Culture

The Threat Of President Meghan Markle Demands We Revisit Goodwin’s Anti-Suffrage Arguments

I awoke Tuesday morning to a horrifying, ghastly sight. One that depressed my soul more than I had thought possible. The cliche “it shook me to my core” cast off its crusty shell and the words became vividly alive.

It was this tweet:

Luckily, God gave us Irish coffee, and I was able to weather the mental storm. But it was a close one.

I, probably like you, too, then remembered the predictions made in the book Anti-Suffrage: Ten Good Reasons by Grace Duffield Goodwin. This book, as you recall, was the result of Goodwin expanding a column on the same subject in the New York Tribune in 1914. I thought it would be fun to go through her arguments and see how they have fared.

1. “Because the basis of government is force, its stability rests upon its physical power to enforce its laws; therefore it is inexpedient to give the vote to woman. Immunity from service in executing the law would make most women irresponsible voters.”

Nailed it. Women still ask men, usually armed men, armed agents of the government, to protect them, and to compel these men to do their (the women’s) will. Women can, as Goodwin predicted, vote to send men to war, while largely remaining safe from combat.

You will have noted the “largely” qualification. The force of Goodwin’s objection was at the time patently obvious: it is not now. The theory of Equality was only then gaining ascendancy. Equality was the bones of the suffrage movement: women should be allowed to vote because they are the Equal of men. Goodwin knew this was false, and reminded her readers of women’s natural weakness.

In the year of Our Lord 2022, we are not allowed to say women are weaker. We must proclaim they really are physically Equal to men. So strong is the equalitarian demon, that anybody who wants to declare themselves a woman, is a woman. And why not? We deduce from Equality that there is no real difference between the sexes.

2. “Because the suffrage is not a question of right or of justice, but of policy and expediency; and if there is no question of right or of justice, there is no case of woman suffrage.”

There’s two implicit premise here that are no longer known to us: that not all people—men or women—should have the right to vote, and that not all should vote. Once again, the theory of Equality has done its work, leveling all peaks to the height of the floor. Voting “rights” have consistently expanded since 1914 many times, and there are calls to expand them even farther. Some Experts now want children to vote. Voting has thus become the circus it is.

3. “Because it is the demand of a minority of women, and the majority of women protest against it.”

This was true. And if only women voted on the question, the suffragettes would have lost. Alas, men weakened by repeated poundings of Equality, their spirits enervated by constant propaganda, voted for suffrage. The responsibility for what has happened since falls on them, and them alone. Not the ladies.

4. “Because it means simply doubling the vote, and especially the undesirable and corrupt vote, of our large cities.”

Democracy leads to inflation. Not only did it double the vote, and the subsequent expansions more than double it, because increasing voting increasing strife, it led to the politics under which we all now suffer. These aren’t going away, and can’t go away. It has to get worse, and far worse, before it ever gets better. I remind you all great minds of the past warn of the excesses and horrors of Democracy.

The analogy to this argument is also economic. When women “came into the workforce”, men’s salaries declined in a relative sense, and women were eventually forced to work, just to keep up. This also gave the appearance Equality was true and, afterwards, a necessity.

5. “Because the great advance of women in the last century — moral, intellectual and economic — has been made without the vote; which goes to prove that is it not needed for their further advancement along the same lines.”

Well, what can you say but that this is true? This argument, however, sadly proves Goodwin herself was no stranger to Equality.

6. “Because women now stand outside politics, and therefore are free to appeal to any party in matters of education, charity and reform.”

Another bingo. Now, instead of working through, and strengthening and guarding their families, women work through politics.

7. “Because the ballot has not proved a cure-all for existing evils with men, and we find no reason to assume that it would be more effectual with women.”

Here it is. An excellent argument against voting in general. Voting has its place, but it should not be used with rash impetuosity and for all things. That is Democracy. Voting causes dissension and turmoil. Therefore, the higher the matter on which a vote is taken, and the more who are allowed the vote, the greater the turmoil.

I go through this argument in depth in Everything You Believe Is Wrong, in the Voting Fallacy chapter.

8. “Because the women’s suffrage movement is a backward step in the progress of civilization, in that it seeks to efface natural differentiation of function, and to produce identity, not division, of labor.”

If you can’t see this by now, your eyes are filled with Equality.

9. “Because in Colorado after a test of seventeen years the results show no gain in public or political morals over male suffrage states, and the necessary increase in the cost of election, which is already a huge burden upon the taxpayer is unjustified.”

Colorado was always on the left; it had beat other states awarding suffrage. Nothing was learned from their mistake. It’s interesting how little empirical observation matters in the face of overwhelming theory. We now see this everywhere. And likely always have, but it’s only more obvious now because out culture is steeped in scientism.

10. “Because our present duties fill up the whole measure of our time and ability and are such as none but ourselves can perform. Our appreciation of their importance requires us to protest against all efforts to infringe upon our rights by imposing upon us those obligations which cannot be separated from suffrage, but which, as we think, cannot be performed by us without the sacrifices of the highest interests of our family and our society.”

Women can drop their kids off to preschool now, and feed them formula—when it’s available—and generally leave the raising of their kids to the State. And they can leave their husbands when they “feel” it’s right.

How are families doing these days? Answer: Progress.

11. “Because it is our fathers, brothers, husbands and sons who represent us at the ballot box. Our fathers and our brothers love us; our husbands are our choice, and one with us; our sons are what WE MAKE THEM. We are content that they represent us, in the cornfield, on the battlefield and at the ballot box, and we THEM in the schoolroom, at the fireside, and at the cradle, believing our representation even at the ballot box to be thus more full and impartial than it would be were the views of the few who wish suffrage adopted, contrary to the judgement of the many.”

And there you are. Women now have to fight to regain these immense powers. Sad.

12. “We believe that political equality will deprive us of special privileges hitherto accorded by law.”

Which it did. And continues to do. Until somebody stops it.

Meanwhile, we all have President Meghan Markle to look forward to.

Buy my new book and learn to argue against the regime: Everything You Believe Is Wrong.

Subscribe or donate to support this site and its wholly independent host using credit card or PayPal click here; Or go to PayPal directly. For Zelle, use my email.

Categories: Culture

37 replies »

  1. Totally based, boss. Especially this:

    ”The responsibility for what has happened since falls on [men], and [men] alone. Not the ladies.”

  2. Notice the term “Presidential candidate”?

    Here’s how it works: Find a non-issue that splits society 50/50. Claim your platform is in favour of the other side – it doesn’t matter which side as long as it is the other as you have no intention to fix it. It simply serves your purpose. In 2022 we have the potential overturning of Roe vs Wade.

    Then bring in a gaggle of celeb “Presidential candidates”. This (and free buses to the polling station) will turn out the Oprah voters and get the one or two votes needed to cross the finish line. Doesn’t matter who these celebs are as long as they are popular. They will not be President; the are only candidates (who will be very well paid for the effort by dumb ass party donations). Ultimately the Democrat Party Committee will decide who runs.

    Also one has to be able to cheat better than the other guy. While the Republicans can cheat with the best of them, they are consistently out maneuvered by the Democrats who are far better at gutter tactics like voter intimidation, ballot manipulation and dumpster diving (in my view).

    But wait, there’s more. The House was capped at 435 representatives in 1911, at that time each representative had a constituency of about 200,000 persons. Now that number is over 700,000 (and growing). Senate is much worse; numbering only 100. Senators now have a constituencies generally exceeding millions or tens of millions. And the President? Hundreds of millions.

    So it’s like issuing more and more stock in a publicly traded company. Each shareholder’s voting power is continuing to be diluted, to the point where the Board can pretty much do whatever they want (so long as the company survives), as the shareholders no longer have any power to remove them. In essence, today one voter has about 1/5th to 1/100th the power of a voter of the of the 19th century.

    What has perplexed me about the current “Constitutional Republic” is that it has evolved to the point where the whim of just one nutcase bureaucrat (not even an elected one at that), will take the co-ordinated actions of millions of voters to overturn. Is this the way a representative democracy should work?

  3. @Ye Olde Statistician

    Why did you post that? It would have taken you less time to Google it and find out you are wrong. Are you a leftists? That a real leftist move

  4. Remember, the 18th and 19th Amendments were inextricably linked. Both Women’s Suffrage and Prohibition were hallmark demands of the original “Progressives” (before the Comintern gave them the PC belief system that made them feel superior for hating Normal-America).

    They achieved both of their goals. A one-two Progressive punch to America’s solar plexus.

    Prohibition destroyed faith in law enforcement and exacerbated corruption and contempt for unjust laws and justice throughout our culture. Gangster mentality and gangsters as heroes were the result. We still see the effects today.

    Thanks, Dr Briggs for the review of the effects of the 19th Amendment. If only another 21st Amendment were possible.

  5. I happened to just finish reading an interesting chapter titled The Need for the Equal Rights Amendment in a book. Since anther cup of coffee would ruin your night’s sleep, I won’t tell you who the author of the book is.

    Men and women stand as equals before the law.

    Goodwin’s views reflect the culture back then. The reasoning behind them are nonsense. Perhaps, Goodwin demonstrated why she should not vote.

    Dear Mr. Briggs,

    This is another post that shows you were born in the wrong era. Is this post supposed to be a joke?

    1. Thinking of the right to contraception.

    2.Why do you speak as if you don’t know the difference between women and children, just like you don’t the difference between pedophiles and LGBT people?

    The voting is only a circus when its result does not go your way.

    3. Now I know the reason that men voted for suffrage. And the position of the majority is always the right thing to do. What is the name of the fallacy? I forget. Too many things require my attention.

    4.

    I remind you all great minds of the past warn of the excesses and horrors of Democracy.

    Ah… women’s suffrage causes excesses and horrors of Democracy! Yep, I imagine it would a nightmare if your wife (wives) doesn’t vote the way you want them to. Is a great mind needed to know that excessiveness is not good? My Buddhist Grandma was brilliant.

    5. You are trying very hard to justify the nonjusticiable.

    I am going to stop here. Thanks for the laugh.

  6. @YOS: Wyoming was the first. Colorado was a close second.

    @Briggs: Hold the coffee

  7. Colorado was the first state, Wyoming was a territory. But I suppose there was really no reason for me to be such a b-word about it.

  8. Robin – great point about locking the House at 435. It should be around 10,000 if we kept the original ratio. Representatives should be close to their constituency.

    On the Senate side, we shouldn’t have changed to popularly elected. Senators were originally elected by and beholding to state legislatures. Another example of democracy ruining things.

  9. I’ve always thought that Bertrand Russell’s arguments against anti-suffragists serve as pretty good arguments for not granting suffrage to women. His strongest arguments are those where his problems are merely stating things without evidence, such as when he concedes that there is no right for any individual or class of persons to have the vote, but then says that denying women the vote would be an injustice because it grants them a “special disability” in a way that is “calculated to generate resentment.” Since he has already conceded that there is no universal right to vote, he should explain why women not being able to vote in particular is an injustice, but of course he doesn’t.

    Where things get worse is when Russell tries to describe his society and make predictions for the society of the future. Some choice quotes from Anti-Suffragist Anxieties:

    Professor Dicey shares with other Anti-Suffragists the fear of introducing some undefined quality called “feminine emotion” into politics. Experience alone can dispel such fears, and as far as experience has gone at present, wherever women are seen taking part in public life, they show a remarkable absence of any so-called “feminine emotion.”

    In response to an anti-suffragist argument that should women get the right to vote then they will demand more female politicians simply to have female politicians, and then will demand radical policies for women which do not benefit society as a whole, Russell has this to say:

    Such changes as are dreaded by Professor Dicey will happen very gradually, and whatever objections there may be to them at present will diminish as women acquire the political experience due to possession of the vote.

    Later Russell doubles down on this view:

    In the first place, it is scarcely conceivable that any law would be passed if it were strongly opposed by a large majority of men. We have to remember that, when women are first enfranchised, they will find a political system established which has been made by men, where the parties are divided according to the divisions of opinion among men, where all the candidates are men, and all the questions mainly discussed at elections will be such as have been considered important by men. The inertia of this state of things will make it impossible to change it suddenly. There will not be any sudden emergence of a large women’s party, advocating the supposed special interests of women. Most women would, at first, obtain their political knowledge through the views expressed by men. Gradually, as they acquire more political knowledge, they will no doubt become more independent. But as they become more independent, they will also become better judges of what is feasible and prudent: they will realize that legislation which is detested, beyond a certain point, by a large section of the community, is unwise legislation, and they will avoid such action as might produce a conflict between men and women.

    Russell then expands on this argument by trying a reductio ad absurdum where he says if men and women would come to conflict politically, then surely too would the rich and poor:

    Rather than plunge the nation into civil war, the poor moderate the burdens they inflict upon the rich, and the rich confine their protests to letters to the press and diminution of charitable subscriptions. So it would be if women were the majority of the voters. Both sides would have enough forbearance and enough common sense to avoid any such sharpness of opposition as could possibly shake the stability of the government.

    Later he adds:

    And in the particular application to women’s suffrage, one is tempted to wonder whether those who speak of a possible conflict ever remember that it is men and women they are speaking of. When we consider the closeness of the relations of men and women, the daily and hourly need of cooperation between them, it seems the merest fantastic nightmare to imagine men ranged in one camp and women in the other. Long before this had happened, the necessities of private life would have compelled some sort of adjustment. The man’s desire for his dinner, and the woman’s need of her husband’s support, are sufficient safeguards of the public peace in this respect.

    No one could seriously advance these arguments today. I suspect that they were absurd even in the time of Russell. What has changed is not that the suffragists arguments were proven correct. In fact the predictions of the anti-suffragists were proven correct; society simply declared that the negative consequences were actually positives.

  10. Nominating the Duchess of Sussex, with her appalling tee-vee table talk manners, as the Democrat candidate, guarantees a Republican win. If it happens, expect the Deep State to be behind it. (Warning, RINOs abound—cf. the 159 who contributed to $40billion vote for the Frankist-masonic fraud called Ukraine.)

    Nope, I’m hoping Aunt Jemima will run. At least there won’t be a food shortage.

  11. Women’s suffrage was just the beginning of the end the final blow was
    the criminalization groping…

  12. Goodwin’s views reflect the culture back then. The reasoning behind them are nonsense.

    Really? Her reasoning seems pretty sound to me. Why are you discriminating against old-timey culture, bigot?

  13. The 19th Amendment is proving to be one of the greatest disasters in the history of the world. Its repeal will be absolutely necessary for our survival, but of course totally insufficient, as those like the great counter-revolutionary Juan Donoso Cortes would understand. See the bio of him entitled, Donoso Cortes: Cassandra of the Age. The Preface alone is worth the price of the book.

  14. Rudolph, best not to rely on BR. Bertrand Russell was a degenerate philistine and a philosophical ignoramus, as shown by Dr. E. Michael Jones in his recent book, Logos Rising.

  15. “Because it is our fathers, brothers, husbands and sons who represent us at the ballot box.”

    It is arguments like this that I find most striking. They are arguments on human principles rather than arguments that consider people as interchangeable economic widgets.

    One might say that much of the faults of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have stemmed from inhuman solutions to human problems.

    By human problems I mean problems that naturally occur in the course of human life. And thus the proper response would be to act according to the natural human principles that underlie the problem, not impose bureaucratic and inhuman “solutions”.

  16. I think we have jumped the gun with who does or whom doesn’t vote.

    First we have to decide what is the best form of democracy, the representative democracy we have or power broken up into local forums that decide how people want their environment to develop or combination of both or something completely different?

    The fundamentals must be in place and flexible enough to meet future changes, to accommodate changes in human thought.

    We can only move on once we have a system the majority agree on, not this inherited system of the ruling classes of a bygone era.

  17. Thanks for bringing this up and using a woman’s POV on it. She pretty much nailed it over a century ago.

    Colorado was also at the forefront of legalizing marijuana. And we know how that will work out.

  18. I can’t imagine my wife not being able to vote. She’s rational, intelligent, mature, and aware of what’s going on in the world. Her sisters, on the other hand, are uninformed and emotional, so they vote Democrat on every issue. As unfortunate as that is, I can’t say it’s because they’re female; their husbands vote the same disastrous way. The only way to fix the problems caused by leftist politicians and policies would be to weed out the useful idiots who vote for them, using intellect and reasoning ability as the criterion, not sex. That’s impossible, and will never happen.

  19. I can’t imagine my wife not being able to vote. She’s rational, intelligent, mature, and aware of what’s going on in the world. Her sisters, on the other hand, are uninformed, emotional NPR listeners, so they vote Democrat on every issue. As unfortunate as that is, I can’t say it’s because they’re female; their husbands vote the same disastrous way. The only way to fix the problems caused by leftist politicians and policies would be to weed out the useful idiots who vote for them, using intellect and reasoning ability as the criterion, not sex. That’s impossible, and will never happen.

  20. Apart from all that nonsense above — and with due (meaning no) concern for delicate male sensibilities — does anyone think Meghan Markle could be worse than Joe Biden?

  21. Cary – Do you have two wives, or does she have two votes?

    Re Bertrand Russell – read his book, “Why I am not a Christian”. You will realise that he is not such a good philosopher as many people think.

  22. The vote in the olden days was given to the head of the household. If by reason of widowhood or similar fatalities the woman becomes that head, so be it. Real democracy depends on what we are voting for and what mandate that thing/person has. The problem lies deeper: we assume too much power in the state and then we hope to put someone of our liking there, no matter how much based we are. It would not be such a disaster if the state was just justice, diplomacy, military and regulation of the common good. Then, with very clear laws written in good language, we could agree on what the mandate is. The Covid abuses stem from this confusion. Even if it were the plague, the state should have no power to lock people up just because some experts say so. If the reasons are good enough, people will act accordingly. No one is shooting out the window at sparrows, if they can bit the neighbor. No one is drinking hemlock tea all the time. No one is coughing onto strangers in the subway. Why then criminalize on account of a bad defined situation? Why criminalize not taking measures that do not work? I mean, dancing naked upside down does not beat the plague, so if one in two died of it and they said such dance would work when it does not, would you follow? First define the powers based on morality, define the munus, if you will, then choose the way to elect or nominate people for that munus. Otherwise you will see those moronic smiles on faces such as the VP’s when they “win”, and ask: if governing is so hard and the situation is not good, why is she smiling?

  23. I forgot the catch: what (common) morality is that upon which we write our laws? Is there any left?

  24. I realize that Russell is not exactly a deep thinker when it comes to anything outside of mathematics. But he was one of the more prominent suffragist voices. More to the point, the modern histories of suffrage have not dismissed him; instead they praise him. So while his arguments are terrible, they are the arguments that the suffragists have accepted. If they want to do better than Russell, let them. Until then I will continue bringing up Russell as their representative and continue to mock him.

  25. “The vote in the olden days was given to the head of the household. If by reason of widowhood or similar fatalities the woman becomes that head, so be it.”

    That’s a sensible idea. Because it acknowledges that there are such things as households, i.e., families and that they aren’t just a legal fiction or a useful category for the purpose of tablulating statistics, but something real and fundamental that any functional society needs to recognize.

    The laws need to be built around the fundamental realities of human nature not work against them.

  26. I think point 1 still stands today. If a woman goes to battle (not just war) it is voluntary. Until women are subject to conscription and serving on the front line in equal proportion to their numbers in society, point 1 is valid.

  27. @ Cary: I can’t imagine my wife not being able to vote. . . .

    So it is basically a wash with married women (i.e., they largely vote like their husbands anyway). And we’ve all seen the stats on how unmarried women vote. So you provided persuasive reasons why women shouldn’t vote.

  28. I appreciate Rudolph’s quoting of Russell’s arguments. It’s always interesting when people dig up old things (as Briggs has done with this post). You get context that has been forgotten as time has moved on.

    The reason Russell is significance is because of his long life (98 years) and influence: he was one of the major philosophers of the early to mid twentieth century. Even though we may not be impressed by him, the fact is, lots of people were. A sign of Russell’s influence is that he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature (of all things) in 1950. Hence Russell is a representative of a certain mindset.

    I’ve read more about Russell than I have read of his work, but I get the impression that one of his major weaknesses was his self-satisfied complacency; he was disctinctly a member of the “smart set”. And considering the circumstances of his life, it’s not surprising.

    Other examples of this sort of attidue are Cecil Rhodes who said that “the Englishman has won at the lottery of life”. Russell writes in the first volume of his autobiography that the well-known socialist Beatrice Webb said that “If I ever felt inclined to be timid as I was going into a room full of people, I would say to myself ‘You’re the cleverest member of one of the cleverest families in the cleverest class of the cleverest nation in the world, why should you be frightened?’ ” Russell himself is reported to have said “I am as drunk as a lord, but then, I am one, so what does it matter?”

    Not that I approve of Russell’s attitudes, but the point is that he gives a window to what was a very influential way of thinking which is now gone and understanding it helps to understand what happened in the 19th and twentieth centuries.

    For instance, it’s popular to criticize the boomers, but if there is any group that *really* deserves credit for the disaster of modernity, it’s the generation that made up the elites of the 1890’s – 1914, the generation that led the groundwork for the first world war. I believe that WWI is where the inflection point truly lies.

  29. NLR, actual philosophers know that Bertrand Russell, like most modern “philosophers,” was actually a philistine rather than a philosopher. He was a degenerate and an anti-philosopher. Actual philosophers—starting with Socrates, the king of all philosophers—would and do dismiss BR as the complete sophist fraud he was. They see through him instantly.

  30. Jeremmiah, my comment was not intended to promote Russell.

    The purpose was basically to put together a bunch of quotes I find interesting because they give a picture of a lost era.

    I find trying to form a picture of the past and understand it worth doing. That’s it.

  31. Russel was a ponce his opinions were shaped by the last person he
    shat on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.