Anti-suffrage Cartoons

Once the suffrage movement got going, it met with fierce resistance in some circles. These women were ridiculed and reviled, portrayed as neglecting their homes, as “unsexed” bitter women, or just simply ridiculous. Here are a few cartoons meant to convince people that if women won the right to vote, it would be a disaster.

“It is time that the women who are opposed to the concession of the parliamentary franchise to women should make themselves fully and widely heard. The matter is urgent. Unless those who hold that the success of the women’s suffrage movement would bring disaster upon England are prepared to take immediate and effective action, judgement may go by default and our country drift towards a momentous revolution, both social and political, before it has realised the dangers involved.”  Manifesto of the Anti-Suffrage League 1908

Surely, women couldn’t keep up with their housework AND vote!

The argument that empowering women automatically meant dis-empowering men.

I guess marriage would have “tamed” them.

Considering several prominent suffragists were involved in the free love movement, this doesn’t really hold water.

Women such as Fanny Wright and Anna Dickinson were eloquent and gifted speakers.

Being pro-woman doesn’t mean being anti-man, although some people would like you to think that.

Regardless of what many people want, time moves on and we will never be crammed back into our “grandmother’s pattern.”

The Anti’s Alphabet

The Woman’s Protest, an anti-suffrage newspaper, published this “Anti’s Alphabet” in August, 1912.

A is for Antis with Banner afloat;
B is for Battle against woman’s vote.
C is for Children we fight to protect;
D is for Duties we never neglect.
E is for Energy strengthened by hope.
F is for Folly with which we must cope.
G is the germ of unrest in the brain.
H is for Home, which we mean to maintain.
I is Insurgency now in the air;
J is calm Judgement we’re bringing to bear.
K is for Knights, our American men;
L, Loyal Service far out of our ken.
M is for Might in our cause to prevail;
N, Noble standards that naught can assail.
O, Obligations we cannot ignore;
P is for Principle marching before.
Q is the Quibble which we must combat;
R is for Reason that answers it pat.
S is Sound Sense, which we have on our side;
T is for Truths that cannot be denied.
U is for Union, whose aid we entreat;
V, Votes for women, we’re sworn to defeat.
W is wages the suffragettes claim;
X is for Xanthic, the color and fame.
Y is for Yankee, of Red, White and Blue;
Z is the Zeal to protect them for you.

What are your thoughts? Does any of this sound familiar? Let us know.

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About Susan Ozmore

I'm a blogger, freelance writer, and former teacher. After 12 years in the telecommunications industry, I taught math and science. I have, however, always loved history! So now I am indulging by reading many great books and sharing what I learn. As Harry Truman said, "The only thing new is the history you don't know." Please comment, I would love to receive your feedback. Thanks for reading.
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2 Responses to Anti-suffrage Cartoons

  1. Rebekah says:

    I stumbled across your blog looking for poor portrayals of women in marketing. Wow- I never even knew about an anti-suffrage movement in such formalised way!

    I believe we still have a long way to go. I’d love your opinion on a portal I have started on feminism in Australia. We’re trying to change the discourse through awareness.

    It’s http://www.discordia.com.au and https://www.facebook.com/DiscordiaZine – do pop by and say hi. I would love to hear your thoughts.

    • Susan Ozmore says:

      Rebekah,
      Sorry it took me a while to reply to your comment. I checked out your site and FB page. It’s great. Keep up the good work. I will definitely check back from time to time and follow on FB. Thanks for checking us out here. I hope you find more things of interest as well.

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