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Monday, May 14, 2012

May 1912: Esther Pohl's "Argument for Woman Suffrage" Part I

The editors of the Salem Capital Journal asked Esther Pohl to participate in a symposium on woman suffrage published on page 6 of the May 18, 1912 edition. This month I'm posting the article in sections.

She must have been pleased with the lead:

"An Argument for Woman Suffrage:

"(By Dr. Esther C. Pohl of Portland)

"Anyone who will take the trouble to catalogue the reasons why a man should vote will have a pretty good list of reasons why a woman should vote; but above and beyond the claims which men and women have in common, there are reasons why women should vote which are associated with the divine function of motherhood to which no man can lay the slightest claim.

The bible story of creation must have been mixed in translation. Surely woman was created first and given a helpmate because of the handicap of maternity. What would an able-bodied man want a helpmate for? At any rate, God in His wisdom intrusted the female of the species with the larger part of His creative work, and ultimately Kipling saw that it was all good and said: 'Her instincts never fail': therefore we are constrained to believe that God was right. And if her instincts never fail by all means give her a vote, for the so-called logic and reason of her mate fails all too often."

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