Women’s suffrage poster, 1915

A primary source by Woman Suffrage Party of the City of New York

Woman Suffrage Party of the City of New York, Women in the Home broadside, ca. 1915. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)Opponents to women’s suffrage argued that voting would be detrimental to women’s character and to their families. This broadside, published around 1915 refutes those accusations. It declares that if a woman is responsible for taking care of her family, then she must have a voice in politics to protect them.

A full transcript is available.


She can clean her own rooms, BUT if the neighbors are allowed to live in filth, she cannot keep her rooms from being filled with bad air and smells, or from being infested with vermin.

She can cook her food well, BUT if dealers are permitted to sell poor food, unclean milk or stale eggs, she cannot make the food wholesome for her children.

She can care for her own plumbing and the refuse of her own home, BUT if the plumbing in the rest of the house is unsanitary, if garbage accumulates and the halls and stairs are left dirty, she cannot protect her children from the sickness and infection that these conditions bring.

She can take every care to avoid fire, BUT if the house has been badly built, if the fire-escapes are insufficient or not fire-proof, she cannot guard her children from the horrors of being maimed or killed by fire.

She can open her windows to give her children the air that we are told is so necessary, BUT if the air is laden with infection, with tuberculosis and other contagious diseases, she cannot protect her children from this danger.

She can send her children out for air and exercise, BUT if the conditions that surround them on the streets are immoral and degrading, she cannot protect them from these dangers.

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