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By 1907 suffragists were organizing marches, leading parades, and staging pageants, scenes, and elaborate tableaux that depicted both the societal advantages of giving women the right to vote as well as the disadvantages of denying it. When searching the music selections included in the digital collection, it is important to examine the lyrics of every piece of sheet music; while some titles and cover art initially suggest support of women's suffrage, many lyrics reveal an anti-suffrage message that ultimately mocks suffragists.Eventually, the arguments took on the softer approach that women need to vote in order to nurture and benefit society, which encouraged many more women to participate. Anti-suffrage sentiment seeps into much of the popular music of the time, with a striking amount of song lyrics that expose male anxiety about a woman's ability to vote, predicting the societal demise of the family and the consequent subjugation of men.And in 1917 when six suffragists were incarcerated after protesting in front of the White House, they organized a song service and suffrage meeting for tens of other women inmates in the prison.
Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and South Africa, in recent decades have all held elections allowing women to vote.
In spite of this recognition of the fundamental importance of women achieving the vote, attention paid to the history of its long struggle has been marginalized.
And, the reasons for the depth of its opposition ignored.
Why, for example, did it take until May, 2005, for women in Kuwait to finally achieve their full voting rights in their national elections?
In the end, most songs are concerned with the average anonymous American woman who simply wanted to vote.
Introduction: Today the world is enthralled with images of women lining up to vote for the first time, or for the first time in a long while.published a story about suffragists in Los Angeles who were holding a public rally.Police informed the women that "votes for women" speeches were prohibited at the rally; to circumvent the ordinance, the suffragists set those suffrage speeches to music and sang their message instead.Musical substance ranges from Dame Ethel Smyth's famous anthem of the movement, "The March of the Women" to amateur songs likely never performed in large public forums. Often, songs were dedicated to women prominent in the movement, on both the national and local level.Music included in the digital collection served vastly different purposes: there are suffrage hymns and martial pieces that were intended for performance at suffrage meetings and public demonstrations; parlor songs published to support specific suffrage or anti-suffrage leagues and organizations; sheet music published by song sharks; and commercial sheet music drawing upon the topical theme for marketing purposes. Many well-known activists such as Emmeline Pankhurst and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn were mentioned in some of the lyrics, and many songs were written in honor of, inspired by, or dedicated to a woman prominent in the movement.provides researchers with a study of the suffrage movement, its counter movement, and its impact on society and popular culture through the lens of music. The decades-long suffrage campaign, which included conferences and other organizational meetings on the local and national level, made use of banners, signs, and slogans, and even specific colors associated with the movement.The digital collection includes mostly published sheet music and texts, and also showcases self-published works and a handful of manuscripts. At these meetings, songs and music united and inspired women to persist until they were successful.Though these movements differed in their reasons and tactics, the fight for female suffrage, along with other womens rights concerns, cut across many national boundaries.By exploring the following topics, this essay attempts to help rectify the narrow and unexamined view of female suffrage.Worldwide Alliances and Influences: By the turn of the twentieth century womens reform was truly an international movement, one in which ideas and tactics used in one country served as models for use in another.Ellen Dubois, Woman Suffrage: The View from the Pacific, Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 4, Marlene Le Gates, Making Waves: A History of Feminism in Western Society, Copp Clark, Ltd., 1996.