Today, August 26th, is a really big day in U.S. history. Yes, it’s Macaulay Culkin’s birthday, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Today, 89 years ago, the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution went into effect, giving women the right to vote. Today has officially been dubbed Equality Day and lots of ladies around the country are celebrating.
So many years later, it’s hard to remember that letting women vote was ever controversial at all. I mean, the world hasn’t spun off its axis and, surprisingly, even though we’re 51 percent of the U.S. population, we still tend to elect men. But at the time, this was crazy scary to lots of people. I wanted to share a little quote I found in a Literary Digest, which was essentially the Time magazine of its day (yes, I’m the kind of dork who loves reading through these things), from an article called “The Awful Dangers of Woman Suffrage” which argued that if dudes let women vote, they could kiss alcohol goodbye.
“Most women don’t take beer or whisky [sic], but they munch endless chocolates, on which they spend, next to their dress, most of their new money. They see quickly enough that if their ‘old man’ is not allowed to buy beer or whisky [sic] or champagne, there is so much more over for them to spend…Men will resort to the weapons with which nature has furnished them, and the argument of the black eye, while it may disfigure temporarily the daughters of Eve, will be the only means of recovering the lost Rights of Man.”