Suffrage Society

Will Women Voting “UPLIFT” Politics?

Apropos of the often-repeated claim that woman suffrage will bring about a great “uplift” in politics and government, it is instructive to note the views of a number of Colorado women as published in the Denver Republican. The women quoted are all enthusiastic suffragists and interested in the extension of the suffrage movement. But one of them, Mrs. D. Bryant Turner, speaks as follows upon this subject:

As for the old question, ‘Will women uplift and purify politics?’ the answer to that is: ‘Why should they be expected to?

The difficult ‘uplifting’ job in all things is one that men have usually been willing to hand over to their sisters; and, although it is very flattering, the fact is that women are no better than men along any lines.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Women’s Suffrage Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily (1849-1856), National Citizen and Ballot Box (1878-1881), The Revolution (1868-1872), The New Citizen (1909-1912), The Western Woman Voter (1911-1913), and the antisuffrage newspaper, The Remonstrance (1890-1913).

In a similar vein, Mrs. Horton Pope says:

Whether women will purify politics, uplift man, or stand for a higher moral tone is entirely beside the question.

And Mrs. Frank Woodward says with equal candor:

One is so often asked if women have purified politics, as if the woman ‘s movement was a reform movement. As, I look at it, human nature is much the same whether in man or woman , and therefore perfection is quite impossible. Women do not want to reform the world, but merely to see that they receive their just rights.

These expressions from suffrage women in a suffrage state, printed in parallel columns with some of the extravagant claims which suffragists are in the habit of making regarding the civic improvement and moral uplift to be looked for as a result of women’s votes, would make instructive reading.

This appeared in the October 1912 issue of The Remonstrance, an anti-suffrage newspaper.

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