Many women were opposed to universal suffrage. The Anti-Suffrage Association of Oregon was made up largely of society’s wealthy women, known as “antis”.
They rarely spoke out in organized events, but rather held teas, fundraising balls, and luncheons in order to push their agenda.
Anti-Suffragists adopted several arguments against suffrage. Many believed women would be sullied by the dirty world of politics. They argued woman’s sphere within the home would be jeopardized by the vote, and that women would be forced to neglect their family duties. Many claimed that most women did not want to vote, that wives would only duplicate their husband’s vote and that having the vote would do nothing to improve women’s lives.
Meanwhile, prominent businessmen opposed universal suffrage because they believed women would support prohibition of alcohol and tougher labor laws.
Political cartoons both for and against woman’s suffrage frequently appeared in popular newspapers and magazines.
In 1912, pro-suffrage activities took place all over Oregon, as suffragists tried to generate interest and support for their cause.
© 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting.