Why Women Should Vote, March 29, 1911
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Objections Are Fatuous.

Did the enfranchised women evoked by our imagination speak thus to the disenfranchised men, the latter would at least respect their scruples and their hesitation in regards to an extension of the obligation of citizenship, but would be temper of the masculine mind if the voting women representing the existing state would present them only with the following half-dozen objections which are unhappily so familiar to many of us; if the women should say, first, that men would find politics corrupting; second, that they would doubtless vote as their wives and mothers did; third that men's suffrage would only double the vote without changing the results; fourth, that men's suffrage would diminish the respect for men; fifth, that most men do not want to vote; sixth, that the best men would not vote?

I do not believe that women broadened by life and its manifold experiences would actually present these six objections to men as real reasons for withholding the franchise form them, unless indeed they had long formed the bait of regarding men not as comrades and fellow citizens, but as a class by themselves, in essential matters really inferior, although always held sentimentally very much above them.
Certainly no such talk would be indulged in between men and women who had together embodied in political institutions and old affairs of the life which had normally and historically belonged to both of them. If woman's sense of obligation had enlarged and modified in response to the demands of the state, if she had adjusted herself to the changing demands as she did in the historical mutations of her "own household," she might naturally and without challenge have inaugurated laws for the protection of thousands of young girls between the ages of fourteen and twenty-two who are working in the factories and shops of all our contemporary cities.
It is the first time in the long history of women that so many of them have been without the protection and care of their elders. Even the lady of the castle whom we so much admire and insist upon imitating, felt responsible for the morals of the maidens who spun and wove for her. After all, we only feel responsible for those things which are brought to us as matters of responsibility.

If conscientious women throughout the years had convinced it a duty to be informed in regards to grave industrial affairs and at last to express their solicitors by depositing a piece of paper in a ballot box, one cannot imagine that they would hesitate simpy because the action ran counter to certain traditions and dogmas. It would be as if a woman declined to save a child from drowning because the water might injure a conventional gown.
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