Confronting the Modern Era

Read an argument against women voting by Tennessean John Vertrees

John Vertrees was also actively involved in the anti-suffrage campaign in Middle Tennessee. He believed that a woman’s primary role was that of mother and that military service should be a stipulation to political enfranchisement. In a speech to the men of Tennessee, he proclaimed,

    I do not believe that the women of Tennessee want the ballot, but even if they do, the question which men must determine is not affected in the least. It is not a question of what women want, but what they ought to have; and as men only now vote, it is a question for men alone to determine. However for that reason, and also because it is a question relating to those who are dearest to men, and for whom they labor and live, the decision should be made with an eye single to what is right, and best-not for women, not for men; but for all; for the men, women and children of Tennessee.
John J. Vertrees. An Address to The Men of Tennessee on Female Suffrage (Nashville, Tennessee: 1916)



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