Department of Political Science
Whether from traditional history books or women’s studies texts, the pronouncement on women and the vote seems to be the same. The preceding quotes are the conventional assumption of women as a political force. After the vote, we are told, women went back home and nothing changed. With no driving issue, women became apathetical. This is not only a wrong historical fact, but a dangerous one for women. If accepted, it can be used as a weapon against women. Ie: Women aren’t really political. Women did not exercise rights anyway. Suffragists were a small, unimportant group. Most women don’t care about the public sphere. The same thing will happen with ERA, so why bother? I suggest that we will prove the historians’ verdict false by an examination of women’s activities both before and after the 19th Amendment. This examination will focus on three areas in which women were an active force: labor, social reform, and moral reform.
Sarnoski, Dorene Roberts, "Women as a political force : did the vote make a difference?" (1986). Honors Capstones. 1396.
Northern Illinois University
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