The Long Journey to Women’s Suffrage
Join JHU's Center for Advanced Governmental Studies, MA in Museum Studies, Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration Committee, and Hopkins at Home in celebration with a webinar about the Long Journey to Women’s Suffrage.
This coming August 18th marks the 100th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women the vote. This webinar addresses the philosophic and cultural obstacles that prolonged women’s battle to win the vote. Elizabeth Cady Stanton launched the women’s suffrage movement in 1848, inspired by the liberal ideology embodied by the Declaration of Independence, and firmly rooted the women’s rights movement in this revolutionary and revered document. However, deeply embedded assumptions about the role of women, in particular, the “cult of womanhood” posed serious obstacles to achieving the goals of women’s suffrage, delaying reform for women for another 72 years. Early in the movement, women aligned with abolitionist reformers to advance shared goals of equality. This alliance broke under Stanton’s and other suffragette leaders’ frustration when the goals of formerly enslaved people were advanced by the passage of the 14th and 15th Amendments, leaving the rights of women behind. That women resorted to racist rhetoric and allied themselves to segregationist southerners to advanced women’s interest is an ugly part of the women’s movement, but it needs to be addressed. After the passage of the 15th Amendment, the movement struggled and splintered into two main groups, the National Women’s Suffrage Association (NWSA) and The National Women’s Party (NWP). Finally, the advent of World War I created an opportunity for women to break free from the “cult of womanhood” by making valuable contributions to the war effort, taking on tasks and jobs traditionally filled by men. The women’s movement starting with high aspirations and with noble alliances. Throughout the struggle, women showed great strength and determination and endured great hardships, but like all movements, they made mistakes. What’s important to keep in mind is that the movement was informed by the Declaration of Independence, an axiom of equality that endures to this day.
Please join JHU’s Center for Advanced Governmental Studies, MA in Museum Studies, Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration Committee, and Hopkins at Home in celebration with a webinar about the Long Journey to Women’s Suffrage. At this webinar, the Program Director for the MA in Government, Dr. Dorothea Wolfson, will address the philosophic and cultural obstacles that prolonged women’s battle to win the vote.