti-suffragette movement was how weak their position was. Anti-suffragette arguments relied heavily on not only emotional manipulation but also dowright hateful posters. Humor was a much-used weapon against suffragettes. They were easy to depict as embittered old maids, brutal scolds, and cigar-smoking transvestites. Here is one of the posters used to keep women in their supposed place. August 18 will mark the 93rd anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed American women the right to vote.


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