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The Masses: Suffrage Issue 1915

The Masses, Vol. 7, No. 1 [53]. November 1915

Era: Suffrage Era | Media: Magazines

In November 1915, The Masses, an early 20th century socialist magazine, weighed in on the raging debate over suffrage with an issue dedicated to the topic.

This issue of the magazine, led by the magazine’s eidtor, Max Eastman, who was the founding secretary of the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage of the State of New York, featured cartoons, poems, essays and reported articles on suffrage.

In “Adventures In Anti-Land,” the novelist and journalist Floyd Dell goes undercover to an anti-suffrage organization’s office in New York, and write humorously of what he discovered. “They show not merely that women isn’t fit to vote, they give good reasons for believing that she isn’t fit to live,” he writes sarcastically.

Eastman also wrote his own essay. He argues that the suffrage movement should stop trying to convince opponents by changing their opinions but should rather appeal to the fact that the suffrage movement is fundamentally about liberty. He also adds another argument he believes suffrage activists should adopt: that universal suffrage will lead to universal education, and that education will allow women to turn into “fully developed, active and intelligent” individuals.

For more on The Masses, Max Eastman and the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage, see Eastman’s essay in the suffrage publication the Woman Voter. You should also read Brooke Kroeger’s 2017 book, The Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote.

The full PDF of this Masses magazine issue can be accessed by clicking the link below.

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