Commentary on Jane Addams, April 10, 1912

"[Today], when Jane Addams agrees to speak in favor of woman suffrage from a vaudeville state," says the New York Globe "we all feel alike. We all say that it is just like Miss Addams's pluck, just like her usual disregard of formalism and conventionalism. Eager to work for a cause she absolutely believes in, she welcomes an opportunity to speak for it where large crowds will hear. She does this as naturally and simply as she does everything else." So says the Globe, but "we all" don't say anything of the kind. Some of use wonder how much salary she drew down for the stunt of making herself a mere object of curiosity for a crowd of pleasure seekers who paid no real attention to a word of her arguments. Others of us are reminded of Jacob S. Coxey's alleged remark once upon a time, that if by standing on his head in a public square he could collect a crowd that he could talk to, he would gladly perform the feat, and "we all" are minded to ask Jane Addams if she would do the same thing. Verily, these modern yellow methods of attracting attention and getting on the first page are disgusting. But one good thing: They puncture a few bubbles of reputation; they give us a true index of certain characters that have been given fictitious ratings. Jane Addams, who, through press exploitation and her own vanity, has been set upon a pedestal, brings herself down to the level of Doc Cook, who once lectured on his Arctic travels at Huber's Museum. The cause of woman suffrage, which should be a dignified appeal of the sex for merited recognition, gained nothing but derision from the mountebank act of Jane Addams. Where did they bill her, anyhow? Between the animal act and Eva Tanguay, or following Billy Boy? It was Jane Addams who denounced motion pictures as teachers of vice and crime. That's the reason for these few remarks.