Saturday, February 14, 2015

Today -100: February 14, 1915: When a woman gets this bee in her bonnet she loses all sense of proportion


The Lusitania leaves Liverpool for New York, flying the British flag. 200 Americans who had tickets of the Lusitania canceled them and took an American ship home instead.

Carranza executes four Syrians he believed were spies from Pancho Villa.

Syrians?

Carranza expelled the Spanish ambassador for giving refuge to a Spaniard who worked for Villa. Spain has decided not to make a big deal about it.

Gen. Obregon levies a tax of $250,000 on the Catholic clergy in Mexico.

The Germans have supposedly expelled all foreigners from Upper Alsace and are now evacuating all civilians. Actually, they may just be fleeing into Switzerland, it’s not clear.

A French POW writes to Kaiser Wilhelm asking permission to return to France to visit his dying mother, promising to return. The kaiser lets him go, and he does return after the funeral.

The Bishop of Oxford, Charles Gore, bans prayers being offered for animals doing war work.

Pancho Villa captures Guadalajara.

The race difficulties in Gallup, New Mexico, have been, in the words of the LA Times, “amicably settled by the town authorities by compromise.” Every negro won’t be ordered out of town after all: “those blacks who are acceptable to the authorities will be allowed to remain”. So that’s all right then.

There are dozens of letters in the NYT today (the whole of pages 83-8) responding to its anti-suffrage editorial of February 7th. The majority are opposed to it, and some refer to how out-of-date, even medieval, it sounded. The Times, however, in a new editorial, says, “when in this age of mushiness and confusion, so many weakly yield to the allurements of all the new cults, it is, we take it, a tribute to courage to be called old-fogeyish.”

No it isn’t.

So what did some of the letters say?

In hers, Alice Stone Blackwell claims that suffragist Washington State has a low death rate, proving that women are not neglecting their homes and failing to properly nourish their husbands.

On the other hand, Caroline Holmes of the Guidon Club, Opposed to Woman Suffrage, which I’ve never heard of, says suffrage in Colorado has failed “to produce even a reasonably governed state”.

A Mrs. Minnie Lincoln Hansel of Cranford, New Jersey, says suffragists are just women who have never found themselves; “Happiness or freedom of soul is a state of mind purely and is rather to be found in simple duties well performed, in the love of united family relations, and more likely in an atmosphere pungent with the smell of baking bread or fragrant with the odors of flowers wafted from quiet garden paths than from the heights of a soapbox amid the clatter of cobblestones.”

Mrs. Arthur Dodge (Artie, as I call her), president of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, says that the majority of women are not prepared to renounce their current status as a “privileged sex before the law.”

Everett Pepperrell Wheeler, chairman of the NY State Men’s Association Opposed to Political Suffrage for Women, says that “when a woman gets this bee in her bonnet she loses all sense of proportion... We pity them from the bottom of our hearts.”

Mrs. George Douglas Miller, president of the Albany branch of the Anti society, thinks the feeling of the average woman on this subject is conveyed by a Michigan woman she claims to have met who voted once but won’t do it again, because when she got home the bread she was baking had gone sour.

Lovell Oldham says women are far less tolerant than men of other opinions than their own.

George Foster Peabody (banker/philanthropist/inventor of the Peabody Award) wonders where the “political genius” that the NYT thinks is only possible in a male-controlled political system actually is.

Alva Belmont points out that the societal catastrophes the NYT predicts in the event of women’s suffrage are the exact same ones it predicted for the legal recognition of married mothers as parents (women would become unsexed, neglect their homes, chivalry would be destroyed, etc). Alice Dewey points out that similar arguments were used against college education for women.

Christina Morton thanks the Times for proving by its editorial that there is no valid argument against women’s suffrage.

Margaret Aldrich, chair of the Women’s Suffrage Party, points out that the “needless political muddle” and “social and political turmoil” that the NYT predicts would result from women’s suffrage is rather amply evidenced just at present in the male-run nations of Europe. On the other hand J. Howard Cowperthwait thinks that if Britain had had women’s suffrage, it would have been less prepared for the war and maybe not even joined in.


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