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Woman's Right to Govern Herself Author(s): Mrs. Oliver H. P. Belmont and Alva E. Belmont Source: The North American Review, Vol. 190, No. 648 (Nov., 1909), pp. 664-674 Published by: University of Northern Iowa Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25106503 . Accessed: 03/12/2013 16:30
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in all the activities of life. strength You are not free citizens the end she is to meet this barrier. when confronted by new propositions will approximately solve the situation. have carried it onward. hampered have remained under the yoke of circumstance. P. either wanting in intellect. I do of the hour?to In all ages there has ex not presume to address this article. her her her relentless and courage. or own inheritance unconscious of their by strength. give. therefore incapable of self-government. OLIVER H. her work for men. In the inferior capacity. BELMONT. from them come the cries of ludicrous protestations against the It is this incongruous mass that of civilization. energy. you are bondwomen. burdened by this passive type of humanity. those awake to the requirements To our living population?to women and men beyond the A B C of life. existing by the brain develop for help from those who ment of those who act. for woman in Of what use is this education. if in devotion. 3 Dec 2013 16:30:25 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . these possibilities business. but only tide of evolution.206. already polluted political arena you would but add to the chaos that exists. achievements which demands that the opposes Woman Suffrage.227 on Tue. the movement The brain standard of woman shall equal that of man. BY MBS. This content downloaded from 65.57. by the power of the ever-rising Drones are found in all classes. It is from men of such intellect that women expect the ballot. political which has evolved its own material and stands untrammelled by the past. or clamoring of worn-out and To them cling the barnacles fallacies. Government and social reforms.WOMAN'SRIGHT TO GOVERNHERSELF. through no efforts of its own. isted a class of human beings who. for you must bear of the United States. are of You without servitude and obligation representation.
and if so why give them a vote? You and I know there are fathers. humiliation.57. if God in His goodness has given you this fulfilment. the mother for hungry the drunkard's toiling children. beware how you neglect those women who stand without. and man the head of it all will be the protector of woman. know well. you know. educated against the cry of the needy? class. that children Woman will bless her. have you to raise your voice You of the luxurious. the head of large systems of industries. to men. and men to whom it comes home may cry out against me.WOMAN'S RIGHT TO GOVERN HERSELF. comfort her old age.206. and one by one the idols of your tottered from the fairy-tales of untenable and with the broom of ex pedestals sophistry. but the overworked. that you are not the protectors of women! I. these will bear me out. the woman of the scarlet letter. that the home. shame upon you! that the Men at working-woman vitally needs the help of the ballot. in your plenty. what right. that Suffrage will give. in a few brief might sentences to respond to some of the antediluvian objections made by men and women of this country and this century. and saddest of all. the centre of the family. the wife replaced by one younger and fairer. who am capable of seeing the light ahead and know the wisdom that suffrage will bring to women. 3 Dec 2013 16:30:25 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . underpaid woman. if such has been your lot. 665 is told that Motherhood is her sphere. But what has the question to do with this handful of self-centred men ? What is the King without his subjects? Of what value are Generals with no army? How long would stand your railroad magnates without the toilers of their vast systems? I shall write the truth. If in this great battle of life you do not need the power.227 on Tue. there are brothers. rebelling at the necessity of an argument for Woman more with than with a great repulsion I. and know well. This content downloaded from 65. Are not men the protectors of women. and far greater still. My sisters. wife. They came to you with the faith of earlier days. that the husband will forsake all others and cling to her. the unprotected girl. or if you do not. will represent the idealism of purity. there are husbands and there are sons standing out from the ranks of the past and of the present. you. ?I almost write with shame?agree now. you who read this. who have protected and do pro tect the women of their own family. I. the strength. Suffrage.
servation the great lesson that each must By what hard do man? Is his road to forever not you enough right cling without this? His promise to bear your burdens. backwards! an a to its did that best smile beam. made perhaps in all sincerity. You are co-workers. same as are of man. build your castles no longer in the Women azure skies of vanishing of theories. Let the life of the as united home be to you it is to man?a part. no from the lesson will Have learned tread? you you. but both must As in man's life the idea of the Father does not predominate. above your knowl not penetrate?something the victim of old dogmas edge. be equal. with faith in Full as an yourself. Do you not see your mother. Centre not your whole life in the life of others. that the wife should not be the unpaid servant of the husband.57. but on earth. Sisters. he cannot keep. This content downloaded from 65. The mind must feed on facts rather than on dreams. with wills steel. but not the whole no sacrifice which he does not of existence. atmosphere you could sighs. for you face an age of realism. be no greater than Fatherhood. of grief. a voice in her own woman now have it: Shall before question I am asked to present the other side of an argu government? of The North number this in the August ment opposing Look American Eeview. of these View for yourselves the fields strewn with the myriads where this shattered faiths! broken with Is with fallacies. unmoved of the vital consideration in its facts hard the demand cold. go forth equal in the race. Draw and the wisdom of your ob from your intellect stand alone.Bemember a face of resignation. " " as to woman's sphere ? or emotion.227 on Tue. share be yours. past? stifled . for has not this made your past slavery? of courage. of this century. You do not belong to him nor he to you. have valiant aims.666 THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW. of sorrow. Does a realistic by sentiment public. 3 Dec 2013 16:30:25 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . discard vain dreams. rely upon yourselves. too. perience they swept the shattered pieces of man's boasted protec tion into the realms of inevitable realism. making him subject to it. even so must the idea of Motherhood be in woman's life. I ask you to put behind you these fallacies of the past. that the those En your rights believing Believe that Motherhood should courage attainable possibilities. lives. Let no obligation.206.
" Court (Page 160. of unrest among all classes of women." (Page on her husband is her safeguard. is a democracy depends on it as it depends on the rain that falls or the sun that shines in the heavens.) "Man forms the only basis on which can any Government rest. This is a natural law.) dependence the rock on which her ease and security rest.) "Instinct and tradition have nuade men the protectors of " women.WOMAN'S RIGHT TO GOVERN HERSELF.'" (Page 165. .227 on Tue." "The (Page 162.) "More women have their individual Another: bank accounts in the United States than in any country in the world.) Supreme c Justice Brewer has said.) American man feels that he is and always must be the protector ' of his women folk. "Woman's 159." "The Suffragists (Page 169. The man is the rock on which the Government is built. The state or a despotism. Woman must be protected from the " The greed as well as from the passion of men. Should we not have more restriction to our mixed voting population?" (Page 161. must And when get yet ?they they see the kind of pro tection some women receive from some men they are inclined to " " antis admit prefer for themselves what we are glad to have the " is a ruling power." (Page "Motherhood will still be Motherhood.) have aroused a spirit. . if But he is to thing they going protect women he will not give them the 'ruling power/" (Page 169.) ." (Page 162. 3 Dec 2013 16:30:25 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." How is one to answer such a mass of contradictions and mis statements? The quotation used from Judge Lindsay's inter " view to the effect that woman suffrage had not helped much in This content downloaded from 65." (Page 166. As for the got to be protected whether " woman folk " who not to have any man to protect them happen one. 667 But how is one to answer an argument which from beginning the to end contradicts its own statements? For instance: "All for sixty years have not aroused re efforts of the Suffragists sistenoe except spasmodically. no matter how much she may desire it." (Page 165.57.) In other words. whether the state 160.) "Universal Manhood is the crowning result Again: Suffrage in the long evolution of Government. . Woman never was and never will be.206. / He is willing to give women every ask. whatever its form. . she has simply she wants to be or not.) rather than add question is. no woman shall have the right to protect herself.
227 on Tue. and lifting attempted fected in posed Through law of from the the to was repudiated by him as soon as publicly same this In interview the printed. writes: affairs in the State has been improved general tone of political and greater care in the selection of candidates has resulted from woman Between suffrage.. has of men this principle have been to women justice induced to become of into candidates the for office. beneficial. everywhere servants efficient the most and character. 3 Dec 2013 16:30:25 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." The present utterly women Governor " Politically. and a little later former Governor Buchtel of Colorado. affairs has of governmental administration been constantly hands in more honest and the affairs of the commonwealth have placed been benefited.. entirely on the side of cleaner politics and better government. Judge characterized " " a statement" lie a report on and deliberate outrageous sent out suffrage in Colorado by a special investigator Brady the declares: effect the at of woman Men who. of the women vote at the general elections. When is thus quoted he at once denies it.57. enactment State better situation political per through organizations of political bosses been de have headquarters and the standard of citizenship been raised." United States Senator Heyburn of Idaho. while not as great as is sometimes claimed. of the same State. sixty and seventy per cent.668 Colorado" THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW. I believe it has been dis tinctly beneficial and the influence exerted. in so far as it goes. is. Women of the elected office This content downloaded from 65. The mass of signed and authorized testimony from those four States as to the excellent results of the woman's vote is overwhelming. The thoroughly woman is to be that has opinion suffrage prejudiced proved futile. This may be had in printed form at the National in York New and should be Suffrage Headquarters examined by those who want the facts. League as to the bad effects of woman The assertions in suffrage Colorado and the other States where women vote are practically all anonymous and cannot be traced to their source. been along wiser activities and cleaner have Legislative lines. There is nothing what " ever on which un to found the declaration. says: . who Laws are have results to been the beneficial passed of woman prove of remedial are and reformatory suffrage among noticeable. where " have had the franchise thirteen The years. as somebody of prominence did Judge Lindsay.206. to see woman suffrage abolished." United States Senator " I would be entirely unwilling Borah. control and saloons leadership. it was " as an woman by the for Civic Education. has suffrage woman before been suffrage up immeasurably was adopted.
adopting of woman in favor of the wide expansion suffrage. Women keen and useful have taken a particularly interest in educational affairs. stronger pressing are to-day the same loving wives. It has never tended in the slightest degree to create a sex party. With the experi ence Utah has had we should not think for a moment of returning to the male suffrage system. " women In Idaho in said: still himself terms. and this testimony might be continued indefinitely. 3 Dec 2013 16:30:25 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the influence of women has been on the Politically side of peace at the polls and the selection of better officials." There is not the slightest interruption The Chief Justice and all the Judges of the Supreme Court signed a statement unqualifiedly endorsing woman suffrage in Idaho. both Mormons for and Gentiles. kind mothers and capable home that they always have been." Women as a Territory. 1905 by men alone.206. wrote: suffrage has raised the whole as of As large a proportion tone of our politics.57.WOMAN'S Woman RIGHT has TO GOVERN HERSELF. a Gentile. It was voted on by men alone and carried by an immense majority. Idaho. The same is true of Utah. of family ties. nor has there been the managers least belittling of the sex in the eyes of the men. the women have been broadened and bettered and socially intellectually the tbrough study and practice of civic affairs entailed by the franchise. It has been just as beneficial in Salt Lake City as in the rural districts. nor any falling accord off in that tenderness and respect which men universally to women. voted twenty-one years in Wyoming a part of the constitution and woman for suffrage was made Statehood in 1890 by practically universal consent. in all Western but States the principle. where women voted seventeen years in while it was a Territory. of women men vote. So cially it has resulted in a more chivalrous regard for women and the unquestioned of their equality with men and acknowledgment their right of participation in affairs of State. an success not I am only 669 in heartily unqualified suffrage people." been " The woman vote has compelled Former Governor Hunt says: but more particularly not only State conventions. county con ventions of both parties to select the cleanest and best material after ex Former for public office. provided woman suffrage." Governor Steunenberg. Former United States Senator Suther "Woman land.227 on Tue. After forty This content downloaded from 65." Governor Cutler " said last year: Instead of being unsexed or debased. framed The State constitution.
that it given emphatic and unqualified testimony tended "to purify elections and promote good government": and that it "made the women self-reliant and independent.of the voted as of men. . Supreme in its favor. in pamphlets. right of suffrage has no in in degree lowered or injured the standing of the women our State. body who has the interest of the State at heart has ever desired or suggested a change. For this reason its advocates have collected more testimony from that State than from all the others com bined?in in volumes?a whole number leaflets. again and again. 3 Dec 2013 16:30:25 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .206. can be made it. the presidents of the colleges. either party af county or municipal fairs to nominate a man who was notoriously immoral or cor . In fact.(}70 THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW. many presidents organiza over own have in declared their tions. largely to women voting. . without Present from their womanly and domestic detracting graces. active in public affairs. bishops and presiding and of women's elders. ignoring the other three States where women vote. No This fact I attribute rupt. The noble old Senator Henry This content downloaded from 65. print signatures. of this magazine could be filled with it. as has repeatedly endorsed has it. Attorney-General. all the Justices of the Supreme Court and other Judges. and I have twenty-five never known in State. of The the Justices Court have times many Congress. ." The seekers after evidence against woman suffrage centre all their efforts on Colorado alone. . it suffrage has been unwise." " I consider woman suffrage of Governor Brooks writes: There is no argument which great benefit to any commonwealth. years' experience The Legislature there is not a shred of testimony against it.227 on Tue. every United Senator and member of Congress. ." United States Senator Clark says: against " I have lived in Wyoming years . every Gov United Senator States member of and ernor. . The exercise.57. Every Governor of whatever States party. there is nothing in Wyoming to warrant the opinion in our experience that woman but. their approval of woman suffrage based upon its practical working in Colorado. has elevated public morals and has been a material factor in we the local maintaining government good enjoy." United States Senator Warren writes: " all the forty years as large a percentage of women have During . on the contrary. and other State officials. but They are intelligently as womanly withal and devoted to home and family as their sisters in States where the privilege is not enjoyed.
the case a mere word of approval would be sufficient and their But if the vast ma splendid testimony would be unnecessary. which for lack of space." If this is true. to those who have tried it.WOMAN'S RIGHT TO GOVERN HERSELF. standing I have closely observed the States operation of woman suffrage in my own and neighboring and am now more strongly in favor of it than when the law was enacted. and. . Teller. when about to retire to firm believer in woman suffrage. . high tribute is paid testimony to the efficiency of the women is omitted officeholders. The con corporal's guard will be found to vote against it. If the question were re submitted to the voters to-day the opposition would be negligible.Women " popular to speak against it and very easy to repeal the law. because such evidence does not exist. Wyoming." Let them produce the evi dence properly signed and authenticated. M. 3 Dec 2013 16:30:25 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .000 It works as well in Denver. and to the class. . testimony. tention that good women will not vote is flatly contradicted by the returns from the four equal suffrage States. They never have done this." The recent article in The North said: American Eeview " have ample evidence to prove woman Anti-Suffragists suffrage in those States a dismal failure." said: the strongest favorable after giving Shafroth. . men of women the vast and of of jority majority disapprove " as antis" the then it to be declare.206. very ought said: 671 I am a in admirably . equal suffrage. with inhabitants. has as in the country districts none of the produced its opponents The evils which Governor present predicted." the present year he said: "We have had During woman suffrage in Colorado since 1893. Colorado and Idaho have had con State Superintendents of Public tinuously women Instruction. It is idle to say that all those distinguished public officials only If this were speak in favor because they fear to do otherwise. . This content downloaded from 65. It has worked to the public. they never can do it. private life. Women association in which the writer of that why did the anti-suffrage article is an officer petition Governor Hughes of New York to women in as were such official under his control? put positions In the complete above quoted. its over 200. "Do women want equal suffrage? Ask the women of Colorado. and been a great benefit Colorado as are much more discriminating character of candidates than men. and scarce a Submit the question . tion.57.227 on Tue. Other statements in the article are equally without founda " are not fitted for holding office. . .
said a few days ago that." the present Within has always been uncompromisingly Suffrage Association of limited form The small any suffrage for women. besides furnishing the soldiers. as they do.57. " " ? elect women if unfitted " Able-bodied men would have to be called on to enforce the votes of women. persons pay only This content downloaded from 65. The State makes by acceptance majority no connection whatever between ability to fight and the right to vote.672 and the four TEE NORTH AMERICAN States REVIEW." Men do not enforce their own votes through "able-bodied. recorders. Invalids and cripples have the same suffrage as the sound. etc. treasurers.206. but ignores the fact that this same wisdom gave it only to taxpayers." They are the last persons to use that word. The article had a good deal to say of the great wisdom of the forefathers in denying the ballot to women. In time of peace toward the maintenance of the police they pay their proportion and fire departments. The article reiterates the stock assertion of the "antis" that the ballot will not raise the wages or improve the condition of women. constables. In every respect the service of women to the State is fully equal to the service of men and it just as fully entitles her to a voice in the affairs of State. for the most undemocratic movement this country has ever seen. 3 Dec 2013 16:30:25 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . "If women could vote the wages of women in Government and State em would be raised and their condition ploy legislation improving in many ways would be quickly effected. Colorado and Utah have had a number of women Men are in the majority?why do they legislators. standing. sheriffs and all who enforce the law. It is an idle pastime for the anti-suffragists to set up a man " " of straw labelled for the satisfaction Taxpayers' just Suffrage " of knocking it over with th< cry undemocratic. In time of war women in many ways con physically tribute their full share towards the protection and defence of the country. have elected many county superintendents." Even in the most critical periods of our being never an attempt to compel has been in 1876?there history?as force of the the verdict. of taxpayers' suffrage which has been conferred by Legis on women in a few States is simply for questions of are which as submitted to such taxation. and the highest authority on questions of labor. former President of the United Mine Workers of America.227 on Tue. The Na tional against amount latures special taxes. the wage-earning John Mitchell.
Utah and Idaho are among those the smallest and women there have the com proportion having a is franchise. This content downloaded from 65. be of is frightened at the attempt to connect woman suf Nobody Socialism. have taken similar action. 648. The public must whether vast bodies of these judge " or the handful of women wage-earners anids. it obtained through Socialism Naturally of the Socialists includes a vote for every citizen. but of men as well. There not plete solitary instance on which to found frage the constant assertion leads to divorce.000. 2. The Amer of Labor. the statement that "Woman frage with Compare " the aid of Socialism with the suffrage cannot succeed without fact that in not one State in our Union nor in one indisputable country in the world where complete woman suffrage exists was or the Socialist party. every year adopts a " as necessary resolution demanding woman suffrage to the pro interests of not only women wage tection of the industrial Over twenty State Federations earners.227 on Tue. Wyoming. are noted for easy divorces.?no. divorce and governing frage lax in those States where women vote than in the most of those where they do not. oxc. woman declared for delegates unanimously suffrage." of Labor and scores if not hundreds of working-men's organiza and international. Neither is there the slightest connection between woman suf are no more laws The divorce. 673 of his organization year a convention composed of one thousand.57. and tions. do not. the platform A few of the active workers in the Suffrage Association believe a large majority of Socialism. The revolutionary quotations cited were never made at any regular woman-suffrage meeting. for instance. 43 of the "antis" that woman suf vol. and there the doctrines is no more official connection between the two organizations than and any other organized body. as to say it would suffrage is of no advantage to the working-man none to the working-woman. some of whose between Socialism members accept the Socialist ideas. 3 Dec 2013 16:30:25 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Indiana and also California lead in in those States have not of divorces and women the proportion a shred of suffrage.000 ican Federation strong. national never fail to do the conventions of the Women's Trade Unions the same. The two Dakotas and Oklahoma. are the better qualified to speak on this sense in saying that the There would be just as much subject.WOMAN'S RIGHT TO GOVERN HERSELF." most of whom never earned a dollar. and women there have only a frag ment of school suffrage.206.
apart a fundamental in the Government itself. Superficial. The public sentiment which now favors the enfranchisement of women is so great contrasted with that which approved those other concessions The that there can hardly be a comparison. to them we say: Demand it with the hand your suffrage. the demand of women for higher education. and that the reason they do not get the suffrage is because all the sixty years' effort has not succeeded in arousing to demand it or public opinion to of women large numbers sanction it.57." indeed. Bise above unremunerative. better laws and all the rest was infinitesimal compared with the demand they have made and are making for the suffrage. never a subordinate. and the hardest but side. The is calling for the great half force. From all these lesser gains the suffrage is as far as the It means the altering of State constitutions. Belmont. but every individual voter in the entire State can pass upon it. so long and so wrongly lies a future of ignored. refuted Other points in the article may be just as thoroughly as those already mentioned. Alva E. with but the men. reason they succeeded is because they required simply the decision of a board of trustees to open the doors of a college. poles. the natural disin to share one's authority. 3 Dec 2013 16:30:25 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . but space will allow only one more that public opinion has approved and It declares reference. whose ultimate change results the wisest cannot foretell. In secret he casts his vote and behind it is the prejudice of the ages. the party immense the chines. of women for all the privileges the demands sanctioned they now enjoy. the willing ness of employers to experiment with women's work. Hold on of wisdom.206. an act of the in changing a law which few persons had any object Legislature in opposing. is the judgment nomic movement which would place this great political and eco on a level with the minor concessions that have already been made to women! A struggle still lies before us. can bring this about.227 on Tue. No Board of Trustees. On the contrary. compete only platform of their endeavors. world Be a strength to your children. some men will stand by our of it must be made by women alone. clination to woman Opposed suffrage " are the powerful ma of interests the liquor country. and in this union of man and woman whole. no legis lative body. unrecognized servi best tude. a wondrous This content downloaded from 65. moneyed corporations.g74 THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW.
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