Believe it or not, there was a time when a person couldn't vote simply because of their sex. Prior to 1920 in the U.S, that's exactly how it was. Women were once considered to be essentially too hysterical and simple-minded to make such big and serious decisions. Too Weird, right?
Thus, voting was left to men to decide the future of not only themselves, but women, too. A number of women and even some men were against this. Some of the men also thought that if women got the vote, they would abandon their children, become violent, abuse drugs and alcohol, start gambling and in general they might just start acting like men. Also, at that time, gender roles were strictly enforced. With men being the leaders and workers & women being committed to only household work.
It should be noted that this was true only for the middle and upper class families. Lower class women did work outside the home, but poverty wasn't considered ladylike, so their realities were often not considered or rather ignored in publications like the ones below.
Have a look at these interesting but sexist illustrations from Victorian period.
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Image Courtesy: messynessychic.com
At first peek, this picture looks like an illustration of a cool Victorian hangout. But let me tell you more about this image, it was commissioned in 1908 for a political magazine, Puck, predicting the liberated woman of the future.
Women here are smoking cigars, ignoring children, drinking and gambling using stock tickers.
This poster suggests that the suffrage movement stems from women not being able to find a husband. This is still an argument pursued at the feminist movement.
Even though the suffragettes were blasted for being man-hating, accusations of using overt sexuality were also pointed at them.
This was predicted to happen if women were given the rights to vote.
The most common and cheapest insult aimed at suffragettes was that they were ugly. People still do this, and it still makes them look half-witted.
This illustration truly depicts a punishing wife and a quiet husband. Quite Realistic I must say! ;-)
Force feeding of jailed suffragettes was a common punishment. It was basically meant to force the women into submission. Amusing, Right?