April 9, 2009

Reluctant Suffragettes

60 Years

Not until 60 years after passage of the 19th Amendment did women finally turn out in equal voting proportion to their male compatriots. What took them so long?

In 1980, as many voting-age women cast ballots in that fall’s presidential election as did voting-age men, the first time in the 60 years since the passage of the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote that the sexes voted in equal proportion. What took women so long? An analysis of a 1924 study of a Chicago election may well provide some insight into the sentiments prevailing in the larger country, at least shortly after women won their franchise. While the most frequent reason for not voting was general indifference to politics or to the particular election — as it still is today — “disbelief in woman’s voting” and “objections of husband” were two other eye-catching factors in non-voting in 1920s. Read More