Skip to main content

Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

The Women’s Political Union. Membership pledge, reproducing Herbert Johnson’s sketch “The Enemies of Votes for Women,” from the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post, ca. 1913. Harriot Stanton Blatch Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (046.00.00)
Enlarge

“Forces of Evil” Oppose Women’s Votes

Membership pledges, including this one for the Women’s Political Union, which focused on the commercialization of prostitution in New York City, often represented suffrage as part of a larger reform movement to improve society. They depicted the vote as a means to end women’s oppression and safeguard against the graft and corruption of male-dominated politics—the “forces of evil.” Suffrage would extend women’s accepted housekeeping superiority into the public sphere and help wipe out prostitution, gambling, and drunkenness.

 Back to top