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Are Women People? A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times

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A Consistent Anti to Her Son ("Look at the hazards, the risks, the physical dangers that ladies would be exposed to at the polls."—Anti-suffrage speech.)

You're twenty-one to-day, Willie,

And a danger lurks at the door,

I've known about it always,

But I never spoke before;

When you were only a baby

It seemed so very remote,

But you're twenty-one to-day, Willie,

And old enough to vote.

You must not go to the polls, Willie,

Never go to the polls,

They're dark and dreadful places

Where many lose their souls;

They smirch, degrade and coarsen,

Terrible things they do

To quiet, elderly women—

What would they do to you!

If you've a boyish fancy

For any measure or man,

Tell me, and I'll tell Father,

He'll vote for it, if he can.

He casts my vote, and Louisa's,

And Sarah, and dear Aunt Clo;

Wouldn't you let him vote for you?

Father, who loves you so?

I've guarded you always, Willie,

Body and soul from harm;

I'll guard your faith and honor,

Your innocence and charm

From the polls and their evil spirits,

Politics, rum and pelf;

Do you think I'd send my only son

Where I would not go myself?

Our Idea of Nothing at All

("I am opposed to woman suffrage, but I am not opposed to woman."—Anti-suffrage speech of Mr. Webb of North Carolina.)

O women, have you heard the news

Of charity and grace?

Look, look, how joy and gratitude

Are beaming in my face!

For Mr. Webb is not opposed

To woman in her place!

O Mr. Webb, how kind you are

To let us live at all,

To let us light the kitchen range

And tidy up the hall;

To tolerate the female sex

In spite of Adam's fall.

O girls, suppose that Mr. Webb

Should alter his decree!

Suppose he were opposed to us—

Opposed to you and me.

What would be left for us to do—

Except to cease to be?

Lines to Mr. Bowdle of Ohio

("The women of this smart capital are beautiful. Their beauty is disturbing to business; their feet are beautiful, their ankles are beautiful, but here I must pause."—Mr. Bowdle's anti-suffrage speech in Congress, January 12, 1915.)

You, who despise the so-called fairer sex,

Be brave. There really isn't any reason

You should not, if you wish, oppose and vex

And scold us in, and even out of season;

But don't regard it as your bounden duty

To open with a tribute to our beauty.

Say if you like that women have no sense,

No self-control, no power of concentration;

Say that hysterics is our one defence

Our virtue but an absence of temptation;

These I can bear, but, oh, I own it rankles

To hear you maundering on about our ankles.

Tell those old stories, which have now and then

Been from the Record thoughtfully deleted,

Repeat that favorite one about the hen,

Repeat the ones that cannot be repeated;

But in the midst of such enjoyments, smother

The impulse to extol your "sainted mother."

On Not Believing All You Hear

("Women are angels, they are jewels, they are queens and princesses of our hearts."—Anti-suffrage speech of Mr. Carter of Oklahoma.)

"Angel, or jewel, or princess, or queen,

Tell me immediately, where have you been?"

"I've been to ask all my slaves so devoted

Why they against my enfranchisement voted."

"Angel and princess, that action was wrong....