Chapter Three "Our Hat is in the Ring"
I argue that the emergence of the new suffrage media campaign was not a shrugging off of existing gender norms, but instead a celebration of them. To de-radicalize the suffrage movement, leaders consciously adopted traditional views of gender in order to project a future of woman voters that was not a revolutionized society without distinct gender roles, but rather a society in which the female sex contributed a distinctly feminine influence upon politics. Additionally, the woman suffrage movement carefully toed the line in regard to race. While some woman suffragists supported equal rights regardless of sex and race, others promoted woman’s suffrage as a means to curb the influence of both blacks and immigrants. The new suffrage campaign sacrificed older celebrations of total equality held by suffragists like Lucy Stone, an early suffragist who supported the fifteenth amendment and helped form the American Equal Rights Association (AERA) with Frederick Douglass, to help speed up the success of woman’s suffrage. In doing so, they crafted a new ideal of woman suffrage, a figure sometimes called the Allender Girl, who was, in addition to youthful, energetic, and vibrant, white.