Man is or should be woman's
protector and defender. The natural and proper timidity and delicacy
which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many
of the occupations of civil life....The paramount destiny and
mission of women...to fulfill [is] the noble and benign office
of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator. And the rules
of civil society must be adapted to the general constitution
of things, and cannot be based on exceptional cases.
Supreme Court, 1873, upholding
an Illinois law which prohibited women from becoming attorneys
Under the operation of this
amendment what will become of the family...? You will have a
family with two heads--a "house divided against itself."
You will no longer have that healthful and necessary subordination
of wife to husband, and that unit of relationship which is required
by a true and Christian marriage.
Senator Thomas Bayard, 1874,
attacking women's suffrage
Housewives! You do not need
a ballot to clean out your sink spout. A handful of potash and
some boiling water is quicker and cheaper....Control of the temper
makes a happier home than control of elections....Good cooking
lessens alcoholic craving quicker than a vote on local option.
Women's Anti-Suffrage Association
In a crowded city quarter,
however, if the street is not cleaned by the city authorities
no amount of private sweeping will keep the tenement free from
grime; if the garbage is not properly collected and destroyed
a tenement house mother may see her children sicken and die of
diseases from which she alone is powerless to shield them, although
her tenderness and devotion are unbounded. She cannot even secure
untainted meat for her household, she cannot provide fresh fruit,
unless the meat has been inspected by city officials, and the
decayed fruit, which is so often placed upon sale in the tenement
districts, has been destroyed in the interests of public health....If
women would effectively continue their old avocations they must
take part in the slow upbuilding of that code of legislation
which is alone sufficient to protect the home from the dangers
incident to modern life.
This government is menaced
with great danger....That danger lies in the votes possessed
by the males in the slums of the cities, and the ignorant foreign
vote which was sought to be brought up by each party, to make
political success....There is but one way to avert the danger--cut
off the vote of the slums and give to woman, who is bound to
suffer all, and more than man can, of the evils his legislation
has brought upon the nation, the power of protecting herself
that man has secured for himself--the ballot.
Carrie Chapman Catt
the arguments advanced to justify a second-class role for late
19th century American women?
2. No group
of American men opposed extending the vote to themselves; why
did some women oppose extending the vote to women?
were some of the arguments used by supporters of women's suffrage?
factors, in your view, contributed to the decline in the birth
2. Has the
divorce rate risen sharply or gradually? What factors might have
contributed to the increasing divorce rate?