Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE)

 - Class of 1909

Page 123 of 254


Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 123 of 254
Page 123 of 254

Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 122
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Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 124
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Page 123 text:

“Women who arc taxed. lie said, “are represented by their husbands and relatives.” Hut for a man to properly represent his wife and family, he must call the adult members of the family together, state the case plainly, take a vote, and abide by that vote regardless of his own convictions, and in no other way can a man he said to represent his family. For further proof that women are not represented, let me cite you to the Nebraska legislature in 1856. Nearly every woman in the state signed a petition praying the legislature to pass a hill known as the “Age of Consent Hill,’’ to further protect the youth of the state. The bill failed to pass as framed, but was amended and amended before it passed until it could scarcely he recognized as the same hill. Again the fact that so many disgraceful laws arc on our statutes is positive proof that women are not represented: for instance, the division of property jointly earned by wife and husband during their married life. Tf the husband dies without a will, the law says the wife can have the use of the property but not the right to transfer it. If the wife dies (without a will, of course, as it would he useless under the present condition) the law says the husband shall have all the property to use, transfer or give to the next wife, while the children arc not permitted to claim any of the mother's property earned during her married life. If women had been represented in the making of that law, would they have made it so one sided ? Again, it is said that women can do and are doing as much with it. If the disfranchised have an equal opportunity with the franchised, why docs the convict, by good behavior, so desire to have one month deducted from each year of his sentence, and in this way retain his citizenship or vote? And again, if the disfranchised has an equal opportunity with the franchised, why disfranchise a man for some of the greater crimes? Think of it. for the crime of bigamy and polygamy a man is made the political equal of a woman! A man is disfranchised for a crime he commits—a woman is disfranchised for being born a woman—a crime, if it he a crime, that she could not help. Opponents argue that a woman’s sphere is in no way civil because she cannot fight; but let 11s see if the ability to bear arms is a voting qualification. In our late war with Spain, according to the official reports, only one in ten passed the examination. Were the remaining ninety per cent disfranchised? Sometimes the argument is presented that women arc prone to be carried away by a fad and hence use indiscretion in voting for proficient men. hut allow me to recall a little incident with which you arc all familiar that will prove to you that men are just as prone to follow a fad or be carried away by the excitement of the moment—the fourth number of the lecture course on January 16, when Professor Patty asked for anyone who wished to come in closer contact with liquid air to come forward. One hundred nineteen

Page 122 text:

A WOMAN’S REASON WHY A WOMAN SHOULD VOTE Various so-called reasons why women should not vote have been urged. Indeed, women, it is said, are weak, foolish, frivolous; they arc unable to hear arms; they have enough rights now; they are protected by men’s votes, and so forth. There arc men. and plenty of them, against whom all the considerations enumerated above, except that of sex, can be urged as reasons whv they should not vote: but they are never urged against them, because they belong to that class which heretofore have had the power to say who shall vote. The equal opportunity to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness which our constitution guarantees is a farce as long as one-half the adults arc disfranchised. or else women are not citizens. Have we a representative government based on universal suffrage—a government of the people, for the people and by the people? Xo, our government is a cross between a monarchy and a republic—a government of the men. for the men and bv the men, who seem to have forgotten the words of the Yankee at the l.oston Tea Party that “Taxation without representation is tyranny, and to govern a people without their consent is despotism.” Yet in this day and age of the world women are owning and controlling property, and are paying taxes on the same to support a government in which they arc not represented. The opponents say on this phase of the question: "If property is to be the test should not the one who owns most vote most?” And again let me recall the Revolutionary Period. Did the Colonies think that because England owned more property than they, that they should have no voice in Parliament? Xot only is the present state of affairs unconstitutional, but arc not women capable of using the ballot, and would it not bring good to the community? No right is so strong as that of a mother to vote for the protection of her child, and is it |X)ssiblc for a mother to mould and direct the education of a boy until he is twenty-one and then be less competent to make and administer laws than that boy? Statistics show that four-fifths of all the good magazines and hooks of today arc read by women, and that four times as many girls as boys graduate from our high schools, so it can hardly be said she is not capable of voting when they grant that privilege to the most degraded man in the country, who cannot read his own ballot, and to the foreigner who cannot read a word of our language. An eminent divine recently declared that the old maxim. “Taxation without representation.” was utterly inapplicable to the subject of woman suffrage, but he failed to give any reason, good or bad. for his assertion, although he attempted to offer some excuse for it. One hundred eighteen

Page 124 text:

“Woman should keep in her sphere, for to participate in civil work will make her unwomanly”; this is another favorite saying: of the opponents of woman suffrage. The same objection was made against a woman getting an education and in women entering the medical profession. We glance back with pride at our progress, when we remember that fifty years ago but one college in the United States was open to women, that fifty years ago a woman had no political rights which men were bound to respect. After the consideration of these points, I fully agree with the words of the late Gen. John Gibbon when lie says: “I have been seeking for some years a good, sound reason why women should not vote, and I have after diligent search found one and only one. It is because they arc women. There is no other as far as.I have yet been able to discover which rises above the frivolous. Women have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to protect just as men have, so why should they not have the same means of protecting these that men have? The only reason is that they have had the bad luck to come into the world as women, and man got ‘the drop’ on power first.” Lena M. Fkeiday. One hundred twenty

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