Suffrage - Postcard Propaganda in 1900



suffragette_posterIn the 21st century we think of social media (Facebook & Twitter) for sharing one’s ideas and opinions with other people. Yet this is not a new concept. Back between 1900 and 1914 there was another method that was quite popular for our great grandparents to express their feelings and attitudes toward the hot topic of those years – Women’s Suffrage.

Postcards and posters dated from around 1900 to 1914 were produced in massive amounts warning men of the dangers associated with the suffragette movement and the idea of allowing women to think for themselves. Suggestions from these postcards and posters that were shared were that if a woman was a suffragette, she would make the husband clean the house, do the laundry and do the cooking … can you imagine??

This propaganda also portrayed suffragettes as fighting with police, setting a bad example to children, and doing whatever they wanted. Of course, in reality, it was the opposite case. Women who worked for equal rights (suffragette) were mistreated, jailed and looked on poorly.  suffragette_police

Even the clothes worn by many more liberal women such as pants, known as ‘harem pants’ where the shirt length was shorter but pants under the dress and could be seen. suffragette_police-2

Such anti-suffrage posters and postcards were not just in the United States but in many other nations for years. In the USA not until the amendment passed in 1919 allowing women the right to vote did things change.

So investigate for yourself the collection of anti-suffrage images found on Google ‘images’ and auctions such as eBay and see which of your male and female ancestors may have been in favor or against the suffragettes. It can give you a better insight of some of the conflicts experienced by your ancestors. suffragette_pants

Photos: Suffragette poster; Police conflicts; Suffragettes chained and Suffragettes and harem pants. suffragette-postcard-chained

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

New Zealand and the Female Vote

Information in Voter Registration Forms

Finding Those Female Ancestors

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