From Transcribe Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Article written by miss Pidgeon (on request for christian science monitor)


Now that the old arguments against woman suffrage are so fast melting away in the light of actual experience, it is well for us to examine the excuses used to make a final appeal to prejudice in certain sections of the country. These are the objections based on state rights and on the negro problem. That the attitude of the majority of those who urge the state fights question is insincere is shown by the fact that fifteen of the nineteen senators who voted against the suffrage amendment on that ground nevertheless voted to submit prohibition to the states. A further adequate answer to this objection has been given by the brilliant young senator, Pollock of South Carolina, when he presented to the women his favorable vote,"one help of all the votes needed" to carry the Federal Amendment thru the senate. He pointed out that the right of amending the Constitution upon the votes of three fourths of the states is expressly granted, the only reservation being that no state shall be deprived of its equal representation in the senate. He said in part: "When a respectable portion of the American people ask that the question of amending the constitution of the United States be submitted to the states for their approval or disapproval, it is a denial of State rights to refuse to let the states thru their legislatures act. Surely no one will say that the right of any one state should be greater than the right expressly conferred upon three fourths of the states acting jointly thru their several legislatures to amend the Constitution." That the other stumbling block, the negro question, is no menace, a study of facts will show. In the states south of the Mason and Dixon line taken as a whole, there are more white women than colored men and women put together, and this is also true of every southern state, except two. In Virginia, there are 31,407 more white women than colored men and women together, in North Carolina there are 53,000 more. Woman suffrage will therefore strengthen white supremacy. Literacy tests also, which are imposed by most southern states operate chiefly to disfranchise the negro, as illiteracy among the negroes is 22%, among whites only 8%. Those states, South Carolina and Mississippi, which have a larger number of negroes than whites have property or other qualifications which settle their problem. Such qualifications are also made optional for certain counties in such states as Virginia, and this provision mjay be used for counties where negroes outnumber whites. These special county restrictions, tho possible, have, however, never been used in Virginia, even in those counties which contain a larger number of negroes than whites. Literacy tests, property and other voting requirements will apply to women voters as well as to men, since the suffrage amendment merely requires that no discrimination be made on account of sex. A further dodge that is being made by politicians is in the announcement that they favor suffrage when convinced that the majority of the women want it. This unfairly places woman suffrage on a different basis from man suffrage, since no man is asked whether he desires suffrage, and none is disfranchised because he does not use his vote. The man who takes this attitude leaves a convenient political loophole for himself, since when suffrage comes, he can say he always favored it. Meanwhile he overlooks the continual injustice done those women, (proven a majority wherever attempt at proof has been made), who do want suffrage and many of whom are suffering from its lack. The new south is awake to the suffrage situation. Her women are making great sacrifice today that her tradition of democracy may be realized and they are scoring many victories. The most recent