tv Lectures in History Womens Suffrage Movement CSPAN December 29, 2021 10:54pm-11:36pm EST
in this parade, which we see in this 2017 women's march parade. we see this is the closest had to us with the circle glasses. we see this march down pennsylvania avenue. this emphasis on this very celebrated 19th century women's rights leader. we will talk about how she became such a famous suffragist. not only in the 19th century but also today. i want to also look back to another parade in 1913. we have him as the haaland, in washington d.c. and pennsylvania avenue. one of the reasons why i'm pointing to this image and how it connects to our current political and social movement culture is because of this image that was very popular in june of 2020 which was related
to the black lives matter movement. it is rihanna noble riding a horse and oakland california. this image became a viral sensation. perhaps you all saw it. there is a really interesting similarity between these two women that are riding courses in these urban areas as symbols of these political causes that really give us a sense of how the similarities between the suffragist images of him as not holland in 1913 and images that still resonate with us today. in fact, this, briana became a spokesperson for ex penalty. she became ... this image promoted a particular idea, but also selling a particular product. another recent protest image that you all might remember was this black lives matter being painted outside of washington
d.c.. you might also know that suffragists were actually the first group to protest right outside the white house to pick at the white house in 1917. those were the ones that really made this base around the white house such an important place for political protest. 100 years later, just over 100 years later, it remains that way today. if you have ever been to washington d.c., you have probably seen someone outside of the white house protesting something. it is because of these, you know, famous protests, these famous images of these famous protests that we've gotten to the place outside of the white house and it is so important to our political movement. another image that is probably crossed your news media consumption over the past several years are images of women wearing white, particularly leading political
figures. this is a group from the state of the union address all wearing white. they are wearing white to recall the suffragists, in particular. actually, the suffragists were white, as we saw with an asthma holland in the 1913 parade. they wore white at a lot of their parades and processions. they did it for two reasons. one, was to emphasize their morality, their virtue, to suggest that they were kind of pure and all of the connotations that white might have for us. the other reason they did it is because they wanted to show up in black and white photographs. in these black and white photographs, people marching in the streets of greytown backgrounds, they knew that women in white would show up better in black and white photographs. they need those black and white photographs when they were made it have tones and pretty newspapers would show up even better.
so, even in the 24 century when we see these women and white, seated in congress at the seat of the union, videos tend to stand out. that is, you know, that is one of the reasons why suffragists chose white to begin with. so, in a lot of ways, a lot of the imagery that the suffragists really created throughout the 19th and into the 20th centuries, is still part of our modern political culture. i'm actually going to go back a little bit farther into the 18th century, just to start us off. set us up for the visual conversations that are really taking place during the 19th century. so, i like to start us off with villas docked. this is a political cartoon from the 1775. it's a massive tent. it's a he was a london artist. he probably read about this boycott happening in eaton ten, north carolina, in a local
newspaper. as far as we know, he had never been to the colonies, but this is the scene that he imagined after he read about this boycott. it is a group of women and eating ten, north carolina, who are signing a petition that they weren't going to purchase t. if you look closely the scene a lot of my images, as you can see from the library or congress, if you do a quick search on their website, you can zoom in on them really much more closely than you can on this video. but you can see that there's ... this is not a flattering picture. so, there is a woman holding a gavel, who has a large nose, very unflattering features. there's another woman holding a punchbowl, which we know is not filled with fruit punch, it is filled with alcohol. there is a group pouring out tea canisters and the background. all of the women of the room are, you know, ignoring the child who's under the table. these women are supposed to be caring for their child.
and the idea here is that these women are ignoring their essential duties as mothers, as caregivers, in order to participate in this petition signing. the other detail i really want you to pay attention to is the black woman who standing behind the woman with the gavel. she's holding a quill ended in quell, and she's not only supporting these women and their participation, she's also looking very eager to sign it herself. she looks interested in the process. interested in participating. and so, this image is doing at least two things that i want to really point out to us. one, it is challenging the patriarchy. challenging the gender hierarchy. it's suggesting that if women participate in politics, it will turn topsy-turvy the gender roles that columnists are experiencing in american
society. it will make women more masculine. and it will mean that women are ignoring their children. the enslaved women that we see here a, emphasizes that petition is challenging a racial hierarchy, challenging a dominance of slavery, which is a really central economic driver in the british colonies during the 18th century. the idea here is to laugh at these women, to mock them, to not take them seriously. it was also expressing anxieties about whether this rebellion that is started in the colonies may not just challenge the british government, the british empire, but may also be part of this challenge of gender hierarchies. and this kind of representation
actually doesn't change much. so i want us kind of to see the similarities of this conversation over time. so as you know, by the 18 40s, women's rights activists are petitioning on a much broader scale not only for the right to vote but also for property rights, to have better access to education, to the leaders within the church, a range of issues. by 1850, we have the very first national women's rights convention in this worchester, massachusetts. this print is completed in 1851. so, just after that. americans are witnessing throughout the country a rising women's rights movement. and yet the images are changing very little. this is about 75 years after that previous image. you see a woman in this center,
mrs. porky. she is showing us her ankle, which may not seem scandalous to us, but would have been remarkable in 1851. she has her hand fairly condescendingly placed on this man's head, who is hunched over, mending clothes and doing these menial tasks. both of them are ignoring the child, who is crying in the front of the room. his banner says no more papa and mama. in the background, we have these two women both holding their banners as well, both wearing bloomers. one banner says no more basement and kitchen. and i think she's intended to represent a servant, a working class women. and the other woman is a black woman smoking a pipe and she has a sign protesting slavery. and so we have this seen that is in the same world. it is suggesting that if women
gain rights and seek power and gain power, they will abandon their domestic duties and force men to become more women early and it is going to lead to other changes, including challenges of class hierarchies, like we see with domestic servants, as well as racial hierarchies and the system of slavery. all of this is wrapped up in this 1851 prints. and this is the moment when there are a lot of these prints. in an incredibly broad scale. we know that this is the time of illustrated newspapers being on the rise. i just want to give you a sense of the breadth of these by showing you this other one from 1851, from harper's new monthly magazine. very similar. we have a woman smoking a cigar, wearing men's clothing. such as a top hat. women wearing bloomers. and i should note that these
bloomer skirts are very short. in reality, a lot of these skirts were down to their ankles. there is a woman pulling up her bloomer pants and showing us her ankle again. this and we also have in this image going fast toward us who are actually linking arms, giving us a suggestion that these women are so reliant on each other and so interested in only promoting the interest, perhaps, of other women that they're perhaps romantically interested in other women as well. and fully abandoning men in this version of their reality. and so i want to kind of connect this to some of the civil war imagery that you've probably been talking about in other conversations. because by the time we get to this war era, the mid 19th century, the association between women's address with weakness, with frivolity, with
kind of the person you don't take seriously politically or otherwise, it becomes part of a meme related to the capture of jefferson davis after the civil war. because he is caught wearing women's clothing and this is becoming an incredibly popular image to reproduce in a variety of ways. so, for example, here are some versions of this image. if you do some quick searching, you can find many, many more examples of this. and this joke really only works if you think of men in women's clothing as women's clothing as being this kind of signifier that you are less than, then that you are weaker. that you are worth mocking. that it's laughable. right? so it's the signifier that he is no longer a powerful person when we see him in women's clothing like this.
so this is -- this is the way that, you know, even women's rights imagery, when we see them wearing bloomers, it's suggesting that they are wearing masculine clothing, and that this is the way these clothing signifier's of their power and gender roles exist during this time period. so i want to jump -- this is right around the same time period as the last image we looked at, 1869. so just after the civil war. as you will know, in the immediate aftermath of the civil war, people are considering what to do next. by 1869, americans are debating the 15th amendment. it's about to be ratified. the 15th amendment, of course, prohibits voter discrimination based on race and effectively in black men. in this moment, people are also wondering, should women get the vote as well? and so this encourages them
career i've through this lithograph, it's a jess what will happen if women win the vote. we see women in more traditional clothing. but they are wearing frivolous, outlandish versions of that clothing. they are hair is far larger than their heads. extravagant bows. it's really to emphasize that they are kind of too interested in fashion and not practical enough to be proper, you know, voters. one of the favorite details of this scene is the vote for the celebrated man tamers using sharp-tongued. i think this phrase is really explicitly saying what they think about women in politics at the time. and in fact, refers to what a lot of people say about women in politics even in the 21st century. the other detail that i want to make sure we point out is this
man carrying a baby, which is a very popular trope that is repeated over and over in these anti-women's rights images. and he sees this woman telling him that he needs to take care of this baby. and this man is absolutely appalled that he has to take care of this task. so these anti-women's rights images, as you can see, this is a century after the very first historical image that i showed you. they remain fairly consistent over time. they really do through the end of the suffrage movement in 1920. and in a lot of these images, these themes are still part of our anti feminist imagery in the 20th century as well. and so you can see why suffragists like elizabeth katie stanton worked very hard to challenge these ideas. one of the things that you can
probably already tell about these images is that they are not coordinated, right? they are not -- these editors and publishers, these artists, they are not in a group together all deciding to coordinate an attack against the women's rights movement. this is simply a more disorganized, loose affiliation where every publisher knows that the majority of their readers are against women's voting rights. so, if they publish these images and their newspaper, most readers will support them. and so, what we have, one change we have in the 18 60s, as you know, is that -- has become so popular. and suffragists have very little control over mainstream news publication, news consumption. but something they can control, they can take these photographs, they can sell them to at least their supporters and perhaps even a broader public through a studio.
and so joiner truth is really the first activist to do this very effectively and in a very coordinated way. this is one of her many photographs. she -- a lot of her photographs, she looks very similar in. so this is very thoughtfully posed as a portrait. and this also says at the bottom, i fill the shadow to support the substance. and as you know, photographs were used may made with some light during this period. she signed this shadow to support the substance, which is not only herself, because she is a professional reformer and she lives off of the money she makes as a reformer. but also her substantial reforms. so she puts money into supporting herself and also the causes that she works towards. she is an anti slavery and women's rights activists, who by the 18 60s is a very popular lecturer, very famous in
reformer circles. and she decides to sit for this portrait to prove a couple of things about yourself. one, she wants to portray herself as a very respectful, respectable, fairly refined, motherly, feminine figure. and so, we can see that all of the details and parts of the scene are part of that image. tablewe have the suggestion of domesticity, with the arrangement of flowers on the table. with the book on the table and the tablecloth as well. and the suggestion of kind of womanly activities with the knitting. she's also emphasizing that she is a very matronly, respectable woman, with her clothes. they are not overly frivolous or fashionable, they are fairly simple. and they emphasize that she is a working woman, especially because of her head wrap. in contrast, we have elizabeth
katie stanton and susan b anthony, who are far less interested or concerned with appearing domestic or motherly. in fact, the expressions on their faces are very different. they look more aggressive or defiant. they have a bit less to prove then sojourn or truth. truth is not just challenging anti-women's rights cartoons. she is also challenging stereotypes that are so popular at the time as well. so stanton and anthony see the success of distributing a portrait like sojourner truths. they see the ways in which they can challenge these dominant ideas about women's rights leaders. and they decide to do their own portrait in 1870 and they are more concerned with showing a bit about their fashion then these lacy shawls and this lacy color and it's more jewelry with them, so they are clearly
wealthy wealthier than sedona truth is. they're really emphasizing that they are leaders of a movement, you better not crossed the. they are going to be pushing forward together. this doesn't change anti-women rights cartoons too much but it does add one really significant way. that is the previous illustration that you are looking at, often emphasized generic, nameless women. once individual portraits become more familiar, the cartoonist actually specify which suffragists they are making fun of. you can see thomas west here, basically exactly copy this 1870 copy and this illustration. it is very similar to the other cartoons that we were looking at earlier. you have season be anthony wearing masks and clothing, her skirt is too short, she is
bhutan and the boots have spurs on that. and the background, you have a women's political rally. this is from 1873, women were not yet having these political protests and rallies yet. we also have a woman who was a police officer and two men who are doing domestic tasks including holding a baby at grocery shopping. so, very similar to the other images that we were looking at. you can tell immediately that it's susan b anthony. the artist was so intent on emphasizing kind of particularly taking anthony down, that the artist actually replicated the eye issue that she had. so if you look closely here, you can see that one of her eyes slightly out of focus, and this is one of the reasons why she often posed in profile, why we often think of her image a profile. the artist, perhaps, knew this
and decided to replicate that for this front page illustration for the daily graphic. suffragists still wanted to appear, like these kinds of political figures like these presidential candidates images that we are so familiar with today. i'm sure you can think of many versions of this image, of these male political leaders. and that many political institutions that you've been and. so, they decided to create one of their first major visual representation projects to the history of women's suffrage. when it was first published in 1881 and it eventually became a set of six volumes that were about 1000 pages each that were published from 1881 to 1922. so, these are two images from the very first volume. it was edited by anthony stanton and the tilted johnson gauge, they told a very peculiar story about the women 's suffragist movement. they want to emphasize, first,
that women were leaders. so, when they were creating these portraits, they really make sure that they resembled the portraits that you're looking at here. they also decided that they wanted to emphasize that they did not want to include any portraits of men. despite the fact that men were really important to the women's voting rights movement, they were important political leaders and officials and voters and played a really big significant role in for example, publication of their newspapers and leadership for ghana's asians. this book really skewed that image, and we emphasize it's been a leadership. they only included female purchase of white women in these tax. so, even though they knew sojourn or truth, worked with her on and off regularly and many others, like frances harper, they didn't include any portraits of her. they also decided to minimize the importance of the competing
organization. so, stan anthony had their own organization, and there was the american suffers just association. they received very little attention in this book. it's so, they release cue the version of the history of making the dominant history of this movement and in fact, still affects our tradition of the movement today because we think of stanton and anthony as the main leaders of the movement. and often, the woman of color, and that lucy and -- had a far more successful newspaper, all of them off to get lost in favor of this written narrative that they created. and this is just remind you that these anti-women's rights cartoons are still the most popular images in american visual culture and the late 19th century. this is a stereo graphic from 1899. very much again, suggesting that if women participate in
politics, they're going to be interested in reading newspapers and paying attention to things other than the laundry, which is what this man in the background is doing. so, by the late 19th century and early 20th century, suffragist decided to change tactics. so, they had promoted portraits of their leaders, especially in the late 19th century. but around the turn of the century, they decided they needed a more effective visual campaign. and they needed to respond directly to these political cartoons that suggested that if women win political rights, they will become manly, right? so this is by imagery like this becomes really the dominant kind of imagery produced by suffragists. this is imagery that really emphasizes that white women need the vote in order to be better mothers. then i think i really want to emphasize here is that the suffragist movement gives a lot of women, especially female professional artists,
opportunities. and that includes blanche ames, who created this image. it was published in the women's journal as well as the boston's transcript. it is called double the pair of the home, two good bills are better than one. and i want us to pay tension to that word, that phrase, two good votes. this is an emphasis on who blanche insanity other suffragists like her think of as a good voter, right? so we see this white woman with her children three children around her, it is ideal home. it has a god bless our home side, i tea kettle on the stove, steaming away. this is the kind of good voter that blanche aunts and somebody others vision. and so, people who maybe can't have one parents stayed home with their children for people who don't have as much money as this woman or people of color or an immigrant perhaps these people are not going to be included in this kind of
propaganda representation of white women need the vote. and this is, as i said, a very popular component of the suffragist campaign. this is images by rose o'neil, who is another famous professional artist of the time. she, as you might remember and be familiar with the design, she also designed cupid all. it says, give mother the vote that we need it. it was part of protecting their food, their health, their play, their schools, etc. these are all the reasons why suffragists and so many others are arguing that women need to vote. and there's also emphasis and response to those political cartoons that women who are suffragists are also fashionable and very feminine. so, this is kind of the before and after image from robinson's from 1911 showing when suffragists used to look like in popular culture, you know,
this frumpy woman with classes at her scores a little too short, with his frumpy jacket. and it ships to this idealized elite, fashionable type, with this extravagant feathered hat, who looks very similar to this representation of this ideal white female type of gibson girl from this era. and you can imagine why women of color like, mary church terrell, we're trying to be included in this imagery. women suffragists imagery which is created by these mainstream white organizations led by white women, focuses on promoting the boat for white women, in particular. none of their imagery ever sizes that they are also fighting for the right for colored women to vote. she was born slave but became one of the first women in the united states to earn both, first black woman to get both a
bachelors and masters degree. she was elected to be the first president of the national association of colored women, which was founded in 1896. this organization was different from other suffragists organizations. they supported the vote, they want the vote for women. they were also thinking more broadly about gender and race based issues. they were thinking about protecting the vote for black men, who are losing it on a broad scale in the south in the 1890s. they're thinking about anti segregation, anti-lynching, how to educate their children better. it was a much more broad movement. mary church terrell, as you can see from this image, many of those like her, and besides that she and her fellow black women's rights activists are extraordinarily respectable, refined, elegant. she was very interested in fashion. you can see this. she often has extravagant zion
herself in these images. she was a fairly wealthy woman, a fairly elite woman and washington, d.c. at the time. you can see the similarities between her and this image from one of her speeches. and this representation of an idealist, do negro women from 1904, right? it is not that dissimilar in silhouette, hairstyle, dress, from the gibson grow ideal that we were looking at just a moment ago. i want to, also, mention this image. unlike all the images i've shown you so far, this one is really unusual. so, all the anti-women's rights cartoons, you can find many others like. it this is the only one that i found in my research that emphasize that black women needed the vote in order to be good mothers, in order to
protect their families. so this is from the 19 tens. this is the south italian of death, one votes for women been to the south. unfortunately, the national association of colored women, did not have the funds are resources, or people power to create the same sort of propaganda that the white women's organizations did, despite the fact that terrell advocated for portion of the organization and budget to be spent on visual campaigning. but the end a acp created this for the crisis. this is one of the few pro women voting rights propaganda pieces that we have that emphasizes black women need this political power. this woman is holding a bath, like the federal constitution, and she's beating down segregation, jim crow laws, grandfather clauses, to protect the women in her scores.
and so, this is emphasizing that not only white women the vote, but black women do to. and for a very similar reason, which is to protect their families. so, i want to hop into photographs which is a very different genres ship from the images we've been looking at previously. it corresponds with a very different tactical shift within the movement itself, as well. this is the moment in the early 19 ... illustrates and 1907, but by the 19 tens, we have a lot of suffrage activists here walking parades, like this one. this is the 1913 parade that we looked at the beginning of our conversation with him as noah holland and her horse and 1913. this is the same parade. this is a very different world of protesting, right? it's very different from the images of mothers as we've been looking at, to. this manage emphasize that women are taking to the
streets. and they are also very conscious of taking advantage of the fact that have tones are becoming more popular in news publications. they are also, in this particular case, taking advantage of the fact that the next day is going to be woodrow wilson's inauguration. they are rare that this is going to be a lot of press in washington, d.c.. they're aware that they're going to be a lot of journalist in washington, d.c.. and i take advantage of that in this parade. they have this idealized, very costumes and spectacular representation. at the next image i will show you kind of as a better sense of why someone like mary church terrell was working so hard on her public image. i want to prepare you for this racist stereotype here. this is from pak from 1913. it is making fun of them women participating in the 1913 parade. the white women who are organizing it did not want to
have black and white women march together. so, originally they were open to it, but then a contingent of suffragist protested against it. that is what we see here. we see this white woman who is appalled that these black women want to march with her to also ask for the vote. we can see that this cartoon is doing two things. it is making fun of the suffragists who don't want them to participate, but it's also a racist stereotype of these black women who want to march in the parade, as well. it is emphasizing facial features, they don't have idealized body types, their fashions are not current. and so, we can see that this is doing both things. we can see why someone like mary church terrell all, why black women are respectable leaders, doing the work that she is. doing so, when we are thinking about these political protests,
ultimately in the 1913 parade, i b wells marches in that parade and mary church terrell is marching in the parade. she is able to get a contingent of college students to march as well. it's far greater than that cartoon suggests. but we also remember that -- marching in the parade were threatened as well. they were susceptible to violence. more susceptible to critique from their fellow marchers. mary church terrell also participated in these pickets from the beginning. they started putting these pickets together in january of 1917 which, as you may know, is the same year, the same month that the united states is entering world war i. so there is a lot of controversy over whether they
should be doing that. i would argue that we need both of these pickets and the publicity they attract, these photographs published across the united states. as you well know, they were ultimately arrested and went on hunger strikes and were force fed. and all of that garnered significant publicity. not to mention the fact that the president drove by them every day and could see them from his windows. he and other politicians were having to deal with the consequences of these protests. and yet, one of the really powerful images that the suffragists really made a compelling case for where that women were participating in the war effort, we're patriotic citizen citizens, we're motherly. and you can see this in the image, the greatest mother in
the world. the greatest mother in the world is the mother who is a citizen, willing to extend her caregiving expertise in support of the country. not just as a voter, as the suffrage propaganda emphasized, but elsewhere. i want to emphasize that although this isn't technically a suffrage poster. it is an image very much building off of the imagery of the suffrage campaigns from earlier that we discussed. in comparison to the protesters, there were a lot more suffragists who decided to enlist as nurses, who decided to become farmers or work in factories to support the war effort. and ultimately, their existence really became the reason why a lot of political officials, including woodrow wilson himself, they knew of these
women as examples for why they were supporting voting rights. they said that women were being patriotic citizens, demonstrating their support for the nation in various ways. we really acknowledging the importance of these picketers at the white house. but it was really a combination of these two kinds of popular images. controversial, which kept them in the news. in the more moderate and even conservative representation that gave more conservative politicians and officials, and moderate politicians and officials as well, kind of an argument and a case for why they were arguing for this decision. and ultimately, a lot of women did not gain the right to vote with the passage of the 19th amendment. it is reflected very much by the imagery we are looking at. the 19th amendment declares that it prohibits voter
discrimination based on gender. based on sex. and so, this basically means that any state laws that put into place grandfather clauses like literacy tests -- anything like that -- native american women don't even have citizenship rights, on the whole. they don't have much of that until the 1940s. so this most effectively and franchises and franchises white women. and you can see that -- suffrage organizations were --