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Opposing California Woman’s Suffrage Amendment: A Dozen Reasons Why a Majority of Women (Supposedly) Were Against Having the Right to Vote
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Because man is man, and woman is woman. Nature has made their functions different, and no constitutional amendment can make them the same.

[WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE]. Broadside. “Some Reasons Why We Oppose Votes for Women,” published by the Northern California Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, ca. 1911. 1 p., 8½ x 11 in.

Inventory #24174.04       Price: $450

Excerpts:

First of all, for the oldest and shortest of reasons:

Because the basis of government is force- its stability rests upon its physical power to enforce its laws; therefore it is inexpedient to give the vote to women. Immunity from service in executing the law would make most women irresponsible voters.

Because the suffrage is not a question of right or justice, but of policy and expediency; and if there is no question of right or justice, there is no case for woman suffrage.

Because it is the demand of a minority of women, and the majority of women protest against it.

Because it means simply doubling the vote, and especially the undesirable and corrupt vote of our large cities.

Because the great advance of women in the last century- moral, intellectual and economic-has been made without the vote; which goes to prove that it is not needed for their further advancement along the same lines.

Because women now stand outside of politics, and therefore are free to appeal to any party in matters of education, charity and reform.

Because the ballot has not proved a cure-all for existing evils with men, and we find no reason to assume that it would be more effectual with women.

Because in Colorado after a test of seventeen years the results show no gain in public and political morals over male suffrage states, and the necessary increase in the cost of elections which is already a huge burden upon the taxpayer, is unjustified…

We believe that political equality will deprive us of special privileges hitherto accorded to us by law.

Historical Background

In 1896, California’s male voters rejected the state’s proposed Amendment to give women the right to vote. Fifteen years later, Republican state Senator Charles W. Bell from Pasadena introduced Proposition 4 to try again. It passed in the Senate in January, and the Assembly in February.

On October 10, 1911, voters narrowly adopted the proposition (50.7 percent to 49.3 percent). San Francisco and Alameda (Oakland/Berkeley) Counties came out heavily against women’s suffrage, but votes from rural counties overcame the opposition. Despite initial newspaper reports that the proposal had failed, California became the sixth state to enfranchise women.

In August of 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment became part of the United States Constitution, culminating the seventy-two year effort on behalf of women’s suffrage.

The president of the organization, Emily Louise Bunker Goddard (1857-1921), listed as Mrs. C.L. Goddard on the letterhead, was born in Maine and moved to California with her parents in 1868. She married Clark L. Goddard (1849-1905) in Oakland, California, in 1881. He opened a dental practice and joined the University of California dental school faculty. The Goddards had two children, and moved to Berkeley in 1902.

Condition

Overall good; some chipping to left and upper margins but overall quite sound.


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