thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

why should women vote?

I have been trying to keep up with all the discussion by homeschoolers around blog land regarding Sarah Palin, the upcoming election, and, believe it or not, the topic of whether or not women ought to even vote. Opinions, wise and foolish, abound.

Last night I came across this interesting perspective by Laura Ingalls Wilder of Little House fame. From one of her newspaper articles written in 1919 during the years she spent living in the Missouri Ozarks, she had this to say about women and their right and privilege to vote in national presidential elections:

“It is easy to forecast the effect of woman suffrage on politics if the home-loving, home-keeping women should refuse to use their voting privilege, for the rougher class of women will have no hesitancy in going to the polling places and casting their ballots. There must be votes enough from other women to offset these in order to keep the balance as it has been…..Women can no longer hide behind their husbands and father and brothers by saying “I don’t pay attention to politics. That is the men’s business,” nor can they safely vote as their men folks do without any other reason for so doing. We women know in our hearts, though we would not admit it, that our men are fallible. They do sometimes make mistakes and have the wrong ideas. Frankly now, is it not true? This being the case, now that the responsibility is ours, we shall be obliged to think things out for ourselves if we are honest and fair to them and ourselves. If we expect to be fit companions of the men who did their duty so bravely, fighting and working to save our country, we must do our part in upholding our ideals in time of peace. In plain words, as the other women will vote, we must do so in order to keep things properly balanced and though we may be unprepared at present, there is no reason why we should not be able to vote intelligently by the time we are called upon to exercise the privilege.”

* Just to note, this quote came from a book I am really enjoying called Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm Journalist ~ Writings from the Ozarks, edited by Stephen W. Hines. One interesting thing…Laura refers to homemaking as “a profession and an art.” Isn’t that cool?

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3 Comments»

  RichardD wrote @

What an interesting and accurate perspective on the right to vote. And I love the homemaking definition. I think looking at the surrouding historical context really helps to smooth out the many rough bumps and crevices along the election cycle path. Thanks for posting this.

  thatmom wrote @

Richard, this quote summed up many of the things I have been thinking about voting in this upcoming election. It is an honor to be able to vote and with such an honor comes much responsibility. When I think of all that women went through in order to procure the right to vote, it breaks my heart to hear some say that they will acquiesce to their husbands and only vote the way he tells them to so they don’t have to think about it.

My husband’s grandmother and her two sisters were suffragettes. (They also took axes to the bars in Belding Michigan when called upon to do so by Carrie Nation, but that is another story. Suffice it to say, my children have some pretty awesome genes, they do!) Anyway, I can remember hearing them talk about voting in much the same way that Laura Ingalls Wilder does. They saw it as a great honor and not one to take lightly. And Laura’s point about men sometimes getting it wrong is true. In fact, if we really honestly believe in the depravity of mankind, we are bound to “question authority,” to hold all things up to the light of Scripture.

As I listened to Voddie Baucham on CNN yesterday, and while I agreed with him when he said that our standard must be the Word of God rather than the mandates of culture, I kept wondering what God is doing in this election. Since He once raised Deborah up in leadership during a terrible time of darkness, could he not do it again? Could He be doing that with Sarah Palin? Do we not live in an unregenerate time, a dark time when the slaughter of unborn children must be ended? I do not think I could go on national television and pronounce what is normative and non-normative as he did. Just some random thoughts this morning…..

  Kim wrote @

Karen, I have the book, Little House in the Ozarks, which is a book of her articles…really fun! I didn’t go look for it, but I wonder if it is edited by the same person…I have had it for years. I need to read it again! Thanks for sharing this!


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