Should we really have given the women the right to vote?


First, YES, I agree 100%, no, maybe 110% since Judy approves all my columns that women have the right to vote on anything they darn well want to. I have given her the right to vote on whether my column gets published or trashed. Wait a minute. She already had the right to review my column. I’m still confused why I started submitting my columns for her review. I think I was trying to get her to laugh once in a while. That’s it. Innocent psychology.

It’s only been 100 years since that boy down in Niota, TN changed his vote to ‘yea’ from ‘nay’ that women were given the right to vote. Who knew a Tennessee hillbilly held America’s future political history in his hand? There should be a statue of this hero somewhere.

A historical listing says, “His name was Harry T. Burn, member of the Tennessee General Assembly, and was born in Niota. He is best remembered as the state legislator whose vote secured the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving U.S. women the right to vote.”

I just learned of Harry’s ‘yea’ vote and the historical event watching PBS or the Smithsonian Channel where you can learn a lot of stuff. I don’t recall this being taught in any of my history classes either in high school or college. That piece of history might have been skipped over or I was out that day.

Where’s Niota, TN? It’s between Sweetwater and Athens and was first known as “Mouse Creek.” Harry Burn was no mouse even though his mom insisted he vote, ‘yea.’

People who were against giving women the right to vote published a pamphlet, ‘National Association OPPOSED to Woman Suffrage,’ printed in 1920 in New York City stating a number of reasons that people needed to vote no on Woman Suffrage giving them the right to vote in elections.

The pamphlet stated a number of reasons to “vote no” and included:
• BECAUSE 90% of the women either do not want it, or do not care.
• BECAUSE it means competition of women with men instead of co-operation.
• BECAUSE 80% of the women eligible to vote are married and can only double or annul their husband’s votes.
• BECAUSE it can be of no benefit commensurate with the additional expense involved.
• BECAUSE in some States more voting women than voting men will place the Government under petticoat rule.
• BECAUSE it is unwise to risk the good we already have for the evil which may occur.

The pamphlet’s thoughtful author also included a number of thoughts for ‘Housewives’.
• “You do not need a ballot to clean out your sink spout.”
• “There is…no method known by which mud-stained reputation may be cleaned after bitter political campaigns.”
• “Use oatmeal on a damp cloth to clean white paint.”
• “Good cooking lessens alcohol craving quicker than a vote.”
• “Why vote for pure food laws, when your husband does that?”
• “Elbow grease drives out bugs quicker than political hot air.”
• “Clean houses and good homes, which cannot be provided by Legislation keep children healthier and happier than any number of uplift laws.”
• Control of the temper makes a happier home than control of elections.
• Common sense and common salt applications stop hemorrhage quicker than ballots.

Can you imagine reading a pamphlet today printed in New York City with that information and what would happen? Mayor Warren Wilhelm Jr., who later changed his name to Bill de Blasio, would have his hands more than full.

Women are everyday heroes in my book and the proof is in the pudding and those delicious Almond cookies Judy bakes for me once every five years.


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