The Women Who Brought You the Vote

As a women’s historian, what I am about to say might get me kicked out of the profession: NAWSA is the most important women’s suffrage association in American history, but my God, is it a boring topic.

National leaders, state chapters, committees, subcommittees, fliers, the occasional parade, and speech after speech all pretty much saying the same thing: “Give women the vote, damn it!” Except, they didn’t say “damn it,” and that’s part of what makes the NAWSA story a snooze. The other part is that winning the vote took decades of relentless organizational labor – hours of meetings, writing articles, lobbying congressmen, traveling from state to state, putting up with harassment from an angry opposition.

Men did not wake up one day in 1920 and say, “Ya know what just occurred to me? My wife should have the right to vote!” No. Women fought hard for that right – two million women who were all members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

Without NAWSA women in this country would not have the right to vote. Period.

Remember that on November 8.

nawsa

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