"Scores Men for Denying Women Right of Ballot," Oregon Journal, September 27, 1912, 3.
Scores Men For Denying Women Right Of Ballot
America Behind Other Countries in Its Treatment of Women, Declares Dr. C. F. Aked in Stirring Address.
The British sense of humor, which is the butt of many American “joke,” is responsible for the fact that the women in England are so much nearer political emancipation than the women of the United States, according to the idea advanced by Dr. Charles F. Aked of San Francisco in his dinner speech at the Multnomah hotel last night.
“The stupidity of the circumstance which gives votes of men of whatever class, and denies the right of franchise to women, has grown so intolerable,” said Dr. Aked, “that even the English people have seen the folly of the situation, and the result is that in England it is considered that the fight for woman suffrage is practically won.
“Yet you Americans, except in six states of the union, tolerate a situation where you allow your women to enter the business and professional ranks, and yet place her below the Chinamen, Greeks and negroes in the matter of political suffrage. The American women are known to the old world man as the consummate flower of evolution, and yet you American men, when it comes to the matter of franchise, place your women in the same category as children, criminals and imbeciles.
Other Countries Advancing.
“Women of the United States are practically a negligible quantity in the affairs of city, state and country, while the women of other countries less favored are advancing to positions of political equality. Because the American is apparently content to sit idly by in this matter is no sign that the older nations will not advance and forge ahead to political emancipation. The right of suffrage has been granted the women of the isle of Man, of China, Russia, New Zealand, Finland and Norway, and yet in 40 of the American states, woman is still a negligible quantity in questions of state.
“The work of the suffragists in Oregon is an affirmation of the fact that your women here are not content that this should be the case. I am hopeful that every man will feel a personal reproach at seeing the women of other countries forge ahead of the women of his own country, and that even man will take pride in giving the franchise to women, and by so doing place them on the same platform of dignity and honor as the women of older nations, and that state in which the cause has been won.
Women Better Educated Than Men.
“One of the arguments advanced by the opponents of woman’s suffrage is that only a minority of the women want the franchise. We are unprepared to say whether this is the truth or not, as a vote on the question has never been taken. But even admitting that this is the case, it is not known that ever way a disenfranchised class given the right of franchise, just because a majority of those affected ones desired it. Never was there a class so fit for enfranchisement as the women of America Statistics show, and we know anyway, that there is less criminality among women, that there is less drunkenness, less dishonesty among them, and that they are as a class better educated than men. More girls than boys are graduating from our high schools all the time.
“It is argued that the home is woman’s proper sphere. Even so, it is frivolous, society-loving women that will eventually be the destroyers of the home, and not the thinking and working women. The right of the franchise will make women better companions, better comrades, and better workers for their husbands and their homes.
“Nothing has promised so much for the benefit of the human rance since the coming of Jesus Christ as the enfranchisement of women. It means a better nation of people to come, a reduced humanity upon a renovated earth.”
Queen Victoria Praised.
Dr. Aked told interestingly of the work of Queen Victoria of England, in raising her nation from the depths of degradation to the heights of supremacy, as an example of the political ability of women, and said that England has never had such a ruler before since the time of Queen Elizabeth. The average woman is equal to the average man, said Dr. Aked and the picked woman is equal to the picked man.
The dinner last night was attended by some 250 men and women, and was given under the auspices of the Progressive Business Men’s Club, Ad club, Commercial club, Realty Board and Transportation club, the woman’s suffrage organizations of the city cooperating.
Eugene F. Brooking president of the Progressive Business Men’s club, introduced Richard R. Perkins as the chairman of the evening. Mrs. A. L. Stephens gave a declamation and the Progressive Business Men’s club quartet song several parodies.
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