By Susan E. Marshall
When Tennessee grew to become the thirty-sixth and ultimate country had to ratify the 19th modification in August 1920, giving ladies the suitable to vote, one workforce of ladies expressed sour sadness and vowed to struggle opposed to “this feminist disease.” Why this fierce and prolonged competition? In Splintered Sisterhood, Susan Marshall argues that the ladies of the antisuffrage flow mobilized now not as threatened homemakers yet as influential political strategists.
Drawing on surviving documents of significant antisuffrage companies, Marshall makes transparent that antisuffrage girls geared up to guard gendered category pursuits. She exhibits that a few of the so much vocal antisuffragists have been prosperous, trained ladies who exercised substantial political impression via their own ties to males in politics in addition to by means of their very own positions as leaders of social carrier committees. below the guise of shielding a terrific of “true womanhood,” those robust ladies sought to maintain the vote from lower-class girls, fearing it will lead to a rise within the “ignorant vote” and of their personal displacement from positions of impression. This publication finds the more and more militant kind of antisuffrage protest because the clash over lady vote casting rights escalated. Splintered Sisterhood provides a lacking piece to the heritage of women’s rights activism within the usa and illuminates present problems with antifeminism.
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Extra resources for Splintered Sisterhood: Gender and Class in the Campaign against Woman Suffrage
Rules of chaperonage protected the reputations of young girls, and although private carriages permitted some unescorted urban mobility, women's social lives during the period were confined largely to parlor visits in each other's homes. "67 Upper-class women of the day were partly compensated for these restrictions by their responsibility for status maintenance. As outlined by Max Weber, status, class, and political power are the three basic elements of social stratification. 68 Status honor is reflected through a distinct style of life that defines those within the social circle.
62 Examples of nouveaux riches socialite suffrage activists included Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont of New York and Newport, who had divorced a Vanderbilt, and Mrs. Leland Stanford of California, wife of the railroad baron. The early remonstrants, by contrast, were banners of old money and conservative propriety who expressed class allegiance without apology, confident of a respectful hearing from political institutions replete with friends and relatives. Describing their first legislative victory over SUffrage in the 1880s, one woman opponent noted that "the rustle of Beacon Street silks at the doors of legislation drowned the appeals" of woman suffragists.
Peabody's firm of Kidder, Peabody developed from an earlier company owned by Mrs. Winthrop's first husband, John Eliot Thayer. 55 The spouses of the antisuffrage movement's founders were frequently outstanding social and civic leaders as well. Crocker and Winthrop served in the Massachusetts legislature, where they were useful to the antisuffrage cause. Most participated extensively in historical and genealogical societies, whose primary purpose was to document and celebrate the achievements of the founding families.