Farmers Say, “Let the Women Vote.”

Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1914)
Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1914)

In 1915, times were a-changing.  Farm Journal asked readers to send in post cards telling them whether they supported women’s suffrage. A sample of the responses were then printed in the magazine (and every single response that was published supported women’s suffrage). Here are a few of them:

Yes, indeed, let the women vote.

J.C. Switzer (Carterville, Mo.)

I am strongly in favor of women voting. Hope the time will soon come when women will have the vote; and good-bye booze.

Morton R. Woodard (Dunsville, N.Y.)

You wish to know what I think about woman suffrage. Being a woman who naturally objects to being classed along with the rest of the farm’s livestock, I certainly shall vote when I get a chance.

Mrs. C. J. Colony (Lodi, N.Y.)

Yes, I am in favor of woman suffrage. I am sorry to say that I used to be an “anti,” but as a widow and breadwinner I have had my eyes opened. So I say, speed the day when this unjust discrimination shall cease to be.

Mrs. Ida L. Newton (Lakeport, Fla.)

Farm Journal (October, 1915)

This is how the magazine summarized the responses:

The straw vote called for in recent numbers of the Farm Journal is a revelation to us, for it shows a far wider and more earnest interest in this cause than we thought existed.

Of course the fact that our paper has always stood for this reform, as well as for all others that deserved and needed support, may have had an influence in bringing our millions of readers to the side of Fair Play and a Square Deal for women. But apart from such influence, it is astonishing how the demand for suffrage is sweeping over the country, promising a great victory for the cause in some, if not all, of the states that are to vote on the measure this year.

Farm Journal (October, 1915)

36 thoughts on “Farmers Say, “Let the Women Vote.”

  1. A great post and such interesting comments – loved the woman who said she looked forward to the day she would be classed above the livestock! Women fought hard for the vote and now we have trouble with low voter turnout at elections – what would our grandmothers think?

    1. We owe our grandmothers a great big thanks for bringing about so many important changes. It’s incredible how far women have come over the last hundred years–and a little scary to think that things may now be regressing.

  2. What strikes me is the civilized nature of the responses. I’m sure there might have been those opposed to the change who expressed their opinion with a bit more force (and perhaps a bit of eloquent nastiness), but the level of discourse in this country has been badly eroded: not least because of social media. There’s a reason I don’t read the comment sections following most online articles that are news or politics related. It’s a cesspool in there!

    It does occur to me that the young women of today, who have opportunities undreamed of even as recently as the 1960s and 1970s, would do well to study some of the history of the women’s movement. Our forebears engaged in struggles many of them can’t even imagine.

    1. The people who sent comments to Farm Journal definitely had strong opinions–but they did express them in a nice way. Of course, the magazine’s editorial staff may have chosen not to print some of the angrier letters.

    1. When I think of the historical timeline, I find it incredible how recently women got the right the vote. Women could not vote at the time the Civil War; they also could not vote during World War I.

  3. It is still amazing to me how recently we got our voting rights. And what a struggle it was with a happy ending. This article shows how little attention the media gave to the issue that was “sweeping the country.” They were “astonished.” Thanks so much for sharing this Sheryl. I love your new blog.

  4. Sometimes I reflect on how when my grandmother was born women did not have the right to vote. Amazing how recently that was! Appreciating how hard our fore-mothers struggled to obtain that right motivates me to get out there and vote every year, even if the election is just local and doesn’t seem that important. It still makes a difference!

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse into how people were thinking about it a hundred years ago!

    1. Sometimes I think that those local elections are the ones where it is most important to vote. It’s scary how few people vote in some local elections–and I feel like my vote is quite likely make a difference in how important issues that affect my community play out.

  5. And it finally became the law of the land in 1920. Patience! Interesting, too, that people begin to approve of something when they themselves are affected. I hope it won’t take another 5 years to get family leave written in law. Those who need it know how important it is.

    1. Sometimes change comes quickly; other times it’s incredibly slow. It’s really interesting to look at major changes through the lens of history.

    1. I’m not sure when women got suffrage in other countries, but I’m always shocked that women only got the right to vote 95 years ago in the U.S.

  6. This is a great post. How little we appreciate how far we’ve come in such a short time. In fact, we’ve made amazing strides in the past 50 years — so much so that we now take them for granted: women doctors, lawyers, bankers, police chiefs, pharmacists, reporters, TV anchors … and more.

    1. I’m glad that you liked it. We have made incredible strides. I want to think that there are no remaining issues–and yet I know that there is still much that needs to be done.

    1. Yes, you may reblog it. Thanks for asking. I’m honored that you want to reblog it. I have a lot of fun doing these posts, and it’s wonderful to hear that you especially liked this one.

      1. Woo hoo! Thank you so much. I write a lot of stories about my grandparents. Your story fits right in to everything positive about the time when they were born and were growing up. Thank you so much! I am very excited! 🙂 Now I’ve got to think of something to write! Ha!

  7. Hi there! I had to edit my story just a bit. I couldn’t get the scholastic website to link, so I just took it out on my page. I can’t get it to link here either.

    Thank you so much for letting me reblog your wonderful story!

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