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October 13 , 2008

Go Get Mother's Picket Sign

Crossing Spheres With the Material Culture of Suffrage


Go Get Mother's Picket Sign tells the story of American suffragists who worked to balance their public and private lives as wives, mothers, and homemakers. American suffragists battled an intense fight against the idea that women in America could not engage in politics without also creating a great void in the home. It was believed that if women allowed this void to occur, the decline and decay of the home life would destroy 19th and 20th century society. Men could not help women fill the role of homemaker, as it was thought that men had neither experience nor the ability to learn the order and method of caring for home and children. The family framework known by Victorians remained doomed. However, to counter this concept, suffragists created a new woman who functioned in both the home and the public world. All of their suffrage materials showed that these women did not forget their responsibility to the home. Everything they used encompassed the right of suffrage and maintained the image of the dutiful wife and mother. By combining the forces of material culture and suffrage, this work will further the study of women's suffrage and expand knowledge of women within both political and domestic spheres.
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