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Women & voting

  1. Mar 27, 2013 #1
    I was watching Lincoln last night, and at a part were the idea of women voting was laughed at by the legislators.

    My mom's comment was along the lines of "Oh right, women weren't smart enough to vote back then." or something similar (and a sarcastic tone of course).

    My retort was that around this time (1865) was still close to the declaration of independence, and perhaps the concept of voting was linked directly to how independence came about, women didn't fight in "wars", and in turn did not make the same sacrifice as many men.

    I don't know the details of how armies were created in 1700's, but assume every able body man could be "forced" to participate.

    So was denying women the right to vote about them presumably not being able to understand the politicking, or was it more because they didn't fight for the independence.

    Is it historically clear why women were not allowed to vote back then? I'd be pretty shocked it was strictly due to the ignorant assumption women could not comprehend the importance of decisions made via voting.

    I'm Canadian so my understanding of American history is limited to Hollywood and the HBO series John Adams. btw American history is really interesting, at least compared to Canada's of the same era (less 1812). :smile:
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
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  3. Mar 27, 2013 #2

    Ryan_m_b

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    Why on Earth would this shock you? Women have been oppressed by men for this and other ridiculous reason for millennia. I can't speak for US history but in the UK women were considered to be too ill informed and poorly suited to politics to be allowed to vote. Even when radical reforms came in to give non-land owning/non-high-renting men over 21 the vote women were marginalised, they could only vote if they were married to someone with a political affiliation and were over the age of 30.

    It's only in very recent times in certain places in the world that women have been considered legally equal to men rather than incapable property. And there are still no societies where women and men are socially equal.
     
  4. Mar 27, 2013 #3

    micromass

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    Just out of curiosity, what do you mean with "socially equal"?
     
  5. Mar 27, 2013 #4
    Mostly because the idea is "foreign" to me. But mostly because I think it would be self-evident that women have great capacities, however different from men. And that these difference don't reduce a women ability to understand, but do comparably & generally limit there ability to fight in the very "gritty" wars of that time.

    And in the movie the idea was all men all equal. Perhaps the "men" was literal, but emancipation was not limited to men, however voting was.

    Hmmm... so I guess it's the hypocrisy that would shock me.
     
  6. Mar 27, 2013 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    Under representation in politics/high paying positions, more likely to be discriminated against on account of their gender, negative/stereotyped portrayal in media (obvious examples being films that fail the Bechdel test for bad reasons), increased likelihood of sexual harassment, increased scrutiny regarding looks and behaviour, negative judgements for behaviour that are deemed positive in men etc etc.
     
  7. Mar 27, 2013 #6

    WannabeNewton

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    There are many things self - evident now that weren't back then; heck they aren't self evident to some people today even. I find it weird that this comes as a shock to you - there have been and still are a plethora of bigots in society.
     
  8. Mar 27, 2013 #7

    Ryan_m_b

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    I don't think the differences between men and women are even that great. Ok if you plot the physical capabilities of men and women on a graph you would get two bell curves who's peaks don't like up but that doesn't mean there isn't a hearty proportion of women who couldn't match or out perform the average man.

    With respect it isn't "self evident" to you, you were raised in a society with those values. We're you born 100 years ago or even in the household of a sexist family in your country the reverse would be self-evident.

    It seems strange to us because equality and liberty are fundamental human rights in our societies (even though they are not expressed by all and aren't practiced as well as they could be). For many people alive today and many back then "equal rights to liberty" do/did not equal "equal rights"
     
  9. Mar 27, 2013 #8

    George Jones

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    Thus you know about Nellie McClung?
     
  10. Mar 27, 2013 #9
    This is an image of a pamphlet (from 1910) that was posted on Feministing, and other websites a couple of months ago.

    http://feministing.com/files/2013/02/antisuffrage.jpg
     
  11. Mar 27, 2013 #10
    It's becoming more clear to me now. Thanks posters!

    Seems that, as Ryan_m_b & Vagrant touched on, that being equal is separate from suffrage. I need to read what suffrage is and stuff.
     
  12. Mar 27, 2013 #11
    I agree with your added details. Imagine the comparable of men today vs women of that age. Ha! I bet those bell curves would line up, at least, and if not surpass.
     
  13. Mar 27, 2013 #12
  14. Mar 27, 2013 #13
    tee hee hee, nope never heard of her.

    but i did like this particular line in the wiki entry


    She understood that the First World War had played an important role in broadening the appeal of women's suffrage because the manpower shortages required widespread female employment, making the image of the sheltered female more obviously inapplicable to Canadian circumstances.[7]
     
  15. Mar 27, 2013 #14
    The last entry on the first page.

    "Risking the good we have for the evil that maybe." seems to imply something about women.

    That said I see a boys club excluding girls. Not boys calling girls too stupid to vote. less that laughable last one.;

    It actually seems carefully worded, in order to preserve the equality between men and women but denying them the right to vote. Less that laughable last one....again
     
  16. Mar 27, 2013 #15

    AlephZero

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    You need to see the bigger context to understand the "logic" here. For example the UK "reformed" the laws on male eligibility to vote be reducing the requirement to be a landowner, but after that only 1 out of 7 of the male population had the vote. The restrictions were gradually relaxed in the 19th century and by 1884, 40% of males had the vote.

    Since married women could not own property at that time simply as a consequence of their being married, the concept of votes for women didn't make any sense so long as owning property remained a requirement.

    Arguably, the real driving force for electoral reform in the UK was not the women's suffrage movement, but the fact that many men who fought in WWi were still denied the vote in the UK after the war. That led to the removal of the property requirement for men in 1918, though it was still applied to women under age 30 until 1928.

    There is still some inequality even today in the UK - the Queen is not eligible to vote in parliamentary elections :smile:
     
  17. Mar 27, 2013 #16

    Ryan_m_b

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    I don't mean to derail the conversation so I'm just going to post this and leave it for your consideration. Here's a opinion piece in a uk newspaper talking about a recent story of a women who received death threats, rape threats and had her employer hounded until she was fired for tweeting about two men making sexist jokes. It also has links to many similar stories

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentis...king-out-about-workplace-sexism?commentpage=4

    This is the kind of inequality and sexism that exists in modern western society.
     
  18. Mar 27, 2013 #17

    Evo

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    Actually, although I absolutely don't agree with the threats she received and the thug mentality, she was completely out of line. According to the article the two men were talking privately to each other and not harassing anyone. For her to take their picture and post it publicly along with derogatory comments about them was beyond inappropriate. They were not harassing her, they weren't even talking to her. I hope they sue her in a court of law for slander. This is not the kind of thing we want encouraged. What people say to each other in a private conversation at a public convention is private. It's not like the men worked in a cubicle next to her where she was subjected to sexual jokes and she had no way to avoid it. I agree with her being fired for what she did, one of the men lost his job!
     
  19. Mar 27, 2013 #18

    Ryan_m_b

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    Whether or not it was appropriate for her to tweet the disruption is besides the point for me. There's nothing someone can do to deserve such harassment and it isn't uncommon. There are many, many accounts of women who speak out in some way about sexism and face a deluge of vile harassment. What's just as bad is the monumental amount of apologetics that invariably accompany these events, excuses like "what do you expect from the Internet? or "it's just trolling" etc.

    Also it's worth noting that nobody but the employer and that man know why he was fired. It could be that this incident is one of many or something entirely unrelated.
     
  20. Mar 27, 2013 #19

    Evo

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    As a woman, I feel that her inappropriate behavior has just given people more reason to think of women as being incapable of using good judgement and overreacting in such a situation. Since when can two people not have a private conversation in a public place? Even the article title is misleading, it was not at her workplace.

    Again, the threats and the whole internet idiot mentality is unacceptable, and I agree that what she did is no excuse for the vile verbal attacks she received.
     
  21. Mar 27, 2013 #20

    Ryan_m_b

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    I gather it wasn't a public place (it was in a conference whilst she was giving a talk) their conversation was being in some way disruptive (and wasn't private enough that people could overhear their sexist jokes, in a talk about sexism no less) and whilst not a workplace the conference was work related. If you're in a place where you are seen to represent your workplace and where your actions will have direct consequences for you at said workplace then you should at least treat it like one and be as professional.
    As I said there are plenty of other examples in the story and there are many more elsewhere. Despite progress society has made there are still areas in which women are harassed (to disgusting degrees) and shouted down because of their gender or because they are speaking about gender or both. Unfortunately this isn't limited to just Internet interactions (as though that was separate from "real" life).
     
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