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Women Will VoteWinning Suffrage in New York State$
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Susan Goodier and Karen Pastorello

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501705557

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501705557.001.0001

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Persuading the “Male Preserve”

Persuading the “Male Preserve”

Men and the Woman Suffrage Movement

(p.92) Chapter 5 Persuading the “Male Preserve”
Women Will Vote

Susan Goodier

Karen Pastorello

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on men, the only empowered contingent of the suffrage movement. While some men had always voiced support for woman suffrage, no sustained men's organization existed in the state until 1908. That year, Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, encouraged the founding of the Men's League for Woman Suffrage, which then served as an affiliate of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association. These elite white men, often raised or living in suffrage households, risked embarrassment and censure by publicly displaying their support for woman suffrage. As their participation became routine, the novelty of it wore off. These privileged male champions of woman suffrage inspired men of other classes—including urban immigrants and rural, upstate men—to reconsider their suffrage stance. This unique aspect of the suffrage coalition thereby played a lesser but crucial role in winning the vote for women.

Keywords:   elite white men, woman suffrage, Men's League for Woman Suffrage, New York State Woman Suffrage Association, urban immigrants, rural men, upstate men, suffrage movement

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