Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Twelve Reasons Why Women Should Vote

To commemorate Women's History Month the Bar None Group takes a look at a popular handbill from the turn of the last century outlining twelve reasons why women should be allowed to vote. The pamphlet could just as easily be called "Because" and as a rallying cry for the suffrage movement it also reads as an effective poem.

Twelve Reasons Why Women Should Vote

BECAUSE those who obey the laws should help to choose
             those who make the laws.

BECAUSE laws affect women as much as men.

BECAUSE laws which affect WOMEN are now passed
             without consulting them.

BECAUSE laws affecting CHILDREN should include the
             woman's point of view as well as the man's.

BECAUSE laws affecting the HOME are voted on in every
             session of the Legislature.

BECAUSE women have experience which would be helpful
             to legislation.

BECAUSE to deprive women of the vote is to lower their
             position in common estimation.

BECAUSE having the vote would increase the sense of
             responsibility among women toward questions
             of public importance.

BECAUSE public spirited mothers make public spirited sons.

BECAUSE hundreds of thousands of intelligent, thoughtful,
             hard-working women want the vote.

BECAUSE the objections against their having the vote are
             based on prejudice, not on reason.

BECAUSE to sum up all the reasons in one  IT IS FOR THE
             COMMON GOOD OF ALL.

The above 12 reasons were published by the Woman Suffrage Party of New York and women were encouraged to "give this to a friend and ask him to vote for it." Many of these reasons, and more, were expounded upon by Alice Stone Blackwell.

As the one-time editor of the Woman's Journal, Blackwell outlined 16 reasons why women should be given the right to vote in an article published 20 years prior to the popular distribution of Twelve Reasons Why Women Should Vote.

Handbills such as these were distributed by suffrage movements across America from 1915-1920 when women were finally given the franchise to vote with the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment.

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