Women's Right to Vote Essay

This essay has a total of 978 words and 4 pages.

Women's Right to Vote


After reading Francis Parkman's article, “Women Are Unfit to Vote”, I found myself both
offended and annoyed. His arguments were not only shaky, but they were also illogical. He
states that the family has been the political unit; consequently, the head of the family
should be the political representative. He goes on by stating that women have shared
imperfectly in the traditions and not in the practice of self-government. Lastly, he
suggests women might vote that men should go off and fight in war. Not only are these
statements wrong, but they are very much so offensive. Women are humans, too, and they
should be treated how a man is treated. We are, after all, of an equal race, so why do we
women not get the right to vote? In my opinion,this question cannot be answered logically.
Many reasons can contradict Parkman’s statements included in his article, and I plan to do
so.


To start with, Parkman declares that “the family, and not the individual, has been the
political unit, and the head of the family... has been the political representative of the
rest.” He is saying that the men are the head of the family; therefore, they should be the
ones that vote. But what if the head of the family is a woman? Let’s say, for example, the
husband dies unexpectedly, leaving the woman behind to raise the children and take the
position as head of the family. Does she then get the right to vote? Or do we simply deny
her that right because she is a woman? According to Francis Parkman, the head of the
family is the political representative, and no where in that statement did he once specify
the head of the family could not be a woman. Therefore, as long as the woman is the head
of the family, they should be granted the right to vote. Many circumstances in one’s life
may cause them to become, without notice, the head of their family. As quick as they
become the new head, they should then be allowed to vote just as quickly. If they are
denied that right, then Parkman’s statement is false. The head of the family should not be
limited to just being a man, and neither should the right to vote.


Parkman follows by commenting that “they [women] have shared very imperfectly in the
traditions, and not at all in the practice of self-government.” While reading this
statement, a well-known woman comes to my mind: Abigail Adams. Abigail Adams was known for
writing many letters containing her personal opinions of the society. One of her most
important letters she wrote contained valuable information about British troops and their
ships that were in the Boston area. It was sent to her husband, John Adam, during the
Revolutionary War. Though she had hardly any schooling, she still managed to read and
become a well informed woman. If Abigail Adams could self-educate herself and help her
husband during war, why then deny her the right to vote when clearly she has earned it?
Why deny other women the right to vote based on their sex and not their intelligence? If
you only let them practice in self-government, they can begin to learn the ins and outs of
voting and the government. If you don’t give us a chance, how will we ever learn?

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