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Source based Questions on 'Womens suffrage: the debate - 'What similarities and differences are there between the ideas in these two extracts?

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Source based Questions on 'Womens suffrage: the debate' What similarities and differences are there between the ideas in these two extracts? The two extracts are obviously different in that one is anti suffrage and the other is pro. Because of this, A lot of the ideas in the separate points directly contrast each other, "politics and economics go hand in hand" argues against "questions of peace and war, which lie outside the legitimate sphere of women's influence." Here it can be seen how different the extracts are - the Against Suffrage extract bases its main argument on that women are incapable of defending their country with physical force, therefore they should not be entitled to full citizenship, "the physical nature of women unfits them for direct competition with men." However, this would be untrue since the WSPU group etc prove the fact that women are physically capable of exerting force and gaining public attention through it. The women are obviously passionate about getting the vote and would go to any lengths to achieve enfranchisement. They also show in the extract how the reason they are not "capable of contributing" is "BECAUSE all the more important and lucrative positions are barred to them, and opportunities of public service are denied." ...read more.


This may possibly be referring to ideas that women propose to their men at home which they discuss, but it is more likely that it is referring to how men like to come home from a hard days work and relax, while the woman cooks, does the housework, takes care of the children. This, Anti-suffrage supporters would argue, is the 'sphere' of a woman. This, is how women support their country and support their husbands - by ensuring that everything in the home is alright, so that all the men have to concentrate on is their job in serving the countries needs. It seems, therefore a bit ironic that in the pro-suffrage extract, one of the reasons listed for why women should have the vote is : "BECAUSE women will be better comrades to their husbands, better mothers to their children, and better housekeepers of the home." This quote seems to me to re-in force the idea that a woman's job is to merely be a comrade to her husband, and a housekeeper and a mother. It does not give any reference to how women should be allowed to have the right to stand on their own two feet and have their own rights. ...read more.


However, it is possible to imagine a woman as a minister of war - it just has never been done before! In this then, I think that the men are not so much opposed to a woman being minister of war for the reason of her physical incapability, but they are scared of other changes and also scared of losing their power. This is shown in other quotes such as in that they thought it would undoubtedly weaken their countries power and status in the eyes of the other dependent countries. Men previously, have dominated the physical side in every aspect of society. In sport, in war, in public service and in important employment, women do not have a place. Suddenly these conventions are being challenged and the men are scared that they will lose their power and ability to be 'superior' and the more important class. The writer finishes his quote on this subject "and many similar absurdities." This tries to imprint into the readers mind how it is completely ridiculous to even contemplate any ideas of equality that the women's suffrage campaign may put forward. It encourages traditional, conventional ideas that have always had their way in the past, suggesting that women are wasting their time because what has been, will always be. ...read more.

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