The dreaded Petticoat Rule

A hundred-year-old flyer arguing that women ought not to vote:

Anti-Woman Suffrage Pamphlet

Article 3 of the original Oklahoma constitution defined electors as “male citizens over twenty-one years of age,” which would seem to suggest that we wouldn’t need an anti-suffrage association. Just the same, we got one:

After World War I suffragists accelerated their demand for the right to vote as a more receptive attitude toward women’s suffrage grew nationwide and in Oklahoma. The formation of additional antisuffrage state associations became necessary, and in 1918 the NAOWS sent Sarah C. White to Oklahoma to speak against suffrage and establish an organization. Oklahoma Anti-Suffrage Association officers included Sallie Sturgeon of Oklahoma City, president, Alice Robertson of Muskogee, vice president, and Maybelle Stuard of Oklahoma City, press chair and speaker. Meldia Constantin served as treasurer, and her husband’s business, the Constantin Refining Company in Tulsa, provided the association with unlimited funds. Other committee members included Laura Greer of Tulsa, Ruth Fluarty of Pawnee, and Jessie E. Moore of Oklahoma City.

The group, however, didn’t last long:

On November 5, 1918, the passage of State Question 97 franchising Oklahoma women brought defeat to the Oklahoma Anti-Suffrage Association, and the final death blow came when Oklahoma ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on February 28, 1920.

(Photo Found in Mom’s Basement.)







2 comments

  1. McGehee »

    15 December 2012 · 2:08 pm

    If only someone from back then had invented a time machine to investigate whether women suffrage were really a good idea. Obviously their conclusion would depend on their prior opinion, but still…

  2. Charles Pergiel »

    15 December 2012 · 6:51 pm

    “Votes of Women can accomplish no more than votes of Men. Why waste time, energy and money, without result?”

    I think that’s a pretty fair summation of the whole mess.

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