Sociological Images has posted some interesting postcards that were campaigning against women’s suffrage.
I find it fascinating that the implicit argument in these images is something like, “We can’t give women the same rights and privileges that we have, because then they might try to do to us what we have been doing to them, and that is just INHUMANE.”
I know the last bit doesn’t follow unless you have an essentialized view of gender where somehow it is natural and proper for women to wash clothes and babysit, but it is improper and dehumanizing for men to do it.
I just find it funny, especially with the postcard of the three women sitting around a table play cards, smoking and complaining about their lazy husbands. There is an admission here of, “Yes, we men sit on our asses while our wives do all the work, but that is our RIGHT as men and husbands. When THEY do it, it’s NOT FAIR and UNNATURAL.”
It’s amusing (in a sad way) to realize that the whole “equality for everyone!” slogan is so easily amended by the exception: “well, not for those people whose natural place is somewhere lower on the hierarchy.” Or nowadays, it’s more “Equality for everyone–except for those who haven’t really earned it.”