Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why We Don't Want Men to Vote

My mother gave me a book for Christmas that I thought (and so did she) I would really enjoy. It is titled When Everything Changed; the Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present. Unfortunately, after I finished the first couple of chapters, which dealt with the world I grew up with in the 50's and early 60's, I found that I was so filled with white-hot anger that I couldn't go any further. After a week I picked it up again and managed struggle through two more chapters, but my rage was reignited and I have had to stop again.

It strange and upsetting to find I have all this unfocused and volcanic fury stuffed deep inside me. Where did it come from, why has it been dormant all these years and what is it even about? Everytime I attempt to approach it I feel as though I will be consumed by the white flame.
I know it is important part of me that was lost somewhere and I have to find and untangle the parts.

In any case, my father and grandparents were born into a world where women couldn't vote and the nineteenth amendment to the constitution was passed only 7 months before my mother was born. (British women under 30 couldn't vote until 1028). In 1915 Alice Duer Miller wrote (she obviously had a sense of humour)

Why We Don't Want Men to Vote

- Because man's place is in the army.
- Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.
- Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to them.
- Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms, and drums.
- Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them unfit for government.


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