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in our children. We are trying to take away that shadow that rests upon these United States, the shadow of child labor. We are trying to remove it. It will not be done, gentlemen, until the mothers have the right to say what their children shall do. When mothers are given the right to speak for their children through the ballot we shall have done away with that. Industrial training and education will take its place, and our children will become American citizens in the true sense of the word, and not merely by force or by improper guidance, as is sometimes the case. We are looking for the day when we shall be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with our men, our sons, and all others, and share with them the burdens, share with them the responsibilities, of this greatest nation in the world, and be able to hold up our heads and say, "We are on an equal footing because we have men in the United States who recognize equality."
Mrs. KELLEY. Now, I will call upon Mrs. Raymond Robins, president of the National Women's Trade Union League. The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Robins, we will hear you.
STATEMENT OF MRS. RAYMOND ROBINS, OF CHICAGO, ILL.
Mrs. ROBINS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I have the great honor and privilege of representing, through the National Women's Trade Union League, something like 75,000 organized working women, and I believe all through our country as well as all through the world there is a growing recognition of the cost of our modern industrial conditions upon the women of our nation. These industrial conditions are such that in many thousands of instances the motherhood of our girls has to be forfeited. For instance, the machines have been so built that almost in every instance the girl who is there sitting or standing at the machine has to use one foot continuously for the treadle power. The machine is not so built nor can it be so adjusted that she can stand, say, six hours on the left foot, or six hours on the right foot, so as to give her at least a chance of standing on both feet. She has to stand for the six or twelve or fourteen hours a day and use her right foot constantly for the treadle power, as is the case in almost all the steam laundries; as is the case in almost all the beer-bottling and labeling establishments, and in almost all of the many industries where the women have to stand and where the machine has to be operated, that machine has to be operated by the one foot alone, and the woman meanwhile stands on the other foot. In one of our large industrial cities there is still in use an old-fashioned numbering machine where the numbers are placed on the pages of the book and the girl operates the machine between 26,000 and 32,000 times a day, and it is a well-known fact that any girl who has worked there for three months has forfeited her motherhood. No one knows, except those who have made a very intimate and careful study of the present cost of social and industrial conditions, how great that cost is.
When we demanded in Illinois the limiting of the working hours for women to ten hours a day, many of our women physicians brought forward facts of very great value showing the tremendous physical danger to girls. At the present time there is a very interesting and very valuable investigation going on in our State of Illinois, led and handled by some of our women physicians, showing the result on
the second generation of these industrial conditions. These particular women physicians have been able to be with the women of the previous generation at the time of their giving birth to their children, and the contrast is very great between the ability and ease and strength and help with which the women who had come over as peasant women to America were able to give birth to their children and the growing impossibility of the women of the second generation to be able to carry the child, to say nothing of the great loss in the matter of strength and the strength of the child after the child has been born. These facts are going to be of national importance, and it is because right there we will find the crux of the entire situation, the fact that we women who are working for the ballot believe that it is for the sake of protecting their motherhood and the womanhood of our young women, for the sake of protecting the womanhood and motherhood of our 6,000,000 working women.
We all know, gentlemen, that these industrial conditions are becoming so serious that the personal wrong under which many of our girls are suffering is so great that even the unorganized women, those women who have not been taught collective action through any trade-union organization are at last rising in protest all over the country. We are having an uprising of our girls in Illinois among the knitting mills, and an uprising of our girls among the tobacco strippers in Louisville, Ky., and among thousands of unorganized girl workers in New York City, and of the 7,000 unorganized women in the city of Philadelphia; and these women are coming to know and to see what can be done to protect each other in many thousands of instances. In the case of those historic strikes in the two eastern cities, many of the women who went out and struck did not go out for any definite improvement in their own conditions. They were women who were earning as high as $22 or $30 a week, but they went out for the simple reason that they could not afford longer to witness the conditions under which the younger girls were increasingly asked to work, and they were not able longer to witness the continuation of personal abuse to which many of them were subjected.
No one, gentlemen of the committee, should understand me as saying that these conditions exist everywhere, but they do exist in thousands and hundreds of thousands of instances, and the protection has to be given to the weakest.
Mr. GOEBEL. How would a ballot to the women remedy this evil that you speak of?
Mrs. ROBINS. I was just going to come to that. When these young women come together to protest and take collective action, they generally form themselves into a union. The women, an unorganized group of women, get together and take collective action, and they find themselves not fighting their industrial battles in the economic field, but they find that they are fighting their industrial battles in the political field, and the weapons that are most certain and most constantly used against them with the greatest success are the political weapons. Now, in these two strikes, and in every other strike, we had our young girls arrested. We had the power of the police used against the girls in many instances. We had the power of the courts used against the girls in many instances. We had injunctions used against the girls in many instances. And whenever
we try to meet that political power, or the expression of that political power, we are handicapped, because there is no power in our hands to help change that political power.
More than that, gentlemen, when we try to bring about collective action and say that we as women are not going to stand for certain conditions in the industrial world, and when we say that our purchasing power is to be used only for those firms and those employers who can give fair treatment at fair wages and with fair personal and industrial conditions to our young women, then the question of boycott is brought against us, and in every instance we have the expression of political power as the most successful weapon used against us. It is for that reason that we feel that we need the ballot. We need it for the protection of the 6,000,000 working women; many of them, I think over 3,000,000 of them, under 21 years of age; for the sake of protecting their motherhood; for the sake of coming to some very definite knowledge and understanding of the tremendous race suicide that is going on in that part of our American life, and for the sake of bringing about conditions which will give us the same power to meet and express politically, or to use politically, the power that is being used against us; for that reason we ask for the ballot.
STATEMENT OF MRS. HARRIET TAYLOR UPTON, TREASURER NATIONAL AMERICAN WOMAN SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION.
Mrs. UPTON. Gentlemen of the committee, I am not on the programme. This is an industrial programme. One of our speakers is not here to represent a certain industry. But I represent the industry of wifehood and housekeeping, and all that sort of thing.
I am the only woman who is not afraid of you, gentlemen, in the sense that any woman is afraid of a man that stands just a little above her on the platform. [Laughter.] The reason I am not afraid is that I spent my childish days in this committee room, or in a similar committee room on the judiciary, my father having been a member of this committee for many years, and
The CHAIRMAN. He was chairman of the committee, was he not? Mrs. UPTON. Yes; my father was a member of the Committee on the Judiciary for thirteen years, and chairman of the committee for several years.
Mr. CARLIN. May I interrupt you, Mrs. Upton?
Mrs. UPTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. CARLIN. Was your father in favor of this resolution, or a resolution like this?
Mrs. UPTON. Yes, sir; he was the only man who made a majority report in favor of woman's suffrage. He was the only man in the House of Congress-I beg your pardon, he was the only man on this committee that ever reported a bill favorably for woman's suffrage. I am so glad you asked me that question, because I wanted to get it on the record; I was debating in my mind whether it was proper for a daughter to speak so highly of her father. [Laughter.]
Now, I hardly know where I started, because I have been sidetracked twice. [Laughter.] However, we are here to answer questions. I want to say one thing seriously; this is the largest, most serious, and most attentive committee that I have ever seen or watched. This is the first committee whose members have not
nudged each other a little, or laughed a little. It is perfectly natural for people to do that. All the world does it. I do it myself. But you have been earnest and listened carefully to what we have said. We have four States where the women vote on exactly equal terms with men. In those four States nothing dreadful has happened in consequence of women being allowed to vote. There are four States where the women have the right to vote. What I want to ask you for to-day is this one thing: It does not seem to be very much for us to ask now, after our representatives have come here for forty years or more. I want to ask you to report against us if you will not report for us. Report against us. Just tell the world that we must not vote because we can not fight, because it will break up the home. Say anything you please, but please break your long years of silence. Is it fair for you not to tell us why you are opposed to us?
Women are not fools; on the contrary they are very intelligent people, and we are sure to be enfranchised. If this committee does not help to do it some other committee will; it is going to be done, and it is for you to say whether your granddaughters will be able to say years from now, "My grandfather was one of the men who first spoke for women." And that I want to call to your attention, because that will be one of the greatest things your grandchildren will say of you after you are gone. Our question is a question which is coming with such volume that you will all be glad you are on our side. Is there any reason why we should not help choose the President of the United States?
While men of this country have been running after dollars at a terrific rate in the last few years, women have been studying, reading, and preparing themselves in women's clubs and in all sorts of organizations for this right, so that when we come to be enfranchised we will be the most intelligent class-if you call us class that was ever enfranchised in the history of the whole world. Are you afraid of intelligence? You certainly are not. When you married what did you do? You each picked out-or at least you did if you had your right mind-the smartest and loveliest woman you could find. Just as the American man is conceded to be the best of husbands, the best of men, so is the American woman the best of wives, the best of women. Would you or could you deny this statement to a man of another nation? All, then, we ask, gentlemen, is to let the mother heart, the home element, the real life of the home, be expressed in the government.
Anyone would think, to hear people talk, that we are going to spend our entire time at the ballot box. We could not do this, for the ballot box is only on exhibition once or twice a year. I am a member of the board of education. I was nominated for that position at a regular Republican caucus and was elected by Republican men and Republican women.. It takes me eight minutes, once in two years, to vote. I must confess I am sometimes out of my home longer than eight minutes for other purposes far less important.
Thoughtless people fear we would not know enough to vote. Is that not foolish? Just think how responsibility is felt in the heart of every woman. She has had the care of the family so long; she has been the mother, and in many cases partly the father, of the family, and she is used to responsibility. Do not be afraid of woman's irresponsibility. Few are the American women who do not rise to the
occasion. Few people ask you to report against a request, but I beg of you to let all the world know why the women of the United States, who in hundreds of thousands have petitioned you to submit a sixteenth amendment, ought not to have at least this request considered and reported upon.
Mrs. KELLEY. Mr. Chairman, I will call upon Miss Laura J. Graddick, a member of the labor unions in Washington.
STATEMENT OF MISS LAURA J. GRADDICK, OF WASHINGTON, D. C.
Miss GRADDICK. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, to save time I have put my remarks on paper.
The movement of the world is away from all the old customs and teachings of the early ages, and so the political status of woman can not be an exception to the rule. Woman franchise is practical and the agitation for it must be practical, since "academic" methods have failed to obtain for it any consideration. But we are working with the belief that our Government is an exception to the rule that it takes unusual methods to arouse a government to the importance of recognizing a new political class or of recognizing a new status of an old one.
A gentleman said to me that politics is too corrupt for woman to enter the field as a voter. But does she not live under a Government dominated by politics? If it is too corrupt to admit woman as a voter then politics are too corrupt to make and administer the laws which influence her life. Shame on the manhood of our country, that our government housekeeping is so administered that woman can not come in contact with it and escape contamination.
Laws are enacted requiring individuals and even so large a body as trusts and corporations to be clean and upright, and yet the very source of all this lawmaking, namely, the political world itself, is said to be unclean and unwholesome. If our Government is built upon moral law, it should be clean enough for a woman to have a voice in it. Gentlemen, we assure you, there are no better house cleaners than women, and this statement certainly indicates the need of women in politics.
There is no great cry on the part of men because of the contaminating influences which woman meets in the business and industrial world. They are not keeping her out of the various vocations of life because of the evil which she might encounter. Are not sweat-shop conditions and overworked and underpaid evils far more destructive to the physical, mental, and moral welfare of woman than any condition in which suffrage might place her?
Through the great economic and political changes of the last century, the working woman of to-day is entitled to the same rights. accorded the working man in the political world. These changes have taken her from the home and have brought her into business and industrial life, where she has become more and more man's equal and competitor, leaving behind those conditions which so long made her dependent upon him.
This has not been of her own choosing. Men, in their pursuit for wealth, have taken the work formerly done in the home, from the spinning and weaving even down to the baking and laundry work,