If you’re not careful with your search terms, you could easily confuse quotes that originated during the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the United States with quotes from today’s debates surrounding female reproductive rights in the United States. We know what’s being said by those who don’t think women should/do have full rights over their bodies and access to legal goods and services with regard to their reproductive health. We also know what was said by those who were opposed to the 19th amendment, which constitutionally recognized a woman’s right to vote.
Or do we? See if you know which quote is about which issue:
1) All nature is against it. The laws of man cry out against it. The voice of God cries out against it and so do I.
2) More talk and less thought is expended on the subject of sex today than on almost anything else.
3) The great body of American women are true to themselves, to the nature God has given them, and to the service He has allotted to them — the direct ministry to life — and will neither be forced nor enticed from it by their restless, well-meaning, but mistaken sisters.
4) All socialists are opposed to anything Christian, but they bitterly hate and attack Catholics.
5) It strikes me that a Catholic should hesitate to support a movement whose leader expresses such sentiments against authority, when the fundamental point of our belief is the divine authority which Christ gave to His church.
6) The things which people do not wish to do, or which they are compelled to do, are always badly done.
7) Talking will not change matters, nor argument eradicate the fact that as long as the race has a mother, that mother will have to be a woman, and if a woman is not a mother she has failed, either voluntarily or involuntarily, to do the only thing for which, in the original scheme of creation, she was intended.
8) Contributions, mainly drawn from a few rich women, have enabled them to send professional speakers into every district of the state, to distribute tons of “literature,” to supply the press with a constant stream of “news” written from their point of view, and in general to advertise their claims in the most lavish way.
9) It is not a “woman’s rights” question.
10) What I have maintained, and still maintain, is the deliberate tendency of modern legislation and of modern administration, backed by an influential public opinion to separate women as a privileged class from men.
Before you look at the correct answers, I’d like you to take a moment and reread the quotes for those words or phrases that triggered your answers. I suggest this because many of the arguments and justifications offered up by those who were opposed to women’s suffrage and those currently opposed to a woman having full rights over her reproductive system are very similar. It would be understandable if you thought any of these quotes were current, but if you answered as much you are mistaken. Every quote originated before 1920 and all of them were written by those who were opposed to women having the right to vote in the United States.
1) Marie Jenny Howe, “An Anti-Suffrage Monologue”
2) Mrs. William Lowell Putnam, “Suffrage and the Sex Problem,” Anti-Suffrage Essays, 1916
3) Lyman Abbott, “Why Women Do Not Wish the Suffrage,” Sep 1903
4) 5) Mary Nash Crofoot, “Lest Catholic Men Be Misled,” Omaha, Nov. 2, 1914
6) 7) Grace Duffield Goodwin, Anti-Suffrage: Ten Good Reasons; 1912
8) J.A. Haien, Introduction, Anti-Suffrage Essays, 1916
9) Mrs. Herbert Lyman, “The Anti-Suffrage Ideal,” Anti-Suffrage Essays, 1916
10) Ernest Belfort Bax, Why I Am an Anti-Suffragist May 1909