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RIDAY, November^, 1910
EQUAL SUFFRAGE BENEFITS THE FAMILY
No utterance from the woman suffrage states for
years past has attracted so much attention or been so
widely quoted as a recennt remark of Governor Bry
ant B. Brooks of Wyoming about the good influence
of equal suffrage on the family. Written in a popular
magazine, Gqv. Brooks expresses himself as follows:
"In the first place, let me say that nothing can be
so far from the truth as that woman suffrage has the
slightest tendency to disrupt the home. Indeed, it
has the very opposite effect. As a result of it, poli
tics is talked freely in the family circle, and political
questions are settled by intelligent discussion.
This has a great and good influence on the growing
generation. The children grow up in an atmosphere
that encourages intelligent consideration and debate of
public problems, and are thus better equipped to deal
with public questions when they reach voting age."
Other prominent men in the states where women
vote have noticed the same fact. Hon. W. E. Mullen,
Attorney General of Wyoming, wrote to A. C. Thom
as of Jefferson, Oregon:
"I have your letter asking whethea equal suffrage
has been a success in Wyoming. I must confess that
when I first settled in Wyoming I was greatly preju
diced against it. I have observed the practical results,
and have changed my mind. lam now convinced
that woman suffrage is a rational principle and a bene
fit to the state.
It stimulates interest ami study, on the part of
women, in public affairs. Questions of public inter
est are discussed in the home; more papers and maga
zines are read, and the interest of the state and the
home are promoted. As the mother, sister or teacher
of young boys, the influence of woman over the minds
of the youth of the land, in the creation of wholesome
ideals of citizenship, is very great. The more she
knows about the obligations of citizenship, the more
she is able to teach the boys."
Hon. Hugh H. Lusk, a farmer member of the New
Zealand Parliament, says:
"The family is the foundation of the state. We
find that equal suffrage is the greatest family bond
and tie, the greatest streng*hener of family life. It
seemed odd at first to find half the benches at a pol'ti
cal meeting occupied by ladies; but when the men have
got accustomed to it, they do not like the other thing.
When they found that they could take their wives
and daughters to these meetings, and aftewards take
them home and talk about it, it was the beginning of
a new life for the family, a life of ideas and interests
in common, and of a unison of thought."
Sir Joseph George Ward, Premier of New Zealand,
says that, far from creating antagonism between men
and women, a comment called out by the practical
working of equal suffrage is that, "it is useful to pro
vide in this way intelligent topics for men and women
to talk about from their private affairs."
Lady Holder, wite of the late Sir Frederick W.
Holder, Speaker of the House of Representatives of
Federated Australia, says that, since Australian wom
en were given the ballot, "they are as good wives,
mothers and sisters as ever, and better companions for
their men folk because of their widened interest and
THE SEATTLE KEPUBLICAN
the true equality in which they stand."
Ex-Governor Albert W. Mclntire, of Colorado,
writes in the official publication of the Business Men's
Association of Everett. Wash., for September, 1910:
Actual experience proves that, where both vote,
the added common interest in public matters between
husband and wife helps amazingly toward making
them comrades, because thereby the broadening influ
of his wider horizon is extended to her."
"Professor Harry E. Kelly, formerly of the lowa
State University, now practicing law in Denver wrote
to State Senator A. H. Gale of Iowa:
Since I came to Colorado, you have frequently ask
edme to state my opinion of woman suffrage. I came
here with very little intesest in the subject, and per
haps with very little respect for it. Having resided
in Colorado nearly seven years, and having observed
the political and social conditions here, I have rather
unconsciously arrived at an opinion.
The great value in woman suffrage consists in this,
that it gives dynamic force to a fresh and vital inter
est in the state. One of the arguments against it was
that it would create discord in the farrily. Colorado
has never heard of a case of family discord that was
even alleged to have originated in woman suffuage.
The members of a family are inclined to stand togeth
er upon political auestions, much as they are upon re
ligious questions; but woman suffrage broadens the
family interest in public affairs, because women, dis
regarding the mere scramble for office, direct the fam
ily interest along in the line of social questions, in ad
dition to the interest in partisan politics. Woman suf
frage gives us an increased breadth of public interest
in social welfare."
Mrs. Helen Campbell spent three years in Color
ado. After her return, she said in an address before
the Brookline (Mass.) Equal Suffrage Association:
"Before I went to Colorado I was sure of the jus
tice of woman suffrage, but not of its expediency. I
am now sure that it is a good thing for both men and
women. When suffrage was granted, the women felt
in duty bound to inform themselves about public af
fairs. One wise mother has been training her five
sons for years to anderstand public questions. She
had a weekly class of about thirty boys, her sons and
their college mates, and she has taught them not only
current events, but the duties of citizenship, and what
a vote stands for, and how precious it is. Her eldest
son cast his first vote at the last presidential election.
He went with his mother. There were tears in his
eyes as he said to her, 'If there is any good or noble
thought in my mind about this act of citizenship, it
came from you in the beginning. lam glad to be here
with you!' I have not seen just that same feeling of
sons toward their mothers anywhere else."
Women are not only half the population, but are
mothers of the whole of it, and are expected to train
up the boys and girb to be good citizens. It seems al
most self-evident then, that anything which will lead
the mothers to inform themselves more generally upon
public questions must be a good thing for the country
and for the race-—A. SB. in Woman's Journal.