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Pamphlet from the National Association OPPOSED to Woman Suffrage, c. 1910s

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About this Organizational Record

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Historical Background

Discussion Questions

Level: Middle School and above


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More of this TYPE: Organizational Records

More of this TIME PERIOD: 1900-1949

More on these TOPICS: Health, Education & Welfare, Law & Politics, Women’s Activism & Rights


HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

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Despite early differences with respect to strategy, after 1900 most advocates for women’s rights pursued a unified and coordinated effort to gain the vote, suffrage. The majority agreed that a Constitutional amendment was the best approach, and they integrated activities on local, state, and federal levels.

Opposition to the goal of women’s suffrage came from many arenas. Some objected because they believed that women would only duplicate the voting of their husbands, while others believed that women were unable to exert the rational thought that voting required. Many also argued that women were morally superior to the American political system and that voting would violate the special position they held as society’s caregivers. Still others maintained that husbands, fathers, and sons were best able to represent the interests of the women in their lives.

This pamphlet conveys these many varied concerns. It also reflects another aspect of American life in the early twentieth century -- literature aimed at a female audience. The period witnessed a rapid increase women’s magazines, advice columns, and other media. By portraying their arguments as “helpful hints,” this Association emphasized women’s domestic sphere and conveyed the opposition of many to the contemporary reality of increased female participation in affairs outside of the home.

For more on the efforts for and against suffrage, go to JWA’s Women of Valor Gertrude Weil exhibit.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

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1. Identify the major arguments this pamphlet presents against giving women the vote. Are these points ideologically consistent with one another?

2. About what do those opposed to giving women the vote seem most afraid?

3. Identify the connection made here between the vote and household activities. Why did the Association make these connections?

4. Why have some hints been placed in the Housewives! category and others in Spot Removers?

5. Do you think this pamphlet helped or hurt the cause of those who opposed women’s suffrage?

6. Why do you think pamphlet’s author chose to put a house on its front cover?


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How to Cite This Page
Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA - Organizational Records - Pamphlet from the National Association Opposed to Women Suffrage." <http://jwa.org/primarysources/orgrec_08.html>.