Do You Know?

by Carrie Chapman Catt

DO YOU KNOW that the question of votes for women is one which is commanding the attention of the whole civilized world; that woman suffrage organizations of representative men and women exist in twenty-seven different countries; that in this country alone there are more than 1,000 woman suffrage organizations; that there is an International and a National Men's League for Woman Suffrage and numbers of local men's leagues; that the number of women who are asking for the vote in this country is larger than the number of men who have ever asked for anything in its entire history; that more and larger petitions asking for votes for women have been sent to legislative bodies than for any other one measure; that the press of this country is giving more space to woman suffrage than to any other one public question; that the legislatures of twenty-eight states in year 1914 entertained woman suffrage measures; and that a bill for a woman suffrage amendment to the United States Constitution is now before Congress?

DO YOU KNOW that the women of New Zealand and the women of Australia possess all the political rights accorded to men?

DO YOU KNOW that the women of Finland vote in all elections upon the same terms as men, and that since their enfranchisement in 1906, from sixteen to twenty-five have been elected to the different Parliaments?

DO YOU KNOW that in Norway all women have the full Parliamentary vote, and that in 1910 one woman sat in the Norwegian Parliament, and that numbers of women are serving as members and alternates to city councils?

DO YOU KNOW that the women of Iceland have the full Parliamentary franchise and that since 1902 one-fourth of the members of the council of the capital city have been women?

DO YOU KNOW that in Sweden women have had some measure of suffrage since the eighteenth century, that in 1862 unmarried women who had to pay taxes were given the municipal franchise, and that in 1909, this right was extended to all women; that, furthermore, it is only a matter of a little time before women will have the full Parliamentary vote? The measure has already twice passed the Lower House of the Swedish Parliament and is known to have the support of the King and the Prime Minister. It is opposed only by the aristocrats of the Upper House who are against all democratic measures, but it is admitted that even they cannot long keep back so popular a cause.

DO YOU KNOW that in Denmark all women who pay taxes and the wives of men who pay taxes were given the municipal franchise in 1908, and that, as in Sweden, the measure to extend to them the full Parliamentary vote has passed the Lower House in two successive sessions of Parliament, and that, as in Sweden, it has the support of the King, the Prime Minister and the people in general, and is opposed only by the aristocrats, of the Upper House who cannot long continue to stand out against the popular will?

DO YOU KNOW that in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales women vote in all elections except for members of Parliament; that they are eligible an have been elected to office as mayors an members of city and county councils and that on the Isle of Man women wh pay rent or taxes can vote for member of the Manx Parliament?

DO YOU KNOW that in eight of the provinces of Canada - Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan - tax-paying widows and spinsters have the municipal vote, while in Nova Scotia married women whose husbands are not voters are included also?

DO YOU KNOW that women have the municipal vote in Rangoon, the capital of Burmah; in Belize, the capital of British Honduras; and in the cities of Baroda and Bombay in British India; and that in certain provinces of Austria, Hungary and Russia they have limited communal franchise rights?

DO YOU KNOW that within the past year the subject of woman suffrage has been considered in the National Parliaments of 17 countries; that the revolutionary government in China stands pledged to woman suffrage, and that women have already voted in one province; that in France a special commission appointed to investigate the question has recommended that the full franchise be extended to women as rapidly as may be deemed feasible, and that the municipal franchise be granted immediately?

DO YOU KNOW that in our own country women have been voting on the same terms as men in Wyoming since 1860, in Colorado since 1893, in Utah and Idaho since 1896; that in 1910, the state of Washington voted three to one to extend the full suffrage to women; that in 1911, California doubled the number of voting women in this country by giving the full suffrage to more than half a million women citizens; that in 1912, the men of Kansas, Oregon, and Arizona voted to give votes to their women; that in 1913, the legislature of the State of Illinois passed a measure giving to women all the voting rights within the power of the legislature to bestow, including presidential electors, all municipal officers and some county and some state officers; and that the territorial legislature of Alaska granted full suffrage to women, and that in 1914 Nevada and Montana gave full suffrage to women?

DO YOU KNOW that wherever women have got the vote they have used it in large numbers - larger, frequently, than the men of the same city, state or country; that in the first election after the New Zealand women were given the franchise, seventy-eight per cent of the women voted as opposed to sixty-nine per cent of the men, while in subsequent elections the proportion of both men and women voting steadily rose until now it is about eighty per cent of the qualified persons of both sexes; that in the equal suffrage states of our own country from seventy to ninety per cent of the women vote, whereas in most states of the Union only sixty to sixty-five per cent of the qualified men voters actually cast their ballots; that in some of the equal suffrage states almost half the vote is cast by women, although they do not nearly constitute half the population; that in the first elections after the Washington women were enfranchised, women's votes secured the recall of corrupt city governments in Seattle and Tacoma; that in the first election after the women of California were enfranchised, taking place in Los Angeles in 1911, ninety-five per cent of the women voted, outnumbering the men voters in many wards?

DO YOU KNOW that, on the other hand, large numbers of men are utterly indifferent to their rights as voters; that in the presidential election of 1912, the total vote cast was only 14,720,1038, while the number of men eligible to vote was 24,335,000: that in the presidential election of 1909 the total vote cast was only 14,888,442, while the number of men eligible to vote was fully 22,000,000; that in the presidential election of 1904 the total vote was only 13,961,560 while the total number of men eligible to vote was 21,000,000?

DO YOU KNOW, moreover, that in every state and country where the franchise has been extended to women, the vote of the men has steadily risen?, In Australia in the first elections in which women voted, taking place in 1903, 53 per cent of the men eligible cast their ballots, whereas, in 1906, 56 per cent, and in 1901, 67 per cent cast their ballots. In our own country the vote of the men is larger in the equal suffrage states than in most of those in which women are unenfranchised.

DO YOU KNOW that extending the franchise to women actually increases the proportion of intelligent voters; that there is now and has been for years, according to the report of the Commissioner of Education, one-third more girls in the high schools of the country than boys; and that, according to the last census, the illiterate men of the country greatly outnumbered the illiterate women?

DO YOU KNOW that extending the suffrage to women increases the moral vote; that in all states and countries that have adopted equal suffrage the vote of the disreputable women is practically negligible, the slum wards of cities invariably having the lightest woman vote and respectable residence wards the heaviest; that only one out of every twenty criminals are women; that women constitute a minority of drunkards and petty miscreants; that for every prostitute there are at least two men responsible for her immorality; that in all the factors that tend to handicap the progress of society, women form a minority, whereas in churches, schools and all organizations working for the uplift of humanity, women are a majority?

DO YOU KNOW that extending the suffrage to women increases the number of native-born voters; that for every one hundred foreign white women immigrants coming to this country there are 129 men, while among Asiatic immigrants the men outnumber the women two to one, according to the figures of the census of 1910?

DO YOU KNOW that there are in the United States about 8,000,000 women in gainful occupations outside the home who need the protection of the ballot to regulate the conditions under which they must labor; and that the efforts of working women to regulate these conditions without the ballot have been practically unavailing?

DO YOU KNOW that the laws of many states discriminate unjustly against women; that, for instance, in only seventeen is a mother equal guardian with the father over her own children; that for fifty-five years the women of Massachusetts worked for - an equal guardianship law and then succeeded in getting it only when a dreadful tragedy had shocked the public into a realization of the injustice of the old law, whereas in Colorado and in California women had themselves made equal guardians with the fathers over their own children in the very next year following their enfranchisement?

DO YOU KNOW that wherever women, the traditional housekeepers of the world, have been given a voice in the government, public housekeeping, has been materially improved by an increased attention to questions of pure food, pure water supply, sanitation, housing, public health and morals, child welfare and education?

DO YOU KNOW that the movement for woman suffrage is just a part of the eternal forward march of the human race toward a complete democracy; that in the American colonies only a very small proportion of the men could vote; that even after the Revolution only property-holders could vote; that it was only by slow and hard-fought stages that all men finally won the right to vote; and that in most foreign countries the franchise for men is still heavily loaded with restrictions?

DO YOU KNOW that the legislatures of some of the suffrage states, the Australian Parliament, and numbers of the most representative people, both men and women, in all the suffrage states and countries have testified time and again in print and over their own signatures, that woman suffrage has brought none-of the evils which its opponents fear, but has, instead, been productive of much positive good; that it has enlarged the outlook of women, increased their intelligence and self-reliance, rendered homes happier, ennobled men and dignified politics; that in all the places where women vote, the opponents, thus far, have not been able to find a dozen respectable men to assert, over their own names and addresses, that it has had any bad results; that more than five hundred organizations - state, national and international other than woman suffrage associations - aggregating approximately a membership of over 50,000,000, have officially endorsed woman suffrage?

DO YOU KNOW one single sound, logical reason why the intelligence and individuality of women should not entitle them to the rights and privileges of self-government?

DO YOU KNOW that the women in twelve states and in Alaska will vote for President in 1916? |