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To illustrate: Many women feel that the greatest good they can do with the ballot is to abolish commercialized vice, to prevent child labor, or to make effective their protest against war. This is perhaps true. We all agree that these evils must be abolished, and that women, unenfranchised, have not and will not be able to abolish them. But the evils themselves and the desire of women to right them do not constitute the reason women should be enfranchised. The reason would remain even though all the evils I have named, or could name, should be abolished at once. We and the women who come after us should have our political power to use in any way we think best. We cannot tell what it will be necessary to do; what women will want to do. All we know is that women must have power to take their part in the government of their country and that the only honest, dignified, legitimate kind of political power is that which is derived from the elective franchise.
There seems to be no difficulty in proving the justice and logic of equal suffrage to anyone willing and able to think clearly about it. The chief trouble lies in persuading people really to think about it at all. Many women, it must be admitted, do not appreciate the value of a vote. But men have not the same excuse. They understand perfectly the power which the franchise gives, though they themselves do not make the most of it, and they believe in the principles of democracy. The difficulty lies in making them apply these principles to women.
It is indeed fearful and humiliating to belong to a class of people men can forget when speaking of fundamental privileges, but it is even more unfortunate to belong to a class of people men can forget without knowing they are forgetting anything. That is the position of women today. That is the only explanation of the attitude of the President of the United States, whose writings on democracy contain, perhaps, the best arguments ever made in favor of equal suffrage. The only trouble is that the President was not thinking of women when he made these arguments and, therefore, did not apply his conclusions to women as well as to men. There are many men who, like the President, think of us women merely as the wives, sisters and daughters of men, and in their thought of legislation they do not separate us from themselves and their interests. So they say of us in governmental affairs just as they say of us in the family life: "We take care of you; we look after your interests; your interests
are safe in our hands." And, consequently, instead of opposing woman suffrage because of sex antagonism, as is sometimes claimed, they really oppose woman suffrage on the ground of sex guardianship.
And that is where we women have lost all along, not by the antagonism of men, but by the guardianship of men. The idea that we are under tutelage, that we are taken care of, that a woman who works 16 hours a day is supported, is responsible for the conviction that women contribute nothing to the country's wealth, that they have done nothing toward the upbuilding of the nation, and are, therefore, not entitled to an opinion on the nation's problems.
If men would divest themselves for one moment of the thought that women are related to them and other men, if they would think of women as they think of each other, as distinct human beings, with all the rights and privileges and desires and hopes and aspirations of human beings, then I doubt very much whether any man fundamentally sound and logical in his attitude toward great moral and political questions could ever again utter a democratic principle without recognizing its application to the womanhood of the nation.
WOMAN SUFFRAGE OPPOSED TO WOMAN'S RIGHTS
BY MRS. ARTHUR M. DODGE,
President, National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, New York City. Equal suffrage awaits a trial. Woman suffrage as tried in the United States is the most unequal division of responsibilities imaginable. The voting woman has retained most of the special rights and exemptions accorded her under man-made laws, while she has failed to discharge the obligations which the voting man assumes with the elective franchise. The vote of the man is a sort of contract to support the verdict of the ballot box, if need be, by the jury box, the cartridge belt, the sheriff's summons. The voting woman is exempt from these obligations. She is a privileged voter. While she may have political power, she does not have political control. Stability of government demands that the control of government should remain in the hands of those who can be held responsible for results. Frederick Harrison cautions us that "Men, and men only, are entitled to political control since, in the last resort, it is their muscular force which has to make good and defend it."
Certainly it is unequal suffrage while women retain the exemptions demanded by their physical nature, and exercise political power without political responsibility. Such inequalities menace the stability of the state. Some venturesome enthusiasts declare that women wish no special rights, no special laws, but wish to be treated exactly as the men are." But such consistency as this is rare; it would be a brutal interpretation of woman's rights to insist that the hard-won body of legislation, which protects woman because she is the potential mother, be abolished and the vote given to woman in exchange. Yet this and this only is equal suffrage. "To treat women exactly as men" is to deny all the progress through evolution which has been made by an increasing specialization of function. Woman suffrage in its last analysis is a retrogressive movement toward conditions where the work of man and woman was the same because neither sex had evolved enough to see the visdom of being a specialist in its own line.
Reform work, welfare work, desirable and necessary though they may be to offset the results of faulty education, are not the sole end of government. Legislation dealing with these measures responds to the pressure of public opinion which woman, the educator, supreme factor in the social order, dominates. But government is not reform legislation. In the last analysis government is concerned with the protection of persons and property. It is well for us in these days of fantastic legislation, of the promulgation of unenforced and unenforceable laws to recall Thomas Jefferson's dictum that a democracy ceases to be such when those who make the laws cease to be those who can enforce the laws.
We are all agreed on the right of every woman, as of every man, to that individual development which shall make possible her fullest contribution to the social order. If it can be shown, as Ex-President Taft suggests, that women
have been unjustly prejudiced by governmental measures or by lack of them and that they could remedy this by their vote, or if they can show that, by the extension of the franchise to women either the general government would be better or stronger, or the existing electorate would be improved in its average moral tone, its intelligence, its political discrimination, its patriotism and attention to political duties, they make their case.
In a democracy the people are "bound to obedience under what is undoubtedly the will of the majority." It has yet to be shown that the majority of women are behind this demand for political activities. If women are intelligent enough to vote, are they not intelligent enough to know whether or not they are ready to assume the responsibilities of government? Those who insist that political justice demands woman's enfranchisement must recognize the right of woman to say whether or not she shall be drafted into political activities, a right based upon woman's concern in the establishment and maintenance of sound public policies.
Under the common law which we inherited from England, woman suffered many disabilities and inequalities. Without the woman's vote and under man-made laws these inequalities have been gradually reduced until the statute books of most states record the legal rights and exemptions of women, laws which discriminate in favor of women in regard to such matters as dower rights, alimony, and personal property and laws, which show that woman, instead of being "unjustly prejudiced by governmental measures," has been
given special protection under the law in recognition of the fact that as a woman she has a special service to perform for the state and the state must surround her with protective legislation in order that she may be most efficient where the state demands her highest efficiency; in order that the motherhood of the race may be protected and that future citizens shall have the birth right and the inheritance of a strong and vigorous childhood.
Because of her lowered physical and nervous vitality, the woman worker has had to be protected in her industrial life in order that the state might conserve her value as the woman citizen. Women cannot be treated exactly as men are, and motherhood, potential or actual, does determine woman's efficiency in industrial and social undertakings. Merely dropping a piece of paper in the ballot box is not a contribution to stable government unless that piece of paper be followed up by persistent and ofttimes aggressive activities in the field of political strife.
While the cry for political equality (which we contend is political inequality) has gone on, the civil and legal rights of women have been established without the woman's vote. Furthermore, it may be stated that wherever the votes of women have been added to the votes of men there has been no evidence of initiative in legislation distinct from the normal trend of such legislation in male suffrage states. Since this is so, the woman's vote would seem to be a waste of energy, because a duplication of effort, and there is no compensating gain to offset the economic loss of two people doing what one person can do.
The woman's vote has not been necessary to open the opportunities for higher education to her. Women like Mary Lyon, Emily Willard and Catherine Beecher, who had no concern with the woman suffrage agitation, did their splendid pioneer educational work and the woman of today reaps the harvest. The right of woman to enter the trades or professions has been won independent of her political activities. It is true that a dozen or more trades are closed to her, but her participation in these threatens her welfare as a woman and the state reserves the right to limit her activities therein. Male suffrage states have recognized the need of vocational training for woman and have opened trade schools wherein girls might become skilled workers and so be in a position to command higher wages. The appalling fact of woman in industry is that she is often so young