Sunday, September 05, 2010

Any of This Sound Familiar?

Liberals, some women's groups, and a few big-city newspapers all supported it.

The opposition said it was Big Government taking over the lives of ordinary people, and "if they can do this, they can do anything they want to us!"

Business leaders said it would hurt business.

Most churches opposed it, saying it would destroy the traditional family.

A candidate for governor of North Carolina said it was socialism, pure and simple.

What was it? The 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote.

Rob Christensen has his Way-Back Machine set for 1920 in his column in today's News&Observer. The showdown battle for women's right to vote landed in North Carolina in August 1920. We were potentially the 36th state to ratify the amendment. But we did not. The arguments presented above won the day (along with race fear, natch!), and it was Tennessee that had the distinction eventually of providing the ratification vote that granted women the right to participate in elections across this country.

Mixed in with the reactionary rhetoric summarized above was a good deal of open and frank racism. NC Congressman Edwin Yates Webb worried that the so-called "Susan B. Anthony Amendment" would "enfranchise 110,000 Negro women of North Carolina for the sake of letting a few active agitating white women in spots throughout North Carolina have the right to vote."

Mr. Webb was a Democrat. In fact, most of the opposition to women's suffrage came from the old Democratic machine in NC, because the old Democratic machine was reactionary and conservative to the core.

The core of that core of the old party switched to Republican along about Lyndon B. Johnson's time and are still providing the same screwy conservative and reactionary talking points about _______________ (fill in that blank however you wish. There are plenty of examples), when ______________ would advance equal rights, equal justice, or equal treatment for everyone.

North Carolina did not actually endorse/ratify the 19th Amendment until 1971.


Liberal Mom said...

Shame on North Carolina waiting until 1971 to ratify women's right to vote. Women have been discriminated against in the past, and it continues into the present with the glass ceiling. I have been denied promotions that went to equally or less qualified men. With Equal Employment Laws being what they are, I probably could have sued my way into one of those promotions but didn't want to go through all that.

It is hard to believe that there are women alive today who lived during a time when women were treated as second class citizens. Sadly, I find that voting issues continue even today. The Black Panthers who intimidated voters in Philadelphia was not incarcerated which harkens back to those days of poll taxes, Jim Crow Laws, and women's sufferage.

brotherdoc said...

Yep, and it's been a downhill slide all the way ever since... LOL See, if women never had got the right to vote, we would not have to put up with The Madam being our rep in Congress. (u know I'm kidding of course, just don't shoot any flames my way OK?)

shyster said...

We gave women the right to vote and what happened?:
The Depression, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf 1 &2, Bush 1&2, polio, aids, swine and chicken flu, the meltdown of the savings and loan industry and the meltdown of the banking industry and real estate markets. Coincidence? I think not.
What were we thinking?

BikerBard said...

Oh man. Shyster, did you "jump the shark!"
PS: Glad to hear from you. Coming to Boone anytime soon?