Argument For…

Posted by on February 17, 2012 in feminism, Gender roles, history, humor, leadership, Mormon women, priesthood, women | 8 comments

In part two of our “Argument Against/For” day (first installment here), I wanted to share the Argument for women’s suffrage, prepared by H. G. Cattell, an assemblyman in the 67th California district in 1911. Like this morning’s post, the 1911 argument is on the left and the altered one about women and the priesthood is on the right, with the paragraphs lined up so you can compare them. And again, you can tell it was written a century ago. I found the arguments for/against suffrage to be fascinating. I hope you enjoy it!

Argument For Women’s Suffrage Argument For Women’s Ordination
Women should have equal political rights with men as provided for in Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 8 because— Women should have equal participation in the quorums of the Church because-
Women are equal to men intellectually. In fact, if we take the number of graduates from our schools and colleges, we must admit that they are farther advanced mentally. Women are equal to men spiritually. In fact, if we take the number of women in the pews and records of the Church, we must admit that they are farther advanced spiritually.
TWomen should not be subject to taxation without representation any more than men. “Consent of the governed” means women as well as men; for they are subject to government as well as men. Women should not be subject to policies without representation any more than men. “By common consent” means women as well as men; for they abide Church policies as well as men.
Women are recognized in the family as a large part of the governing force. The state is only a large family composed of both sexes. Why should she not be considered in the government of the larger family? Women are recognized in the family as a large part of the guiding force. The church is only a large family composed of both sexes. Why should she not be considered in the leadership of the larger family?
Women have been given suffrage in numerous countries and in several states in this Union, and partial suffrage in nearly all civilized countries. We have no knowledge of such action having proved to be a failure or of such laws being repealed, which of course, would be done were the experiment not a success. Women have been ordained in numerous churches and sects in the world. We have no knowledge of such action having proved to be a failure or of such policies being repealed, which of course, would be done were the experiment not a success.
Women are better morally, as evidence by the criminals in the penitentiaries. For example: in the penitentiaries in California we have about three thousand men and about thirty women, and the cases tried before the police courts probably average about the same. We must, therefore, admit that women would be a great factor in promoting honesty, equity and morality if given the ballot. Women are better morally, as evidence by the criminals in the penitentiaries. For example: in California, women make up only 6% of the prison population. We must, therefore, admit that women would be a great factor in promoting honesty, equity, and morality if given leadership responsibilities.
It is argued that all women do not wish to vote. The same argument applied to men: for it has become common practice on election days to send conveyances for a large percent of the male voters, and many who go voluntarily do so from a sense of duty. Women, being more faithful to duty, will exercise their right of franchise and do it cheerfully; besides, their presence on such occasions will make the whole occasion more enjoyable as well as a guaranty that everything will be carried on respectably. It is argued that all women do not wish to have the priesthood. The same argument applied to men: for it has become common practice for it to be hard to find home teachers willing to visit families and be available for prieshood blessings, and many who go volunarily do so from a sense of duty. Women, being more faithful to duty, will exercise their right of franchise and do it cheerfully; besides, their presense on such occasions as baptisms and baby’s blessings, will make the whole occasion more enjoyable as well as a guaranty that everything will be carried on respectably.
Women who are in touch with public affairs are none the less womanly, but, on the contrary, they are better and more companionable wives, more interesting mothers, because they have a common interest with their sons. Women who are in touch with church affairs are none the less womanly, but, on the contrary, they are better and more companionable wives, more interesting mothers, because they have a common interest with their sons.
The time was thought that to allow a girl a high school education would ruin her morals, destroy her religion, impair her health, make her more masculine, and take away her desire to be a good wife and mother. Such theories are long since exploded, and, as we have progressed in these matters, let us progress in reference to suffrage; let us show the saloon element, the gambling element, the selfish element (for these are the opponents of women’s suffrage) that this great state of California is really a progressive state in every way. The time was thought that to allow a girl suffrage would ruin her morals, destroy her religion, impare her health, maker her more masculine, and take away her desire to be a good wife and mother. Such theories are long since exploded, and, as we have progressed in these matters, let us progress in reference to priesthood; let us show that this great Church is really a living and true church in every way.

Interesting, yes?

Related posts:

8 Comments

  1. “Women have been ordained in numerous churches and sects in the world. We have no knowledge of such action having proved to be a failure .”

    The Community of Christ Church lost a large portion of their members when they began ordaining women. That could be an argument for failure.

  2. such a brilliant exercise, TopHat. Really fun to read.

  3. “Women are recognized in the family as a large part of the guiding force. The church is only a large family composed of both sexes. Why should she not be considered in the leadership of the larger family?”

    This resonates. The bishop is said to be the father of the ward. We call each other brother and sister. Yes, where is our mother? Where are the women who lead the men and women of the ward?

    • I agree- I really thought that argument was a nice one. That women are more moral (re: better?) than men? Not so much.

  4. These really are excellent. Nice job putting them together!

  5. Great job. I think that the mother seems to be lacking. Good point.

  6. TopHat, you’re brilliant. This is so cool! And I agree, who’s the mother of the ward? If they are so vital to the success of a family, shouldn’t a ward have one?

  7. I love it. The argument for women’s suffrage just BEGS to be paired with the argument for women’s ordination. :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Argument Against… | - [...] Skip to content HomeThe online forum of the ExponentII magazineComment PolicyContactExponent Retreat, Sept 16-18, 2011 …

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>