22 March 2013

"Militants" Life Magazine, 1913

On March 3rd, 1913, people from around the nation collected in Washington DC for the Woman Suffrage Parade. At least five thousand people joined together to "march in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded" (LOC). Many participants concluded the march successfully; many were taken to hospital because of onlookers' violent behavior:
Women were jeered, tripped, grabbed, shoved, and many heard “indecent epithets” and “barnyard conversation.” Instead of protecting the parade, the police “seemed to enjoy all the ribald jokes and laughter and part participated in them.” One policeman explained that they should stay at home where they belonged. The men in the procession heard shouts of “Henpecko” and “Where are your skirts?” As one witness explained, “There was a sort of spirit of levity connected with the crowd. They did not regard the affair very seriously.” (LOC)
The cartoon below, from Life Magazine's issue of 3/27/1913, just weeks after parade, reflects the march's onlookers' perspective (click for larger view/to read captions):

Aside: as an undergrad, I found this cartoon in an oversize sourcebook of feminism's history. If I'd have known then that one day I'd share a Xerox of this document with the world...anyways, I've been packing this around for nearly 30 years. Enjoy.

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