By Alva Belmont for
Ladies Home Journal, September 1922
TWENTY-FOUR hours after the dedication of the Woman’s Parliament in Washington a representative of THE LADIES’ HOME JOURNAL asked me what I really meant when I said that henceforth women are to be dictators. She was the fortieth or fiftieth person who had put the same question to me in that very limited space of time.
I meant then, and mean now, exactly what I said.
The end of the dictatorship of the world by men alone is in sight. We women have lived long enough in the cramped confines of a misfit social structure. We have been forced to sit still too long. We have been powerless for such an endless time that we have accumulated enough stored-up energy to shape any structure to our will.
We know we can manage the house. We can reconstruct it. We can put on a left wing and a right wing. We can add a sun porch to let in the light. We could even tear the house down if we liked-and I think men know that too.
The time has come to take this world muddle that men have created and strive to turn it into an ordered, peaceful, happy abiding place for humanity. In its present condition, the world is its own worst indictment against the sole dictatorship of men. Men have always obstructed and suppressed the intellect of one-half of the human race. They have always worked for themselves. That is not sufficient. The error lies here. (more…)
The suffragettes are planning to start a college course to teach the youth of America the value and justice of votes for women.
The course as outlined will include instruction on the evolution of womankind; of the wooing with rocks in the Stone age; of the chattel days of the Middle ages; of her present condition in most states where, equipped with learning, finish, brains, integrity and conscience, she is denied a vote.
The idea is fine. It should be broadened, the course widened, with every woman an instructor.
The greatest crusaders to the real cause of woman’s rights will not be found in the school room.
There were women and men who opposed the suffrage movement for different reasons and by different means, but are collectively referred to as Anti-suffragists, or just “Antis” in newspapers and magazines.
Many ‘Antis’ based their opposition on the idea that women’s natural role, or womanly duty, was to exercise influence and reform through other means – through the example of her behavior and her gentle influence on men for the greater good.
But sometimes they took things too far and got caught:
ANTIS CHARGED WITH USING FORGED NAMES
Telegrams’ Protesting to White House
Denied By New Jersey People.
Opponents of woman suffrage In New Jersey, forging the names of prominent persons of Trenton and other cities, are sending telegrams to the White House protesting against the President’s (Wilson) announcement in favor of votes for women in his home state.
These telegrams signed with the names of Richard Stockton, and other prominent New Jersey people were received at the White House last night. Secretary to the President Tumulty replied and received indignant denials from the persons whose names had been signed to the original telegrams protesting that they had sent no messages of any kind whatsoever.
Hundreds of other telegrams from persons favoring woman suffrage have been received at the White House.
Source: The Washington Times, October 07, 1915
Between the World War I years when many men were serving overseas and the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, the years 1910-1925 were full of firsts for women. Some firsts represented major changes in the opportunities open to women in American society and some were just stunts or examples of woman flexing their growing independence.
From military service to civil service to new occupations, these women were of interest to the American population at large. Women taking on new roles made the news nationwide.