Let’s be fair. Men weren’t the only people who voted against suffrage for women–in Oregon and elsewhere. A hundred years ago this week, officers of the Oregon State Association Opposed to the Extension of Suffrage to Women sent a letter to the editor of the Oregonian. The head of the association was Eva Bailey (Mrs. F. J. Bailey).
According to the 1912 Oregon Voter’s Pamphlet, Bailey and her group thought that a woman, “has done her part in the home and not on the hustings, and her power for good is the greater because she has been content to be a woman and has not striven to be an imitation man.” Granting suffrage to women would give the appearance of equality but would not make women equal to men. Voting was a duty, not a privilege. Bailey also argued that Oregon should let California and Washington, who had recently given women the right to vote, should “experiment for us.”