10 reasons women shouldn’t want the right to vote

November 30, 2010 | By Abraham 44 comments

Here are several arguments against women’s suffrage found in the University of Nebraska Libraries’ image collection. I didn’t see a date for it.

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Update: Comments closed, cuz–Sheesh!

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44 Comments

  1. John says:

    This is not intended to start an argument, nor is correlation causation, but 1920-2010 has not exactly been America’s best stretch.

    1. Josh S says:

      When was America’s best stretch? When we killed the natives? When we enslaved blacks? When we killed each other in a civil war? When women didn’t have the same rights as men? When we had segregation? I don’t remember any better stretches offhand.

      1. John says:

        That’s a very difficult, if not impossible question to answer. But I wonder, has there ever been an era in American history more full of bloodshed and suffering than ours? We murder babies, which we dehumanize by calling them fetuses. We wage unjust wars of aggression. We obligate our politicians to steal from our neighbor on our behalf. We use false scales and weights and call it “inflation.” We jail men for depositing money in their bank account. We jail men for owning legally purchased handguns. We subsidize and legalize the corporations that are fleecing our nation. I could go on and on.

        This is not to say our forefathers are innocent of the blood of the Indians or of the slaves. Each age has its own evils. May we be ready to give account on the day of judgment.

        A generation goes, and a generation comes,
        but the earth remains forever.
        The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
        and hastens to the place where it rises.
        The wind blows to the south
        and goes around to the north;
        around and around goes the wind,
        and on its circuits the wind returns.
        All streams run to the sea,
        but the sea is not full;
        to the place where the streams flow,
        there they flow again.
        All things are full of weariness;
        a man cannot utter it;
        the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
        nor the ear filled with hearing.
        What has been is what will be,
        and what has been done is what will be done,
        and there is nothing new under the sun.
        Is there a thing of which it is said,
        “See, this is new”?

  2. Margaret V says:

    I appreciate my current rights as a woman; but I do sometimes wonder if women’s suffrage is worth the sacrifices our society has paid.

  3. Josh S says:

    Child labor and now women’s right to vote… Abraham, please don’t do a post on slavery — I don’t think I could handle the comments.

    1. Dianne says:

      Went back to see the comments on the child labor post, which I hadn’t read yet. Good grief. Taking that and this comment thread together, have to agree with Josh. WTF?

      1. John says:

        So you’re both outraged, but I’m curious what the benchmark for this outrage is? To what law is it an outrage for women to not have the right to vote? To what law are children to be kept from work? Please note I am not arguing in favor of repealing the 19th amendment or repealing child labor laws. I’m just wondering what law you are appealing to in your outrage.

        Perhaps it is possible to distinguish child labor from the wretched conditions they were forced to endure? Perhaps it is possible to distinguish the lack of women’s suffrage from gross injustice? Perhaps not. But why?

        I think it is very dangerous for one generation to repudiate the beliefs, practices, and values of so many generations before it. Repudiation must only be done according to fixed, immutable principles. I believe the only fixed, immutable principles are found in the Word of God, and neither of these issues is addressed explicitly in the Bible. To repudiate either, we must use discernment and godly wisdom.

        Are condemnations based on worldly wisdom or godly wisdom? That’s my question.

          1. John says:

            We can’t just say that something that was good is now bad because “we’ve changed, or circumstances have changed.”

            If something that we thought was good is now bad, it must be because we were wrong, and the principle, was that it was always wrong.

            The principle must be fixed, and our understanding, or execution must have been wrong.

        1. Ben says:

          So we can’t judge anything as wrong unless it’s specifically defined as such in the Bible. I don’t know why we both with this whole government thing then, especially a democratic one. Let’s just fire everyone in DC, replace them with a few literal-minded biblical scholars, and call it a day!
          (Cue someone saying that’s a great idea because they couldn’t possibly do worse than the current idiots in Congress and/or the White House in 3…2…1…)

          1. John says:

            I think there are more than two options here. But I will certainly agree that a government with biblically warranted law would be a much better alternative than what we currently have. Ours is a lawless government full of laws that oppress the innocent and glorify the guilty. Perhaps Brian Aitken will tell you about his experience with our wonderful government when he gets out of prison in seven years. His crime? Possessing a legally purchased handgun in the state of New Jersey.

            A government based on scriptural law would be a very small, limited government compared to our bloated, tyrannical government.

        2. Halle says:

          In response to your comment at 3:52, “We can’t just say that something that was good is now bad because ‘we’ve changed, or circumstances have changed.’”

          By that rule, something simple like wearing a coat is either always a good idea or always a bad idea. It does not allow for a person’s personal preference or the weather to influence its virtue. So someone wearing a winter coat in the Amazonian rainforest would be wise. By that same principle, you would probably argue that you should always tell the truth, no matter what. For example, a crazed man with a shotgun comes to your house intent on killing your daughter. He could easily overpower you if he tried. He asks if your daughter is home. She is. Are you really going to tell me that you would tell him the truth and allow your daughter to be murdered just so that you can keep a clean conscience and get to Heaven?

          And at 7:24 pm, “Ours is a lawless government full of laws” Isn’t that a contradiction? If you want to institute Biblically-oriented law in a government, would you also be in favor of laws segregating women during their menstrual cycle, beating slaves as long as you don’t kill them, and only wearing cloth woven of one fiber? Or were you intending to ignore the laws in the first 60% of the Bible?

          1. John says:

            Morality is in no way comparable to the wisdom of wearing a winter coat in the Amazon. I’m puzzled why you would even introduce such a comparison.

            As regards your statement about telling truth: God calls us to obedience, not to foolishly telling the truth to the harm of the innocent. Doug Wilson recently preached a sermon on this. Here is a quote, with which I am in agreement:

            “In a condition of war, deception is not the kind of lying we just noted. It is not a sin to paint your tank to look like a bush when it is in fact not a bush. But you are deceiving the enemy pilots . . . The Hebrew midwives lied to Pharaoh, and so God greatly blessed them (Ex. 1:17-19). Rahab hid the spies, sent them out another way than she said she did, and James tells us that this deception was what vindicated her faith as true and living faith (Jas. 2:25). In her case, faith without such a deception would have been dead. David pretended to be mad when he was not (1 Sam. 21:15). God told Joshua to deceive the soldiers of Ai with a fake retreat (Josh. 8:1-2). We could make a very long list if we wished. We want to be righteous, not over-scrupulous.
            The issue is God’s law. Those who won’t deceive when God’s law requires it are likely to be the same ones who will lie when His law forbids it.”

            Concerning your comment about “a lawless government full of laws…” No, this is not a contradiction. Lawlessness is not connected to the presence of laws. Rather, it is a matter of whether or not the law is conformed to, and accountable to a higher authority–namely God’s law. This could be biblical law or natural law. Ours is a lawless government because its laws do not conform to God’s law or natural law. Instead, they are instituted by an oligarchic criminal enterprise, bent on their own self-gratification and lust for power, influence, and wealth. Our law was once acknowledged to be derived from God’s law, from natural law, but that pretense was long ago abandoned in favor of a positivist construction of law.

            Your concern that I would either institute OT law or ignore 60% of the Bible betrays your own understanding of the Bible, orthodox hermeneutics, and a kind of contempt for the Word of God. (If you were an Israelite, would you have obeyed such laws? It sounds like you wouldn’t…)

            Much of the OT law was meant for a particular people, at a particular time, in a particular place. This is quite evident when you read the OT. Israel was in covenant with God, and the demands of that covenant required obedience to the regulations of that covenant. Note for example, the covenant renewal in the 24th chapter of Joshua. Israel was renewing the covenant they’d made with Moses. Christians are not under that covenant, nor are we required to, or even called to obey aspects of that covenant–specifically the sorts of things you mentioned. Christians are a people of a new covenant, with new regulations.

            Also, I think you’ve confused Islam with Christianity regarding the beating of slaves. I don’t believe the Bible has any such regulation. If I’m mistaken, please point me to the book, chapter, and verse.

  4. Mando Mikey says:

    Is it ironic that these are most of the reasons I’ve started to avoid politics (speaking as a male individual)…

  5. brooke says:

    I think that most of these are a cover for the real reasons … they thought women were stupid. However, those cover reasons, some of them were kind of nice, actually.

  6. Jaclyne says:

    As a woman, I like my right to vote. However, I would be perfectly content in not voting if we had husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons who were committed to taking care of women, providing for them, protecting them, and valuing/honoring them. As long as women are not treated like they are stupid just because they are female, or that they could not possibly exceed the intelligence of a man based on the sole argument that they are female, then I will hand over my voter registration card with joy.

  7. Laura says:

    There are a couple that I concede are true statements, but they still don’t compel me not to vote. Like the “accomplish more through counseling” thing. I think that is true, but just because we can accomplish more doing something else doesn’t mean we can’t simultaneously accomplish a little by doing the original thing.

    1. Crystal Malek says:

      I agree w/the counseling vs. commanding line, too. I’ve tried commanding my husband to do the dishes, but I have better success with a psychological approach. Now, he actually begs me to allow him to do the dishes. Us women have a strange ability to do weird things like that.

      Doesn’t make me not want to vote, but that statement in itself is a valid one.

  8. Laura @ Texas in Africa says:

    This is very interesting. I’ve been reading a book about the Prohibition movement, which served to motivate women all over the country to get involved in the suffrage movement. Prohibition was driven largely by church-going women who wanted to rid their communities of social ills produced by alcohol consumption (the US was a nation of drunks for its first hundred years or so, as it turns out) and they figured out that the way to do that was by electing their candidates to office, thus they needed the right to vote. I wonder what these Nebraska women thought about that.

  9. M says:

    Well some of the comments here are shocking. In England women got the right to vote because they ran the country during the 1st world war and did a bloody good job of it. Men realised that women were not weak and feeble but strong and able. I’m pretty sure the problems that your nation (and mine) have are nothing to do with women gaining the right to vote but due to the breakdown of family life and the rise of individualism. It is the behaviour of individuals that has driven us here, and it is only changes in behaviour that can make a radical difference. The fragmentation of society is closely linked to the decline in Marriage – God’s building block for a strong, solid society and a safe place to raise children. The outcomes for children raised in a broken family are depressingly poor. They are more likely to suffer poverty, physical and mental poor health, low academic achievement, more likely to end up in jail, higher rates of suicide, alcoholism, drug dependency, unemployment, homelessness etc etc etc. Read it and weep. All these things mess up our world. Women getting the vote? Get real!!! Pray for your marriages. Stay faithful to your spouses and forgive forgive forgive.

  10. Amanda B says:

    I find it fascinating that the purported premise of the whole statement is why women don’t even WANT the vote, but then #10 basically says, “But then we’d have to actually ASK women if they want to vote.”

    It strikes me as kind of telling…

  11. Whitney says:

    Seriously?!? These comments are crazy.

    You all sound like Doug Phillips-ites. And that, my friends, is NOT a good thing. Especially if you’re a woman with a brain.

    Not only are most of you agreeing that women shouldn’t vote morally, but you’re blaming an entire century’s worth of atrocities on them.

    Shocking.

  12. Audrey says:

    I want to agree with the last sentence of reason two, but for selfish reasons. :-P

    And whoever wrote reason three, the bitterness excluded, has never had to stay at home with kids all day. I love kids, but women don’t “naturally shrink” from situations involving those things…

  13. Ben says:

    One of the main arguments I remember learning in history class that was used against women’s suffrange is that they would just vote however their husbands told them to. And while, unlike some people on this thread, I believe women’s suffrage is a moral necessity period end of discussion, I will admit there is some irony in my own life. Every year in November I write out a list for my wife of how she should vote. Not because she can’t think for herself, but because we share similar moral/political values and I follow politics much more closely than she does and she basically views it as my doing her a big favor. But still every time I hand her that list I can’t help but think of what a sexist 90-plus years ago would think if he could see me now.

    1. John says:

      I asked this in a thread above, and no one has answered yet. Perhaps you will. Why do you believe this? “I believe women’s suffrage is a moral necessity period end of discussion.”

      I’m not even disagreeing on this, though perhaps some have thought otherwise. I’m just questioning assumptions. The statement you made must be founded upon some principle–I’m curious what that principle is. According to what law is this question so firmly settled that you’re not even willing to discuss its validity?

  14. Tony C says:

    Oh, Abraham! Remember the days of old? Back when dissenting thought was met with intrigue and civility? No argumentative weaponry (not even a pea shooter–maybe an occasional good-natured spit ball)? This comment section has been my safe place on the web for a few years. PLEASE tell me it’s still safe?!?

    1. John says:

      I’m puzzled here. I presume you mean to say that some commenters above are guilty of incivility. I see one or two comments that are a bit snarky, but I wonder if you’re not confusing probing questions with incivility.

  15. Abraham Piper says:

    For the first time ever that I recall, I’m shutting down comments. Usually I don’t mind derailment, but this thread makes me embarrassed of my blog.

    Taking my own advice, I close the discussion with this:

    httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfYJsQAhl0

Comments are closed.