Jan. 27th, 2015

Blog One

Jan. 27th, 2015 10:17 am
siamesa: (Default)
A satirical image from Feminist Frequency, featuring a 1915 quote from Alice Duer Miller on why men should not be allowed to vote.
Image source: Feminist Frequency (http://femfreq.tumblr.com/post/63492422138/contrary-to-popular-belief-feminists-have-always)

I found this image and quote recently on tumblr.  I have always had an interest in vintage and historical satire, and this bit of it amused both me and a number of my followers.  The reblog was my most popular post of the week.  The quote from Alice Duer Miller was used to turn various anti-suffragist ideas on their heads.  Men argued that women were too emotional to vote, and that their proper sphere of influence, the home, was incompatible with political activism- or even political participation.  Miller used stereotypes of men- snarky references to rowdy  baseball games, and significantly darker references to the Great War sweeping across Europe and the Middle East- to show the ridiculousness of these shallow views of women.

When looking at historical satire, context is important.  The war references take on a darker light in 1915 than they would have a few years earlier.  A basic knowledge of the suffragist movement at this point is also helpful- women in the United States could vote on local elections in many Western states, and one woman had even served in Congress, but there was still no equal suffrage on a national level.  I also did some research of Alice Duer Miller, and discovered that she was a well-known poet, who wrote a newspaper column entitled "Are Women People?"

Turning stereotypes on their heads is still a common tactic in satire.  One segment on the Daily Show skewered racial profiling by sending a black reporter to one of the most crime infested areas of New York- Wall Street.  If these men didn't want to be viewed as corrupt, then perhaps they should stop being white and wearing nice suits.  Otherwise, law abiding citizens were perfectly justified being on their guard around them.  

For more information on Alice Duer Miller:
http://womenshistory.about.com/library/etext/bl_awp_index.htm
http://www.aliceduermiller.com/

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