The American woman in fact and fiction; Episode 13 of 13
The following program is produced and recorded in the studios of KPFA Berkeley California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. We present the American woman in fact and fiction from Colonial Times to the present day. A series of 13 programs written and directed by Virginia Maynard and produced by Virginia Maynard and Charles Levy part 13. The Suffrage victory. Down to Madison. Your life I'm talking about right. Now. It's just as plain as my old hat. Thank you and you want to vote they all get no help from me. Not from joy. Not looking back today it's somewhat difficult to understand the violence of the opposition to woman suffrage conservative opinion in the country was of course almost universally opposed to the idea of women voting. The
church was divided in its position while some denominations and individual clergymen were among the most zealous advocates of the movement. Others took the stand that women's political emancipation would mean the beginning of the end of a social morality which constituted the moral strength of the nation. The enfranchisement of women it was feared would result in the dissolution of the home and family and the destruction of the institution of marriage. The most pessimistic of the prophets predicted that the very act of women's going to the polls and mingling with a rough crowd on other action day would plunge the country into moral chaos. Professional politicians and certain powerful big business interests would just as violently opposed to vote for women for very different reasons. Political leaders felt that they knew how to manipulate men for party purposes but manipulating women was an unknown quantity which they wished to avoid as long as possible. The organized liquor industries with their fear of women's influence on the prohibition issue spent countless
thousands of dollars lobbying against women's suffrage which they felt threatened their very existence. After these elements the fact that most men of the country were understandably reluctant to forego their traditional position of sex superiority which was in a sense symbolized by their power to vote and the fact that many women were quite as unwilling to give up the protected position in which men's chivalry had placed them. And perhaps we can understand why the battle for woman suffrage was inevitably a long and stormy one. After the disheartening failure to obtain the franchise by a federal amendment at the close of the Civil War when the negro was admitted to the vote the suffragist changed their tactics and began to concentrate their main strength on a policy of winning the suffrage state by state by the turn of the 20th century. The National Women's Suffrage Association was a powerful organization with headquarters in New York and an efficiently functioning machine in almost EVERY STATE OF THE UNION. Four states in the Far West had already granted women full suffrage as a result of the
association's work and by 1914 almost all the states west of the Mississippi had joined the ranks of the suffrage States and the association was turning its forces to the conquest of the traditionally more conservative East. Simpler loise in the novel and Vickers published in one thousand thirty two has left an amusing account of one of the state's suffrage campaigns during this period. In the following incident from this work one doctor Melvina Wormser of New York purportedly chief surgeon of a Manhattan hospital for women president of abetter obstetrical league author of the Mensa patient and sex Doctor of Science of Yale investor and an officer in all known birth control organizations is interviewed by the press in advance of her scheduled speech at a suffrage rally in a city called Claiborne Ohio. The professional suffrages says Lewis had been cautioned about talking to the press since the reporters or at least their editors were always on the
alert for something scandalous from Suffrage headquarters. Some hint that it was a free love colony or what was nearly as good says Lou as a frenzied zoo of men haters anarchists atheists Spiritualists or anything else eccentric or discreditable. The workers for the cause might attack the water or gas departments the city orphanages. President Wilson or even the allies in the Great War. But they must do so only as Christian gentlewomen and solid taxpayers. They must convince others that the vote would not lead to moral laxity but would immediately end prostitution gambling and the drinking of beer. But Dr Melvina Wormser of New York as guest speaker was outside headquarters discipline and a law unto herself. Here the young suffrage workers in and vicars stand by in shock silence as Dr. Wormser delivers her opinions to the delighted reporters.
Going down to words or do you believe in free love. Do I believe in free love. What do you mean by that young lady. How could love be anything but free. If you mean do I believe that any all sin take not just a momentary need superior to any child a ceremony performed by some preacher. Who told you what I think about your birth control but do you think women are brighter than men don't you think there's any field women. Should not man Woah one at a time please. Let's see do I believe that women are brighter than men some thought it was a question not bright or just lift me a little cold outside to get me to writing man. Before long no made but I adore I'm the darlings. What do you suppose men doctors would ever do without their women nurses and secretaries I know I was a nurse myself before I became a doc and now my chief satisfaction in life is that I don't have
to stand up with us when enters a room to make costumes like this. Just what a man would institute of poor lambs we have to take care of them and their little egos. That's why we need to vote for them. Think there'll ever be a woman president. How do I know young man. But let me point out that women rulers Queen Elizabeth that lovely Catherine of Russia the last Chinese emperor has no reason to reserve Austria Queen eyin am. Victoria were better rulers than an equal number of kings all presidents protect women suffrage will be the law of the mind. You know boys and girls might as well know that I don't believe in hedging and pussyfooting this is going to be a long struggle not just getting the vote. That's a matter of a couple of years then we've got to go on birth control separate apartments for married couples if they happen to like them. What women need is not merely the vote but something while we're up here in the head they need just
exterior opportunity but something interior with which to grab the opportunity when we get it and use it. Freedom's no good to pussy cat only to a Tigris and women have got to stick together. Men always have had the sense to grab them. Sex loyalty we ought to live for one another and sneak off and have a good drink together like the man holding your water right. Do you think there's any. You know that should be closed to women I believe that there is no field of men control no that women can't enter completely medicine law all politics physics aviation Explorer NEARY sold during civil rights writing writing sweet little wrong a lot of lonely I hope women will be too sensible for either the prizefighting or the wrongs which are both forms of male escapism and singularly alike if you look at them.
Oh I don't expect women to imitate or try to displace men in any of these fields. I am not one of the guilds who believe that the sole difference between males and females is in conception. Women have special qualities which like human races fail to use for civilization. I know a woman can be as good an architect as any man but she may be a different sort of architect. I bring something to medicine that no man can no matter how good he is. Well well how about the army. Well if you think woman can go to war remember what the 2000 tribes marching with their women a long did to the beautiful virile professional men soldiers of Rome. The feeling headed masculine world forgot that lesson fall 15 a hundred years and never discovered it. Florence Nightingale happened in and bully the masculine British War Office into some of the common sins that any normal girl would have at seven. Do you want to write a movie. No I don't want to rival men.
But I don't want to be kept by the traditional feminine subjection from the privilege of working 18 hours a day. I'm not much of a Democrat. Believe in fairy years all to be subjected to if they are imperious but if a girl secretary is smarter than her male balls let him be secretary. Listen that was in 1945. Maybe you'll have to go to England. That's where they invented this inferior woman myth so men could have their clubs. Maybe you'll have to go to England to find anybody so benighted that he'll even know what you're talking about when you speak of considering candidates for a job as male and female or on any of a basis except their ability. Why 1945 downwards here I speak of 1945 because I have a hunch that after we get the vote will be left off. Feminists will find that work is. God that jobs are in secure that we must go much deeper than Woman Suffrage. Maybe to socialism. Anyway to something that fundamentally represents both men
AMD women not just women old a lot of suffragists that pretend I hate a man far from the dear brute so nice to have around Laos but then will come back not in a shambles of man or his noisy professional females but for the first time since Queen Elizabeth as human beings you ought to be able to get sufficient out of what I've said to make trouble enough for me to satisfy even a suffrage speaker today our bankers are clamoring about that very right and you're all right. This goes on Sinclair Lewis in Ann Vickers is what the newspaper is made of Dr. worm's There's interview with the next morning. Love is nothing but temporary. It is caused by moonlight. But even so it is more important than lasting marriage because marriages are performed by ministers who are all childish free love that is taking any sweetheart any time you choose
is not only permissible but necessary for any free woman. Men are much meaner than women. Men doctors boss their nurses around and treat them simply terrible. The next president of the United States will be a woman and she will be lots better than any mom. Marie Louise of Russia was the greatest king who ever lived. As soon as we get to vote then we're going on and advocate birth control. Socialism and atheism all married couples will live in separate apartments and women will imitate meme and sneak off and get drunk together. Women must lie about one another's whereabouts to fool them and women will make better soldiers prizefighters engineers and poets than men and men are fit only to be the secretaries and servants of women I know that. Talking frankly like this will get me into trouble but oh well
suffrage speakers love public city and I guess I would get plenty on this Dr. worm's interview had the effect of selling out the house for the suffrage meeting that evening with hundreds more trying to get in when the crowd was snarling. Losers are crazy thats what they are I want to have a woman dark for a sick cat. I'd like to show you something for you all right. You're right. But there were enough sympathizers with the movement to keep down violence backstage before the meeting. The suffragists were nervous and apprehensive. Hold those papers. Will some of you explain to me why every single reporter an editor on a paper can be a liberal or perhaps a read and the paper itself as conservative as the measles. Oh don't worry Dr Wormser. I have my Dudley and my two large brothers out there. They've stopped at the club for a drink and by this time they'll be equal to handling at least 300 Boley every twenty
seven to get started doctor and get it over. Listen you girls Eleanor Pat Nan. And then if the doctor starts talking you will skip to the back of the house and if anything starts. See what you can do. Will you write Mr Gattis we certainly will come on girls let's go let's go out there and play some doctor. Oh you're gay that they don't bother me in the least I mused that this girl doctor Wormser never say die. That. Convention was the ball and chain of the lady. Ladies and gentlemen. I'm afraid that in the unavoidable haste of getting out the news papers our friends and reporters considerably exaggerated the radicalism of this big evening. I'll let her speak for herself. I present. Dr. Melvin I know a.
Nice. LADY. I grew with you. I knew myself through reading the papers this evening. I would. Disapprove of myself. Yes I would tell them why I never get out of this and go back to the city of New that we now that you know that I want some. Now right oh I never am man I love getting out. And in the meantime in the back of the hall the three girls conferred.
What are we going to do what he thought one drunk would keep quiet she could speak. He's going to ruin everything. Let's get one of those policemen to throw him out to an idea. Hey officer you've got to throw that man out to start a riot Oh yeah I do and not the lady you shocked. No sir I'll get him myself and come on Eleanor they're out. You'll get out of here you drown. Yes there were hurt. Who do you think you're tired. Don't you talk to her like that don't you dare. I'll fix you see yeah I am that brazen the rising yet I don't wait for no man around. You're making a disturbance. Here officer take him out he's got a right to Tong you want to be ashamed of yourselves call yourselves up. Bunch of hellions like you have the wrong her officer get to swap skirts away from where
you get back to your safe place. You're making all a fuss not the sky. Your place is already a and will take care of their own pleasure. Sour grapes may be coming. Let's spank a whole bunch of them and then start on the lady doctor. Just a minute don't start anything. I came to hear a speech and if this gentleman is going to interfere I suggest he be removed and if the officers refused to do it for them who will help me put him out. Which one you want already. Thank you Officer I'm glad to see you're helping. You know that fellow right there. And Dr. Wormser resumed her address a fictitious episode from Sinclair Lewis is novel and vicars in
1017 the American Woman's Suffrage Association won a victory which made universal suffrage for women almost inevitable. The state of New York yielded to 69 years of persistent agitation and granted the franchise to women during the last few years of the campaign. Two hundred thousand women worked tirelessly for their cause like a well-trained army organizing in every county and borrow one precinct in New York on the model of a political machine frankly patterned after the Tammany organization in 1910 when the state legislature refused to act on the suffrage petition. The workers of Greater New York organized a protest parade in which thousands of women marched up Fifth Avenue a demonstration which they repeated every year afterward until suffrage was won. On one occasion in New York the women joined in the night torchlight parade in which a seemingly endless stream of women each carrying a lighted lantern marched up Fifth Avenue in a procession which went on for hours. One parade toward the end
of the campaign lasted all day long. Two factors States ainus Haynes Irwin angels and Amazons the size of the unceasing efforts of the organization workers contributed to the final victory. One was that the organized liquor industries were by this time occupied in fighting the Prohibition amendment and could give only secondary attention to the campaign against women suffrage and the second factor was that so many New York women had become enthusiastic supporters of the suffrage movement. The Tammany Hall refused to make a stand against it. In 1917 the New York victory was won and the largest state in the union a degraded women full suffrage even before this notable triumph however much headway had been made toward obtaining suffrage for women on a national scale. In 1013 a new element had entered the struggle. A group of young militant intellectuals led by Alice Paul from Swarthmore in Pennsylvania from which she held a Ph.D. and Lucy Burns from Vassar
Berlin and Bonn at organized a National Woman's party and were striking boldly for a woman's suffrage amendment to the United States Constitution. The day before Woodrow Wilson's inauguration as president these women with the approval of Jane Adams of the National Association had organized a demonstration of 8000 women in Washington D.C. as the procession moved down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House. It ran into unexpected difficulties. Washington was crowded with people who had come from all over the country to witness the inauguration and violence broke out. Women were spat upon tripped slapped in the face pelted with burning cigar stubs and insulted by jeers and obscene language. The Secretary of War finally called in troops from Fort Myers to settle the rioting. But afterwards the suffragists forced a congressional inquiry on the neglect of the police which resulted in the chief of police losing his job. The suffrage cause received unprecedented
public that he. And the radical faction continued the campaign with tactics which grew more and more militant. They held meetings and demonstrations. They exerted pressure on the president and on Congress. They sent delegations cause thousands of letters and telegrams to flood the Capitol. They worked on political leaders in 1914. They initiated their policy of holding the political party in power responsible for the fact that woman suffrage was not yet the law of the land and they campaigned actively against the Democratic candidates in the nine states in which women could already vote according to Alice Paul's testimony. They campaigned that year against 43 men who were running for Congress on the Democratic ticket and only 19 of those campaigned against were returned by other states to Washington. The Democratic Party was forced to acknowledge the power of the women in 1916 President Wilson recognized the principle of woman suffrage in his party platform
but he did not yet commit himself to the national amendment. Later that year he addressed the convention of the National Association advising patients. Knowing that the president could compel passage of the amendment if he would. Alice Paul concentrated on winning Wilson's support to keep the matter constantly in his mind. She set the famous suffrage pickets before the White House which for a year and a half made front page news in America. Mr. President what will you do for woman suffrage. How long must women wait for liberty their banners read on inauguration day of back year of thousand pickets and circled the White House four times even after the declaration of war with Germany the picketing continued. The women knew from their experience of the civil war that they could not afford to stop you know with their final goal almost in sight. But suddenly in June 1989 on whose orders no one
no was. The police began to arrest the pickets. Scores of women were arrested including both Lucy Burns and Alice Paul. They were subjected to all manner of atrocities and prosecutions which culminated in the following episode which the National Woman's party refers to as the night of terror. The party historian tells the story of us. On November 14 1917 a group of pickets was arrested and taken to the Auckland workhouse in Virginia. They protested against being sent there and refused to register demanding that they be considered political prisoners. The officers tried to force them to register. I mean come on girls over here now over here if the gas we demand to see superintendent Whittaker printed what occurrence away you had better all line up and get registered. But I'm sure there's some mistake about I being sent here. What political prisoners not common criminals.
Nobody got dropped in this room I think up to barrow my family are not going to shift here all night. You look at right over there and register your god now. Leave me alone you stop watching. Come now ladies you can't wait here all night. You there. Come over here and register. I want to ask you a few questions you're taller no. We won't answer any questions until we sing Mr. Whitaker you know better and sure it'll be the worse for you. You're made me get to move on when I was here superintendent Whittaker now all right what's all this what's going on here. What's all the trouble of ours we demand to be treated as political prisoners to go prisoners your Euro shot off men here who are political prisoners you hear. Her talk on the run. Come on. You're treated us well let me go present her. In that line. You gotta go get it through our door. Don't call me you have to let go of.
That. Over 70. Are you. Gary Sheffield you're my mother right. Don't put you through it. How. Dare you get in there from that. Do you. Hear. What. Mrs. J.W. Brannon who was one of those arrested says of the attack. It's perfectly unexpected ferocity stunned us. I saw two men seize Mrs. Lawrence Louis lift her from her feet and catapult her through the doorway I saw three men take Lucy Burns twisting her arms behind her and then two other men grasped her shoulders. There were six to ten guards in the room and many others collected on the porch 40 to 50 and all these all rushed in with Whittaker when he first entered the guards brought from the male prison fell upon us.
Miss Lincoln a slight young girl was thrown to the floor. Mrs Nolan a delicate old lady of seventy three was mastered by two men. The furniture was overturned and the room was a scene of havoc. Whittaker in the center of the room directed the whole attack inciting the guards to every brutality. The women were dragged out of the office down the steps and across the road and feel to the administration building. They were thrown into the cells with such violence that several of them were seriously injured and Mrs Lewis whose head struck an iron bedstead was unconscious for some time. As always when arrested Lucy Burns took charge of the situation. Now from her cell she began calling the roll. And this is brand new. And this is. How you.
Do you. Thank you Mrs. Nolan. And this is cause. You know Lady in there of you open your mouth again I'll put you in a strait jacket. Mrs. by the way. Let me know you let us stop that I'm not going to lie. Find Out of parole here and all still malware like yes we know how to fix you. You'll goddamn bring me those cops. Don't just like those. Older hands. Well you know. I love my lady. Now then we'll fight them up to the top of the door on her wear them with like a fine lady but I've got a place for you know I just. I don't buy there anymore noise audio all bring a bottle of Gatorade. The country resented the persecution of the pickets. And a month later they were all suddenly released. In another month President Wilson declared himself in favor of the federal amendment and two days later it was passed by the
house. By June of 1919 the 19th Amendment had passed both houses of the sixty fifth Congress and was ready for ratification by the states. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. The American women voted in the presidential election of 1920. That was part 13 of the American woman in fact and fiction a series of 13 programs written and directed by Virginia Maynard. The cast included Charles Levy Margaret Doyle William Matheson Edwin Smith Russell and Angela go to be your lamb Cortright. Evelyn and Virginia Maynard engineering was by David out Alcott the American woman in fact and fiction was produced and recorded in the studios of KPFA Berkeley California under a grant from the Educational Television Radio Center and is being distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the Radio Network.
- Episode Number
- Episode 13 of 13
- Producing Organization
- KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- Series Description
- This series, written and directed by Virginia Maynard, dramatizes various stories of women from colonial times to the Twentieth century.
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Director: Maynard, Virginia
Producing Organization: KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
Writer: Maynard, Virginia
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 59-19-13 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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- APA: The American woman in fact and fiction; Episode 13 of 13. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-736m484v