The newspaper coverage of the experimental jury continued to be full of ambiguity, too, with some praise for the women who served but also with sensational claims that placed the women in a negative light and hostility and jokes about such service and the status of women as citizens. This ambivalence had been part of the suffrage campaign and newspapers were now applying it to this next phase of the campaign for women's civic rights.
As we've seen, the Oregonian published the "results" of the telephone summons of a number of Portland women and as the trial approached newspapers named various women as potential jurors. The articles suggested that most women did not want to serve. Even the Oregon Journal, more supportive of the just-completed successful woman suffrage campaign in Oregon, headlined "Women Anxious to Dodge Jury Duty" even though the text of the article recognized that men were not lining up for service. "That women are as anxious to escape jury service as men is shown by the efforts of the municipal court clerk to secure a list for the women jury," the paper noted, but the headline focused on women only.
|"Women Anxious to Dodge Jury Duty," Oregon Journal, December 3, 1912, 17.
|"It's 10 to 8 That Woman Jury Convicts," Portland Evening Telegram, December 3, 1912, 1.
|"Trial by Jury," Portland Evening Telegram, December 4, 1912, 1.
Come back to find out if the floorboards of the Portland Municipal Courtroom could withstand the stress of the crowds . . . and more on the construction of the image of the woman juror for Oregonians in this "experimental" all-female jury.