"The Instinct of Every Real Woman": The Ideas of the Anti-Suffrage Movement in the U.S., 1868-1920 公开

O'Carroll, Fiona Patricia (2014)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/v979v3193?locale=zh
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Abstract

Between 1868 and 1920, the most active, organized opposition to the American woman suffrage movement came from women, who became known as anti-suffragists or "antis." This thesis explores the ideas, beliefs, values, concerns, and ideals of the women who organized to oppose the woman suffrage movement. It examines the arguments they put forward in journals, pamphlets and other publications, and concludes that anti-suffragists are best understood as representatives of the mainstream response to the question of votes for women. Anti-suffragists invoked widely accepted beliefs to support their defense of the status quo, drawing on religion, science, the legal tradition, social custom, and cultural ideals. This thesis explores the ideas of the anti-suffrage movement roughly chronologically, showing how anti-suffragists responded to the priorities, beliefs, and anxieties of particular historical moments and settings. From nineteenth-century beliefs about women's divinely ordained sphere to twentieth-century arguments about women's special nonpartisan role in progressive reform, anti-suffragists maintained that woman suffrage would mean more loss than gain for American women and for the country as a whole. Approaching the anti-suffragists' views as mainstream and respectable - to use their word, "normal" - within their context can help us understand why the demand for votes for women was perceived as a radical idea and why the suffragists' struggle was such a long and arduous one.

Table of Contents

Introduction....................................................................................................................................1

1. "In Vindication of Woman's True Rights": Early Anti-Suffrage Arguments.............................................9

2. "Suffrage Unnatural": In Defense of Sex Difference, Motherhood, and Masculine Government...............30

3. The Suffrage Doldrums and the Problem of Democracy....................................................................58

4. "Woman Suffrage a Menace to Social Reform": Anti-Suffragists as Progressives..................................83

5. "Unceasing War Against Feminism and Socialism": The Final Phase of the Anti-Suffrage Movement......107

Conclusion...................................................................................................................................131 Bibliography.................................................................................................................................139

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