WHY feminism is so scary to the church. I will be honest the thought had crossed my mind a couple of times myself. The topic when raised can be very heated, and before you know it all these extremes come out. I don't call myself a feminist personally. It seems if you speak to some women in the church they will tell you that they feel the Suffragists are fine. The ladies of the 1960's are a totally different story.
There is one thing I did notice is that they truly aren't educated on how much those women suffered during the suffrage movement.
I do not have too much of a problem with the first feminists. Many of them were pro-life, pro-mother, and did not view SAHM as the realm of the stupid, uneducated, and oppressed. I do not think there is anything unBiblical with women voting, or women receiving pay equal to men doing the same job, nor with women being educated, protected from abuse, and treated with care and honor by men. If some men of that era hadn't believed the same, and acknowledged that the suffragists were right, feminism would have fizzled, unless they were prepared for an armed coup.At times I truly wonder if women (and men for that matter) ever truly look at history. At the time they speak of society believed that educating women (suffragists) was a waste of time and energy. Were there 1960's feminists that felt the stay at home mom was stupid, uneducated and oppressed? I'm sure there were some of those of course, but to me it was more about having the same choices. There were still barriers that were there due to fear of letting women in, and wanting them to stay in their place. They didn't want them in the workforce to work along of men for example.
I was a child at the time, and I remember this triggered me when it came to myself NOT being allowed to play baseball of all things. Why? I was a girl afterall! My mother cut my hair super short, and it was shorter than the boys hair at the time. Guess who had to wear swimcap, and it wasn't due to 'long hair causes plumbing issues in pools'. It was because I was girl. I wanted to stand up and show them all their stupid rules in place stopped my choices! I was just as good a baseball player as the boys, and my hair was SHORTER!
It took a Dad that filed a lawsuit when I much older did girls get to play baseball legally. My baseball team? WELL even my parents felt it wasn't 'lady like' so no support on that venue.
My mother and I had our own war with the public pool over the length of my hair. I remember that first season, and my mother must have said a whole lot more than I did because we WON! There were times in which the pool was being 'inspected' by others (upper management), and they asked me to sit along side the pool so their 'encouragement by mom' didn't get them in trouble. YEP my mother started a new war when I told her about that. The next pool season? There were many mothers there, and 'length' of hair was used instead of gender. NO! The boys didn't have to wear cap, but did have to tie it back in a ponytail type of thing.
As a teenager? 'I am women' song was about taking down barriers that were there all due to gender, and please don't tell me boys LONG hair doesn't damage the pool's plumbing only GIRL'S HAIR! That first summer I had support from my girlfriends and others, but that second season I felt very empowered! If you think about it rationally? Empowered over something silly that never should have been a war to begin with.
The suffragist suffered more than the youthful poster I quoted above seems to think. Towards the end this period of women's movement protested in front of the white house EVERYDAY - summer, spring, fall and winter for the right to vote. That was just one portion of course, and they took alot of heat over it. They were attacked, mocked, ridiculed, and told to go home and fix their husband dinner. World War I started and the President (among others) decided to have them arrested due to protesting in war time. They arrested them on the sidewalks in front of the White House saying they were blocking traffic. YES they were illegally charged, and in court had a choice pay a fine or go to the work house. They refused to pay for something they didn't do, and were sent to work houses. They were then subjected to more private abuse there, and the media didn't find out about the hungry strikes and forced feedings in prison right away. It was said when a 'upper crust' high society lady's family found out what was happening to her in prison did things tend to backfire on the administration. There was over 120 women in prison at that point, and they were released. It wasn't 'nice guys' that got the vote for women it was political pressure. The ladies charged were reversed and throw out much later of course.
If you do any reading on the period WHY we tend to glamorize this portion of history? If you look at some of the remarks about women from church leaders of the past people can't say an 'attitude' towards women was always benevolent. The fact that ERA was started shows that benevolence towards women wasn't truly recognized on level playing field for all. If you look at the prejudice of that period? Women of color had it worse than anyone. Was everything about that period AWESOME? No way! I don't think most agreed with all portions (ERA) of what they were trying to gain either, but you SURE would think so the way people carry so.
Enfranchisement is what makes man man. Disfranchisement is what makes woman woman. If women were enfranchised every man would be just like every woman and every woman would be just like every man. There would be no difference between them. And don’t you think this would rob life of just a little of its poetry and romance?
Man must remain man. Woman must remain woman. If woman goes over and tries to be like man, it will become so very confusing and so difficult to explain to our children. Let us take a practical example. If a woman puts on a man’s coat and trousers, takes a man’s cane and hat and cigar and goes out on the street, what will happen to her? She will be arrested and thrown into jail. Then why not stay at home?
Women are emotional beings and need to be lead!
I know you begin to see how strongly I feel on this subject, but I have some reasons as well. These reasons are based on logic. Of course I am not logical. I am a creature of impulse, instinct, and intuition – and I glory in it. But I know that these reasons are based on logic because I have culled them from the men whom it is my privilege to know.
Feminists are home wreckers and want you to break up families!
My first argument against suffrage is that the women would not use it if they had it. You couldn’t drive them to the polls. My second argument is, if the women were enfranchised they would neglect their home, desert their families and spend all their time at the polls. You may tell me that the polls are only open once a year. But I know women. They are creatures of habit. If you let them go to the polls once a year, they will hang round the polls all the rest of the time.
I have arranged these arguments in couplets. They go together in such a way that if you don’t like one you can take the other. This is my second anti-suffrage couplet. If the women were enfranchised they would vote exactly as their husbands do and only double the existing vote. Do you like that argument? If not, take this one. If the women were enfranchised they would vote against their own husbands, thus creating dissension, family quarrels, and divorce.
She announces the 'coming of the 1960's FEMINIST!'
My third anti-suffrage couplet is – women are angels. Many men call me an angel and I have a strong instinct which tells me it is true; that is why I am an anti, because “I want to be an angel and with the angels stand.” And if you don’t like that argument take this one. Women are depraved. They would introduce into politics a vicious element which would ruin our national life.
Fourth anti-suffrage couplet: women cannot understand politics. Therefore there would be no use in giving women political power, because they would not know what to do with it. On the other hand, if the women were enfranchised, they would mount rapidly into power, take all the office from all the men, and soon we would have women governors of all our states and dozens of women acting as President of the United States.
Fifth anti-suffrage couplet: women cannot band together. They are incapable of organization. No two women can even be friends. Women are cats. On the other hand, if women were enfranchised, we would have all the women banded together on the other side, and there would follow a sex war which might end in bloody revolution.
We know those feminists....we have TALKED TO THEM!
I have talked to many woman suffragists and I find them very unreasonable. I say to them: “Here I am, convince me.” I ask for proof. Then they proceed to tell me of Australia and Colorado and other places where women have passed excellent laws to improve the condition of working women and children. But I say, “What of it?” These are facts. I don’t care about facts. I ask for proof.
Then they quote the eight million women of the United States who are now supporting themselves, and the twenty-five thousand married women in the City of New York who are self-supporting. But I say again, what of it? These are statistics. I don’t believe in statistics. Facts and statistics are things which no truly womanly woman would ever use.
I wish to prove anti-suffrage in a womanly way – that is, by personal example. This is my method of persuasion. Once I saw a woman driving a horse, and the horse ran away with her. Isn’t that just like a woman? Once I read in the newspapers about a woman whose house caught on fire, and she threw the children out the window and carried the pillows downstairs. Does that show political acumen, or does it not? Besides, look at the hats that women wear! And have you ever known a successful woman governor of a state? Or have you ever know a really truly successful woman president of the United States? Well, if they haven’t doesn’t that show they couldn’t? As for the militant suffragettes, they are all hyenas in petticoats. Now do you want to be a hyena and wear petticoats?
Now, I think I have proved anti-suffrage; and I have done it in a womanly way – that is, without stooping to the use of a single fact or argument or a single statistic.
Women need to be 'true women' and you will finally be happy! Learn to be disciplined, submissive...
I am the prophet of a new idea. No one has ever thought of it or heard of it before. I well remember when this great idea first came to me. It waked me up in the middle of the night with a shock that gave me a headache. This is it: woman’s place is in the home. Is it not beautiful as it is new, new as it is true? Take this idea away with you. You will find it very helpful in your daily lives. You may not grasp it just at first, but you will gradually grow into understanding of it.
I know the suffragists reply that all our activities have been taken out of the home. The baking, the washing, the weaving, the spinning are all long since taken out of the home. But I say, all the more reason that something should stay in the home. Let it be woman. Besides, think of the great modern invention, the telephone. That has been put into the home. Let woman stay at home and answer the telephone.
We antis have so much imagination! Sometimes it seems to us that we can hear the little babies in the slums crying to us. We can see the children in factories and mines reaching out their little hands to us, and the working women in the sweated industries, the underpaid, underfed women, reaching out their arms to us – all, all crying as with one voice, “Save us, save us, from Woman Suffrage.” Well may they make this appeal to us, for who knows what woman suffrage might not do for such as these. It might even alter the conditions under which they live.
We antis do not believe that any conditions should be altered. We want everything to remain just as it is. All is for the best. Whatever it is, is right. If misery is in the world, God has put it there; let it remain. If this misery presses harder on some women than others, it is because they need discipline. Now, I have always been comfortable and well cared for. But then I never needed discipline. Of course I am only a weak, ignorant woman. But there is one thing I do understand from the ground up, and that is the divine intention toward woman. I know that the divine intention toward woman is, let her remain at home.
The feminists are anti mom, anti baby, anti...WELL you get the picture!
The great trouble with the suffragists is this; they interfere too much. They are always interfering. Let me take a practical example.
There is in the City of New York a Nurses’ Settlement, where sixty trained nurses go forth to care for sick babies and give them pure milk. Last summer only two or three babies died in this slum district around the Nurses’ Settlement, whereas formerly hundreds of babies have died there every summer. Now what are these women doing? They seek notoriety. They want to be noticed. They are trying to show off. And if sixty women who merely believe in suffrage behave in this way, what may we expect when all women are enfranchised?
What ought these women to do with their lives? Each one ought to be devoting herself to the comfort of some man. You may say, they are not married. But I answer, let them try a little harder and they might find some kind of a man to devote themselves to. What does the Bible say on this subject? It says, “Seek and ye shall find.” Besides, when I look around me at the men, I feel that God never meant us women to be too particular.
Let me speak one word to my sister women who are here today. Women, we don’t need to vote in order to get our own way. Don’t misunderstand me. Of course I want you to get your own way. That’s what we’re here for. But do it indirectly. If you want a thing, tease. If that doesn’t work, nag. If that doesn’t do, cry – crying always brings them around. Get what you want. Pound pillows. Make a scene. Make home a hell on earth, but do it in a womanly way. That is so much more dignified and refined than walking up to a ballot box and dropping in a piece of paper. Can’t you see that?
Of course - now women will wear the pants in the family, and strip the manhood from her husband!
Let us consider for a moment the effect of woman’s enfranchisement on man. I think some one ought to consider the men., What makes husbands faithful and loving? The ballot, and the monopoly of that privilege. If women vote, what will become of men? They will all slink off drunk and disorderly. We antis understand men. If women were enfranchised, men would revert to their natural instincts such as regicide, matricide, patricide, and race-suicide. Do you believe in race-suicide or do you not? Then, isn’t it our duty to refrain from a thing that would lure men to destruction?
It comes down to us. Some one must wash the dishes. Now, would you expect man, man made in the image of God, to roll up his sleeves and wash the dishes? Why, it would be blasphemy. I know that I am but a rib and so I wash the dishes. Or I hire another rib to do it for me, which amounts to the same thing.
Let us consider the argument from the standpoint of religion. The Bible says, “Let the women keep silent in the churches.” Paul says, “Let them keep their hats on for fear of the angels.” My minister says, “Wives, obey your husbands.” And my husband says that women suffrage would rob the rose of its fragrance and the peace of its bloom. I think that is so sweet.
Besides did George Washington ever say, “Votes for women?” No. Did the Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm ever say, “Votes for women?” No. Did Elijah, Elisha, Micah, Hezekiah, Obadiah and Jeremiah ever say, “Votes for women?” No. Then that settles it.
I don’t want to be misunderstood in my reference to woman’s inability to vote. Of course she could get herself to the polls and lift a piece of paper. I don’t doubt that. What I refer to is the pressure on the brain, the effect of this mental strain on woman’s delicate nervous organization and on her highly wrought sensitive nature. Have you ever pictured to yourself Election Day with women voting? Can you imagine how women, having undergone this terrible ordeal, with their delicate systems all upset, will come out of the voting booths and be led away by policemen, and put into ambulances, while they are fainting and weeping, half laughing, half crying, and having fits upon the public highway? Don’t you think that if a woman is going to have a fit, it is far better for her to have it in the privacy of her own home?
And how shall I picture to you the terrors of the day after election? Divorce and death will race unchecked, crime and contagious disease will stalk unbridled through the land. Oh, friends, on this subject I feel – I feel, so strongly that I can – not think!
Any of those scare tactic sounds familiar? YEP it was a entire speech - link.
I guess in the days of 'old' that people wish to say we need to return to there were those that were pushing for change as well.
It seems like the same old same old arguments but just new and improved for the time! I think if men and women read this speech today? Some would shocked, others may reminisce about the 'old days', and others like me might have a good giggle. I'm sorry 'bragging' about only 2-3 children died in the slums compared to how many more? Heavens to Betsy! We can't have THAT! lol!
Alice Stone Blackwell once said, 'Justice is better than chivalry if we cannot have both!' Not to many people would fight about that I would hope.
Look back, to slavery, to suffrage, to integration and one thing is clear. Fashions in bigotry come and go. The right thing lasts. - Anna Quindlen
Thanks For Making This Possible! Kindly Bookmark and Share it: