The Unexpurgated Case Against Woman Suffrage
In the early twentieth century, Britain was experiencing a potentially revolutionary social and cultural change. The Woman Suffrage Movement was fighting to procure the vote for women. In the same period, in response to the concept of women voting, Almroth Edward Wright, an English physician, wrote “ The Unexpurgated Case Against Woman Suffrage”. In Wright’s book, he refutes the Woman Suffrage Movement’s right-to-vote claim by arguing that woman suffrage would be pernicious to the state due to a woman’s inability to represent the physical force and prestige of the nation, a woman’s intellectual defects, and defective moral equipment. Furthermore, he illustrates that women’s rights activists may actually be hindering women with their demands that would ultimately result in women being placed in a far more disadvantageous position than they were before getting the vote. Wright begins by saying “ The primordial argument against giving woman the vote is that that vote would not represent physical force”. Wright argues that the vote is a symbol of civility, law and order, and imbued with the spirit of a nation to ward off enemies both foreign and domestic. The introduction of a political co-partnership would likely lead to a degeneration of the British Empire into a weak and sickly shadow of its former self. The British Empire would likely exhibit the same symptoms of the latter stages of the Western Roman Empire that competitors would piecemeal steadily over time. The result would be that leadership to uphold law and control over British subjects and colonies would crumple leaving the door wide open for any other Imperial power to snatch the defenseless British holdings. As such, entrance of women voters would bring an end to the old and familiar Victorian England and usher forth a culturally different England that Wright considers a “social disaster.” It seems Wright believes that Britain would sustain a detrimental...
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