Kitchen Women

The Risk of Office Holding by Women (1913)

The Remonstrance was the official publication of the Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women. First published annually and later quarterly in Boston from February, 1890 until April 1919, it provided a forum for women who opposed the expansion of voting rights to women.

To the Editor of The Remonstrance:

May not we, who protest against the further extension of the franchise to women, reasonably lay stress upon a danger to the sex which will probably be one of its results, namely the increased holding of public office by women? If those who desire it, obtain Woman Suffrage, will this not come as a natural consequence?

Will those women who are not satisfied that men should choose their representatives and law-makers, be content to be exclusively represented and governed by them? Shall we not see many women strive for entrance and enter into public and political life and all that it involves for brain and body? Will they not squander and dissipate in combat with man and the usurpation of many of his functions, the strength and force which should be used for what we believe to be the real object of their existence?

For we, even as the suffragists, have our ideal for woman. We believe that she has her great work to do for the human race, but, along the lines laid down for her from the Creation. We believe that it is her part to influence and educate both man and woman towards an ever more unselfish, nobler and more spiritual conception of life.

We believe that, unaided by the franchise, she can do this for her unenlightened brother and her over-burdened sister. We believe that her spheres, in these days of wider opportunities, are not only in the home, but in the office, the department-store, and the factory also. We believe that if each true woman, standing where nature or the necessities of living have placed her, will use her powers and opportunities thoughtfully and without prejudice, man can be trusted more and more surely by her, faithfully to perform his great part in the guidance of civilization and the uplifting of society.

Since we believe this and that the right to vote and the duty of voting will add too heavily to the life-work of the conscientious woman, the world over, how much more overpowering must we consider the burden to be laid upon her inadequate body and brain, if she is to be called upon to take a place in the strenuous battle of public and political life.

—Jane Dexter

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), The Woman’s Tribune (1883-1909) and the antisuffrage newspaper, The Remonstrance (1890-1913).

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

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