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The women’s right to vote for an election

The women’s right to vote for an election


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The women’s right to vote for an election was illegal in the late 1800 but has become a common practice in the today’s world. During that times, women could find them imprisoned and fined for participating in the voting process arousing the question as to whether it is illegal for the women to vote. Susan B. Anthony was among the women who had been imprisoned and fined for participating in voting for the 1872 presidential election, and it is after her release that she gave her speech. From her speech, there are several strengths and weakness both internal and external that contributed to the success and difficulties that mat the struggle for the suffrage movement difficult.

The internal strengths of the suffragettes can be deduced from the permeable of the constitution that can be traced from paragraph two. The permeable states that “It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the union.” From this phrase, the constitution provides a strong foundation for equality between the men and women as it does not indicate specifically males alone but the people of the United States. Another point that can be deduced from the second paragraph is that the constitution refers to the people and not males or females, by this, women also are persons and can be counted as eligible citizens with the right to vote as well. Both men and women are equal and should be treated in equity especially in the face of democracy. Another strength is that the constitution formed a government that does not confer the blessings of liberty but is intended to secure the benefits of freedom for them, again them referring to both men and women. Therefore, it is a clear indication that the women must also be granted their rights especially that of voting so that they can exercise them like the other citizens to protect and defend the blessings of liberty within the democratic government.

Despite the strengths, there are internal weaknesses as well that made the struggle for the voting rights for the women difficult. Some of the internal weaknesses include the lack of support from the other women. Some of the women cited that there was no need for the women to be granted the rights to vote in the sense that not all men were eligible for voting. Again, gender discrimination can also be said to be an internal weakness that made the women get denied of their voting rights. Women were restricted from voting because they could not represent the country in the army, implying that they couldn’t fight for their country and therefore there was no need for them being granted the voting rights.

There exist external factors that made the struggle for the suffrage movement difficult. The weak judicial system can be termed as one of the external factors that barred the women from voting. Several women including Anthony was arrested and charged for the crime of voting in the presidential election whereas there were no specifications that only males were eligible for voting. Oligarchy is another external factor hindering the rights of women as the powers of the United States could be termed as being concentrated in the hands of a few members of the society. Some of the oligarchies as described in her speech include income, race and the level of education and to which the whites, wealthy and the educated exert control over the society and undermine the rest of the society. Sex oligarchy can also be termed to be an external factor whereby the males dominate in power ruling the females, making the women oppressed all through the society. Taxation without representation is another factor; women are subjected to taxation and yet they are not provided with the right to vote, and this pushes them to the corner as they have no freedom to express themselves through the ballot even after being in a democratic nation.


Susan B. Anthony (1873). “IS IT A CRIME FOR A U.S. CITIZEN TO VOTE?” Retrieved from: http://voicesofdemocracy.umd.edu/anthony-is-it-a-crime-speech-text/

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