It is easy to forget that women in this country have only had the right to vote for ninety years. And I didn’t know (until I looked it up on Wikipedia) that many countries beat us in granting equal voting rights to women.
- Norway and Denmark: 1913
- Finland: 1906
- Even the United Kingdom granted women over thirty the right to vote in 1918, while it took until 1920 for American women to enjoy that same right.
Some of the concerns surrounding allowing women to vote included these… [provided by Kathy Srabian]
- If women became involved in politics, they would stop marrying, having children and the human race would die out
- Women were emotional creatures, and incapable of making a sound political decision
Some men objected to women having the vote because they believed them to be inferior. It was suggested that women could not think out matters coolly and calmly. Others would not agree to women’s suffrage because they did not want change. Women had never voted before. Why should they start now? A further objection involved property. In 1900, few women were householders or lodgers. If the vote were given to them, then it would have to be given also to men who were not householders or lodgers. At that time political parties were not prepared to do this.
I wonder if any of those same misconceptions are still around today?
This morning I will be taping a radio show with Kathy. She hosts Through the Eyes of Women on KHSU, and we will be talking about women in history and women as historians. Tomorrow maybe I’ll post something about our conversation…