Helen Kendrick Johnson – Author and Anti-Suffrage Activist | Saints, Sisters, and Sluts

Helen Kendrick Johnson at 28 (source)

Although the benefits of voting may be obvious to us today, in the 19th century, during the long campaign for women’s suffrage, there were many people, both men and women, who opposed it. One of the more prominent anti-suffragists was Helen Kendrick Johnson, an author, poet, and activist, whose book, Woman and the Republic, was considered one of the best summaries of arguments against suffrage, at least by those who were opposed. In it, she argued that women didn’t need the vote to gain equality and that their role in the “domestic sphere” was essential to maintaining the American republic.

Born in Hamilton, New York on January 4, 1844, Helen was the…

Source: Helen Kendrick Johnson – Author and Anti-Suffrage Activist | Saints, Sisters, and Sluts

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7 thoughts on “Helen Kendrick Johnson – Author and Anti-Suffrage Activist | Saints, Sisters, and Sluts

  1. To a very real and large extent she was right. The question is whether or not it was worth more to keep things as they were despite some levels of sacrifice or change things to how they are now, generating different sorts of sacrifices.

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    • Yes, having that power to cast a vote that effects so many may not be necessary if power is found somewhere else. The domestic work that even today is more likely to be considered the duty of a woman can have a great influence on life beyond that realm. In today’s world, women do double-time taking care of the domestic needs and the monetary needs of the family.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mostly, women fail at both those duties these days or, at least, perform less well at both than if they concentrate upon one. But yes, the domestic work that even today is more likely to be considered the duty of a woman can have a great influence on life beyond that realm, as does the failure to properly conduct that work. Additionally, moving to a double income “family” system has fueled the hypermaterialistic, luxury consumer culture that is causing America so much trouble, Glynis.

        Now, as I said originally, those are the new sacrifices and new problems. Whether or not they are worse for the nation as a whole than the older model must be based upon prioritizing various metric, many of which are ephemeral in nature and, hence, hard to measure.

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        • “Additionally, moving to a double income “family” system has fueled the hypermaterialistic, luxury consumer culture that is causing America so much trouble, Glynis.”

          I agree whole heartedly. I think one of the reasons I feel more ‘grounded’ than so many others is that my mother stayed at home to raise my brother and I even though I didn’t have a closet full of clothes and had to go to the free swimming pool rather than the one where a fee was enforced. Everything just ran more smoothly in the household.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I think it would be dangerous to assume that most families with a stay-at-home mother were or are as fortunate as you. I suspect there are families that work smoothly in both factions. I had a stay-at-home mother and I was not at all grounded!

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