Anti-suffrage campaigns focused on their viewpoint of women being unsuited to vote for a wide variety of reasons including their belief that:
- Women’s intelligence is inferior to men’s and voting required a greater level of intelligence then women possessed.
- Fathers, husbands, sons and brothers would vote with women’s best interests in mind leaving women free to their duties as wives and mothers.
- The primary object of government is to protect persons and property which should be assumed by men as the natural protectors in nature.
- The election process would threaten the peace and harmony in the home; even the Roman Catholic Church opposed suffrage because its leaders believed that suffrage would emancipate women and cause the breakup of the family (which is one of the many reasons I am not catholic.)
- For physical, moral and social reasons women would be unable to make a sound decision in the event the nation needed to consider force.
- As voters women would need to serve on juries and would be unable to deal with the horrors spoken of in criminal trials.
- The strife, turmoil and contention in political activities are against the natural loving nature of women.
- The only way to maintain social and political order is to enforce gender-based roles and regulations.
If the above excuses used in denying women the right to vote don’t enrage you enough to go to the polls today then chew on this; the National Woman's Party first proposed the Equal Rights Amendment to eliminate discrimination on the basis of gender in 1923. It has never been ratified with lawmakers using many of the same excuses to stop its passage that were used to deny voting rights.
As for the problems people claim as their reason to skip Election Day let me present the solutions:
- If you are too busy to go to the ballots then get an absentee ballot.
- If you forgot to register then go and register for next year (and in Minnesota there is no excuse not to register- show up at the polls with a license and a utility bill and you can vote on the spot).
- If you do not understand your registration and election rules you can find that information here.
- If do not know who to vote for then visit or do not understand the issues then visit your local League of Women Voters.
- If there is no one worthwhile to vote for then do a write in vote; good leaders will only rise if we demand good candidates.
- If you do not care then don’t complain about the war, or your taxes, or the traffic, or anything else that would be addressed by competent leaders.
Only when we fully embrace our rights as citizens in a democracy and have 100% voter turnout will we start to see our politicians consider and align with the needs and rights of every person. All too often our policies reflect a small minority; those who show up at the polls. For all those who choose not to vote, let it be known that your actions, or lack thereof, are contributing to the ills of our government. Politicians naturally want to be re-elected and to them we are either a person who votes for them, a person who can vote for them or a person who does not vote; and the latter will never be taken seriously enough to have their voice heard.