j I EXTENDING THE RIGHT OF I ,,..-. SUFFRAGE TO WOMEN BY HON. GEORGE SUTHERLAND I ! I 1 1 I ' By Hon. George Sutherland -! Mr. Sutherland Mr. President, I wish to say a fow words upon this resolution, and as I Bliall probably jf occupy moro than (lvo minutes per- I t j haps ten or fifteen I snould like j the permission of the senate to pro- ! ceed until I navo finished. ' j Mr. Shafroth Mr. President, I i n uk I h The Vlco President Tho five min ute rule bus been suspended. Mr. Sutherland I do not underestimate underes-timate the value of tradition, to which we aro indobted tor a good deal of wisdom; but since tradition rides In an omnibus which carries all sorts T ip of passengers from one generation to I another and not' In a golden chariot fe ' whose seats aro reserved exclusively II j 'for the righteous, It has been rospon- 9 alble for tho perpetuation ot a good l Hi . deal of foolishness as well. On Uio i ; I whole I entertain a profound regard f for notions which havo long persist- I ' ed, because, having phssed tho scrut- ' " lny and survived tho buftotings ot time, they aro more likely to bo Hght than wrong, and yet error has a per-$ per-$ nfclous habit of sometlmea clothing ' Itself In such seemly garb that It Is i ' $ j passed along without question from ( fcgo to ago until somo doubting hand j strips off Uio dlBgulse and exposes tho deception. One of theso respect- " , ably clothod traditions which wo aro just now engaged In, overhauling Is ' j , ' that which teaches that women aro etlher too good or too bad 1 j or too busy In tho kitchen to partici pate in the tribal councils. Let us Inquire by way ot cross, ex-am ex-am (nation. If the ballot on the wholo elevates man, what particular clement cle-ment of weakness In the charcter of woman will enable the ballot to pull her down? Havo .women In the aggregate ag-gregate less natlvo Intelligence than men? Havo they less desire for so-, either too good, too bad, too weak, olal and governmental righteousness? Aro they less patriotic? Are they less Interested In the common welfare? wel-fare? 'Have they less at stake? It not, wherein lies the superiority ot tho male portion of tho population? In one respect only Is there common 'agreement as to the Inferior condition ot womankind and that Is In the matter mat-ter of physical strength. I am not, suro but that In this element of Inferiority In-feriority lies tho explanation of tbo fact that for thousands of years women wo-men were not accorded an equality of legal status, an Injujstlco which In civilized communities has been or Is In process of being consigned to the limbo of discredited superstitions, and I suspect that It is tho survival of a rudimentary bias reaching back for Its primal origin to this ancient condlton which nccounts for the persistence per-sistence of tho obsession which leads bo many worthy peoplo to deny her equality of political status' In, this day ot broadened vision. Wo have many examples ot such survlals long after tho decay of tho root from which they grow. Intelligent men have ceased to believe In tho malign Influence In-fluence of sorcery and witchcraft In spoils In tho HI luck inseparably associated with the possession of certain cer-tain lnanlmato objects which have received the sinister attentions ot the devil in tho malevolenco of black cats and crosseyed gentlemen ot color col-or but a good many of them continue to entertain suspicions respecting the number 13, in spite ot its harmless character, and derive more or less mental discomfort from tho initiation ot any enterprise on Friday, although Friday Is In truth aa benign a day as any in the calendar And so In the matter of our objection to woman suffrage are we quite sure that what we regard as twentieth Century wisdom wis-dom is not the fag end of a medieval superstition? Wo are told that It women aro given giv-en the ballot tho household will suf-i fer; that woman's placo is the home. The obvious retort Is that If tho work shop, and the farm, and tho mine, and) tho ofilco, and the countlngroom continue con-tinue In operation, notwithstanding tho responsibility which now rests on the malo voter, the housohold may survlvo even If the women of Uio. country study politics and take a fow minutes oft on election day to vote. It Is urged that giving tho ballot to woman will destroy her charm and femininity; that she will develop un-attractlvo un-attractlvo mascullnne traits. These are now words set to a very old tune. Tho samo thing was urged against the now woman a hundred years ago when she demanded an equal opportunity oppor-tunity for education. She was told that 'that was exclusively masculine business and solemnly warned to ro-turn ro-turn to her spinning wheel at tho peril per-il of losing her womanly sweetness, but sls today go to school with their brothers and the brothers ot other girls, and young women- today go to cbllcge In brazen disregard ot ancient conventionalities, and they are better bet-ter wives and bettor mothers and bet-, ler women and better citizens not In spite of It but In consequence of It. Tho objection Is In a class with the demand for the preservation ot the side saddle, lest we give verification to the suspicion that the normal tendency ten-dency of humanity Is to accumu'ate legs in pairs quite irrespective of the accident of sex. Some people are fearful that If we enfranchise the women the bad women wom-en will vote and the good women will refrain from voting. Dut If the right to vote carries with It the correlative correlat-ive duty to exercise the1 right in the case of women, as It is supposed to do in the case, of men, there Is no good reason to expect that good women wo-men will shirk In greater proportion than good men do, for women on thOj average are Quite as conscientious at men in faithfully discharging their responsibilities. However that may be, If we are Justified In allowing men to vote Irrespective of good or bad character, because of our Inability to separate them In terms of legislation, how can we Justify withholding a" similar sim-ilar right from women because of a like unfortunate division among them of good and bad? Again, It Is said by some that the result would simply bo to double the vote without changing the result; that the women would generally vote as their husbands do. And It Is said by others that It will, develop unfortunate unfortun-ate antagonism between husband and wife over political differences. I think generally, though not always, In those states which have adopted equal suffrage, suf-frage, that husbatad and wife vote the same ticket Just as generally, though not always, they attend the same church. There is nothing remarkable remark-able or sinister In this any more than there Is in the fact that generally, though not always, the male members of the same family agree in their political po-litical affiliations. There are, It is true, occasional differences of opinion opin-ion between husband atad wife, but I have not observed that It Is follow-ed follow-ed by anything more serious than generally follows from the occasional., differences about other matters or from similar differences among brothers bro-thers and sisters or between mother 'and son. I have no Intention of entering, upon up-on any affirmative argument In justification jus-tification of woman suffrage. Indeed, to my own mind, the most convincing argument for the political enfranchise ment of womejn Is the absence ot any really persuasive argument against it. If it be right to extend the voting privilege pri-vilege to all sorts and conditions of men, I am not quite able to see the Justice of denying the same right to all sorts and conditions ot women. If wo have extonded the privilege too broadly In, tho case of men and wisdom wis-dom domrtnds that wo should eliminate elimin-ate the unfit, the thriftless, and the Illiterate that Is, a good reason for denying tho privilege to these classes of both sexes. It Is no reason for denying it to the Women who aro fit and capable. In other words, the line which should separato tho voters fro'm tho non-voters Is ono of char-actor char-actor and not ono of sex. In my vlow of tho matter It Is not Important to consldor whether woman suffrhgo will result In a betterment of condltons. It Is enough for mo to bo convinced that conditions will certainly bo no worso. I do not put my support on tho ground of expediency expedi-ency or on Uio theory that society will bo greatly or at nil or Immedl-ntoly Immedl-ntoly or over benefited by tho change. I suspect that tho human nature of men and women In tho aggregate doos not materially dlffor. I would, there foro, oxpect tho political mlllonlum to bo noticeably hastened by tho change. Things would probably go on pretty much' as thoy do now. Wo would continue to movo forward more or less slowly, more or less painfully, painful-ly, sometimes slipping backward, as wo do now, sometimes falling as wo now do, but In tho end recovering ourselves, picking ourselves up and going on afresh, and on the wholo, I hopo, toward wiser and better things. I give my assent to woman suffrage because, as the matter appeals to me, thoro is no Justification for denying to half our citizens the right to participate par-ticipate In the operations bt a government gov-ernment which Is as much their government' gov-ernment' as it Is ours upon the sole ground that they happen to be born women instead ot men.