Manuscript/Mixed Material Votes for Women: An Object-Lesson by Bertha Damaris Knobe

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Votes for Women: An Object-Lesson
HAT masculine anti-suffragist of Massachusetts who grumbled, " When a man comes home tired at night he does not want to kiss an overseer of the poor or a member of the school board," will soon have to move to another planet. That is, if he aspires to be really happy. For the solemn fact is that the suffragists are appropriating so much of
this earth, politically speaking, that, like Alexander ot old, tney will shortly have to lament because there are no more worlds to conquer.
This amazing fact is to be demonstrated with mathematical precision at an international object-lesson in woman's suffrage, scheduled for the 15th of June at Amsterdam, Holland. This is the seven days' meeting of the International Woman's Suffrage Alliance, under its American president, Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, of New York. Fair representatives from twenty-two countries�think of it!�will come to compare notes, ; and twelve of them�think again!�will proudly report that they possess full suffrage, every suffrage except Parliamentary, or municipal suffrage. The aspiring others will either boast of minor scraps of the ballot or a fine fight for it�which means that, suddenly and spectacularly, the once despised subject of feminine enfranchisement is being discussed in absolutely every civilized region of the globe. And yet the obdurate anti-suffragist persists that woman's suffrage isn't gaining ground!
This gathering in Amsterdam will be a glorification because, forsooth, such strides have been made since the Strenuous Sisterhood met at Copenhagen, Denmark, two years ago. Two northern nations�Finland and Norway�have in this time crowned their women with complete citizenship. Undoubtedly interest will centre in the campaign tales told by the Finnish women, who, the first election after their enfranchisement in 1900, challenged the approval of the conventional world by seating nineteen women in Parliament. One instinctively wonders what the Massachusetts man thought when Mrs. Hedwig Gebhard was chosen to sit beside her illustrious husband. This interest will be shared by the Norwegian women, whose chivalrous countrymen, not to be outdone by their national neighbor, speedily bestowed, in 1907, full suffrage with eligibility to Parliament, though as yet no candidate has been entered in the Parliamentary race. These triumphs are the more striking when one recalls that fifteen years have elapsed
since the first of the four full-suffrage countries�New Zealand-bestowed the ballot on the sex in 1893; but the New Zealand men, not so favorably disposed as tljeir Finnish and Norwegian brothers, still warily hold the string to the situation by reserving seats in Parliament solely for their own sex. Thirteen years have passed, moreover, since Australia began in its various states to bestow political freedom upon its women, even to Parliamentary eligibility, and though several feminine aspirants have polled a splendid vote, none lias succeeded in winning the privilege of writing " M. P." after her name.
So these two extraordinary achievements of two years, particularly the unparalleled spectacle in Finland, fill the "franchise faithfuls " with a new brand of hope. That is precisely why they have chosen to camp in the little Dutch country for a week for it seems likely to fall in with the full-suffrage procession. In fact its committee of cabinet ministers, in their proposed revision of the constitution, have strongly recommended the enfranchisement of Dutch women, with eligibility to office, and though the new shift in government may temporarily defer the final "seal of approval, Holland is labelled " most hopeful" on the international list. About 20,000 persons attended an open-air meeting of the Adult Suffrage Committee at Rotterdam not long ago, ten of the twelve speakers favoring woman's suffrage, while that irrepressible banner first unfurled by English " suffragettes" and since waved over the world�" Votes for Women"�was borne aloft in the preceding parade. After the Amsterdam meeting, the suffragists will do a little extra missionary work by one-day sessions at Rotterdam and The Hague.
" Aside from hopeful Holland," said Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, the drum-major of this international suffrage procession, the other day, " it looks as if England and Sweden will be the next full-suffrage countries to fall into line. Every square foot of England is alive on this subject, the House of Commons recently giving the unprecedented majority of 271 to 92 in favor of woman's suffrage. In Sweden, suffrage societies are springing up like mushrooms, forty-two being organized in one year, and on the 15th of January, for the first time in Swedish history, the King's speech contained a few favorable words. There is no doubt which way the procession is moving�around the world."
This world-wide agitation to break tip what somebody calls the most gigantic monopoly of the age�the masculine monopoly of the ballot-box�is beginning to be most picturesque. The subject has been long enshrouded in a hazy reminiscence of the early days of popular disapproval when red pepper, paper pellets, and even the handy hymn-books (to say nothing of obsolescent eggs) were employed to squelch the speeches of that sainted trio, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and, at a later time, associated only with polite papers decorously read at parlor meetings. The spectacular outbursts in the streets of the foremost cities of the world, therefore, show the new militant spirit which promises to dominate the movement. The daily stratagems of those
She-Napoleons of woman's suffrage, the English " suffragettes,' which shocked the world into " taking notice "�their latest device is to dangle a kite with the words, " Votes for Women," directly over the House of Parliament which lias ousted them so often�-are chronicled in the newspapers; and the " apple-coring" which their New York contingent ungraciously got in Wall Street the other day is familiar history. But tlie average American does not know that Scottish women, emulating their English sisters, recently planned a monster parade down the stately streets ot Edinburgh�three thousand strong, headed by the mounted police
Woman-Suffrage Map of the World, showjng the Forms of Enfranchisement granted in various Countries
Drawn from a map by Bertha Damaris Knobe

About this Item

Votes for Women: An Object-Lesson by Bertha Damaris Knobe
Contributor Names
Knobe, Bertha Damaris (Author)
Created / Published
Harper's Weekly, New York City, New York, April 25, 1908
Subject Headings
-  Hats
-  Catt, Carrie Chapman (1859-1947)
-  photomechanical print
-  United States Senate-suffrage hearing
-  Knobe, Bertha Damaris
-  map-woman suffrage
-  International Woman Suffrage Alliance
-  Finland-suffrage
-  Norway-suffrage
-  Amsterdam, Holland
-  Clippings
-  United States
-  Sweden
-  England
-  Norway
-  Ireland
-  Scotland
-  Finland
-  New Zealand
-  Canada
-  Iceland
-  Australia
-  Wales
-  Holland -- Amsterdam
-  Summarizes progress of woman suffrage throughout world, International Woman Suffrage Alliance to meet in Amsterdam, will celebration full suffrage in Finland and Norway. Woman-Suffrage Map of World show the forms of Enfranchisement granted in various countries; photomechanical print of suffragist leaders who "besieged" Congress in March 1908
Call Number/Physical Location
JK1881 .N357 sec. XVI, no. 3-9 NAWSA Coll
series: Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911; Scrapbook 6 (1907-1908)
Source Collection
Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911
Rare Book And Special Collections Division
Digital Id
Online Format
online text

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Credit Line: Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection.

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Chicago citation style:

Knobe, Bertha Damaris. Votes for Women: An Object-Lesson by Bertha Damaris Knobe. Harper's Weekly, New York City, New York, 1908. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Knobe, B. D. (1908) Votes for Women: An Object-Lesson by Bertha Damaris Knobe. Harper's Weekly, New York City, New York. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Knobe, Bertha Damaris. Votes for Women: An Object-Lesson by Bertha Damaris Knobe. Harper's Weekly, New York City, New York, 1908. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

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