Vintage Sexism: Anti-suffrage pamphlet warns of “petticoat rule”

Vote No on Women's Suffrage pamplet

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Oh, this is just so perfect.

The vague warning against some undefined “evil which may occur” paired with the rather contradictory argument that women’s suffrage wouldn’t actually change anything because “votes of women can accomplish no more than votes of men” (LOL, what?), so why do you you even care, it’s such an expense, ugh. I particularly love the amazingly dumb point that “80 percent of the women eligible to vote are married and can only double or annul their husbands’ vote.” Well, yes, precisely: They can double or annul their husbands’ votes. Double…or…annul. What isn’t clicking here?

Like many an entitled young feminist, I tend to take for granted the battles our predecessors already won and spend more time thinking about the huge and complicated problems we’ve yet to solve. But damn, sometimes it’s nice to take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come in a not-so-long time. I mean, you guys, less than 100 years ago, actual women had to spend time and energy responding to these “arguments”! Those women were indeed heroes, and I will be forever grateful that I wasn’t one of them.


New Orleans, LA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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