antifeminism irony alert life before feminism misogyny oppressed men oppressed white men patriarchy reactionary bullshit straw feminists ugly feminists woman's suffrage

Anti-Suffrage Postcard Saturday

Pretty kitties, like pretty ladies, don’t want the vote.

There’s an interesting piece over on Collectors Weekly about those anti-Suffragette postcards I sometimes use to illustrate my posts here. (Thanks to Jezebel for the link; I’m not exactly a regular reader of Collectors Weekly.) Lisa Hix puts the cards in context, offering a sort of mini-history of the suffragette movement in the process, and notes that the cards present some of the often contradictory “arguments” still used against feminism today.

Suffragettes were drawn as conniving coquettes, ugly, mean spinsters or, worse, ugly, mean wives who left their families helpless as they attended town-hall meetings. Scenes of women politicians showed them hatching diabolical plots to undermine and emasculate men further. …

“Married Suffragettes were depicted as nagging wives, that was a common one, and the wife was always big, and the husband tiny and puny,” [historian June] Purvis says. “Or, if they were single, Suffragettes were depicted as very ugly women with big feet, protruding teeth, hair pulled back in a bun, and glasses. They were depicted as quite mannish and unattractive so that no man would want to marry them.”

That all sounds a bit familiar, huh?

Here’s are some classic portrayals of Suffragettes as ugly spinsters:

And one depicting Suffragettes as attractive women using their sexual wiles to control men:

Other postcards depicted Suffragettes as children, often whiny babies:

Manosphere dudes are similarly fond of depicting feminists, and women in general, as flighty, irresponsible children.

For more anti-Suffragette postcards, see:

Catherine H. Palczewski’s Suffrage Postcard Archive

June Purvis’ BBC History slideshow

The Woman Suffrage Memorabilia site

This feature on Brain Pickings

And this giant gallery assembled by the misogynistic antifeminist who calls himself Patriactionary.

Thanks, Mr. Patriactionary, for reminding us how completely backwards you guys are. Not that we really needed reminding.

121 replies on “Anti-Suffrage Postcard Saturday”

What a cry-baby, wanting to vote. Mature people are willing to accept the benevolent yoke of despotism.

So feminists are both hideous eyesores and sexy temptresses? Truly these are the spiritual forefathers of the MRM.

The ones with the cats are the best.

Although that “We don’t care if we never have a vote” one reminds me of Meller. *shudder*

Also, I note that Patriactionary’s definition of “shrieking” appears to be “a woman writing and/or saying something.”

It’s baldly untrue, but you must forgive him—his irrational, testerical man-brain prevents him from discerning anything in more than one or two gradations between black and white.

The last postcard in that column I find very engaging. (It’s a little girl sneaking into a little boy’s room as the boy sleeps, and stealing his pants. It’s captioned, “What a chance!”)

Despite the message of the card (If you give women the vote, next they’ll want to wear pants! Horror!), the artwork is appealing, the young girl is not a snaggle-toothed hag like in the rest of the cards, and I find myself rooting for her — Go! Go! No one can stop you!

It’s quite an odd duck, in comparison to the others. Its message seems to be mixed, rather than ambivalent (like the woman being carried off by the PC).

That’s the problem with a group that discourages people from thinking outside their website. You get all kinds of in-jokes and references that outgroup people won’t get, and then you get an incomprehensible poster that the average person is going to look at and wonder what the boxcutter has to do with the cupcake.

Some of those which the boob known as Patriactionary has collected together are great, I would quite like a poster of the Suffragette Madonna. Or The Wild Rose Which Requires Careful Handling. Although it’s weird that I’m finding those amusing from a “look how far we’ve come” ironic angle and he’s finding it amusing because his sense of humor is an heirloom from his great great grandfather and he’s careful to keep it fastidiously maintained in its original condition.

Of course some of the images he’s collected would not make for fun posters, because they are simply depictions of women being tortured like it’s something awesome. It’s just par for the course for MRAs to take pleasure in that. Because they’re not a hate movement, they just play one on the internet.

It is kind of sad to look back and see that many people haven’t changed at all. The art and typography seems largely much better than what the MRM puts out now a days though.

And at least the anti-suffragettes seem to easily admit that the woman’s job at home is A LOT of hard work (as the men depicted can’t handle it at all). Guess the bon bon thing is a new one.

The House That Man Built ones seem particularly akin to MRA talking points.

My fave:

They’re also putting it down as unworthy of men – only weaklings and feeble men actually allow themselves to be degraded by doing “women’s work”.

Oh, it’s just the same URL they printed several hundred times on the poster. It’s only funny from the perspective where they have 3/4 of a whole POSTER that just says over and over and over and over and over and you finally see the high-tech squiggle in the bottom right and you’re sort of expecting that surely they might have done something more with that than just writing avoiceformen,com one last time, but you know they didn’t. And then they didn’t.

Oh yeah its definitely depicted as the most awful and degrading thing ever for a man to feed a baby or do laundry, I can”t help but laugh at the silliness though.

But in a way they were right. After women became more equal in society men and women started sharing household and child rearing and women could wear pants and work in politics. Difference is, its not the end of the world! (I promise MRAs. It’s not).

What is it with the ducks around here lately?!!???!??

They’re the new mascots of feminism! AVfM missed the boat on that poster. They should have put a mallard in that one quarter instead of the unicorn.

MizDarwin, I tried to go look at AVfM’s drop–offerings but my browser killed itself rather than load them. Seriously.

(Perhaps this means be cautious loading the site if there’s malware or something. Or maybe they can just detect feminist invaders now.)

It really says something about the antifeminist “movement” when they are still using er…arguments and viewpoints from their grandparents era. Is novelty frowned on in MRA circles?

“Is novelty frowned on in MRA circles?”

They are conservative reactionaries, at least on this particular issue, so I’d assume so.

@long time lurker

I’ve no idea, particularly seeing as the suffragettes and the temperance movement in the USA had quite a substantial overlap.

Is novelty frowned on in MRA circles?

Most things are.


Well, we do have Quackers and lowquacks here in this feminist stronghold. Granted, “lowquacks” is a Joyce/cassowary reference, and I haven’t seen Quackers around for a bit (I miss her 🙁 ), but still.

And excuse me if I’m entirely confusing/inarticulate, I’m on day 8 of Zoloft and it seems to be doing nothing but fog my brain beyond all recognition. You know the feeling of walking into a room and forgetting what you came there for? It’s like that, all the time.

lowquacks–I wish you luck in your antidepressant quest. It sucks when you think you’re getting treated but all you feel are the side effects 🙁

I feel the urge to go rewatch the suffragette’s video on Youtube set to Bad Romance

Nah, that jerk doesn’t even like kitties, he thinks they should be killed if they scratch anyone or anything. Meller would rather a robot. Or, possibly, a corpse.

Oh God.

You get one guess what the QR code says. I had to scan it just to make sure, and now I can’t stop laughing.

What’s really hilarious is that the QR code doesn’t even scan well. All the plaintext it’s pasted on top of without any border is keeping my scanner from identifying it. (I generally use Google Goggles for QR codes.)

What the hell is with that poster, anyway? It must be one of their inane injokes that I’ve been lucky enough to miss so far.

And I can’t believe they’re still on about the boxcutter thing, especially since the video of the incident was posted. It’s so melodramatic, even for the MRM.

The Kittehs’ Unpaid Help: Oh, no, Meller quite likes fuzzy animals (I once got into a rather disturbing conversation with him about a rabbit bred with amazingly velvet-like fur). He’s just not into fuzzy animals that don’t do his bidding instantly. Or kittens that do kitten things, like scratch… hang on a sec… /me checks latest Kami wound Yay, no blood! She misjudged her jump onto my desk and ended up kinda flailing into my chest.

And we wouldn’t have near as much of a problem if she’d let us anywhere near her claws to trim them! A friend brought over ‘The Cat Whisperer,’ a woman who a) plays a mean Garou and b) has mystic powers of cat-calming. Kami drew blood. On her face. It was not fun for anyone.

Ha, yes, “likes” is always conditional on “obeys instantly” with Meller – which is why I said he doesn’t really like kitties at all. Or any beings separate from him and not his slaves.

Yeah, he wouldn’t like real-world dogs either. I’m always puzzled by cat owners who claim that cats are smarter than dogs because cats don’t just obey you unquestioningly. Or that Terry Pratchett story where he completely reveals himself as a cat-person-who-has-NO-experience-with-dogs-whatsoever (think it’s Men At Arms) where a stray dog instantly gets control over a whole pack of rabid dogs because he can talk like a human, and when you say “bad dog” to dogs they instantly throw themselves on the ground and obey you. Like, seriously, that’s NOT what dogs are like in the real world… not even remotely…

And I can’t believe they’re still on about the boxcutter thing, especially since the video of the incident was posted. It’s so melodramatic, even for the MRM.

To say that they’re melodramatic is an understatement. First they put up an article saying “misogynist is the new N-word,” now they’re directly comparing themselves to Jews in Nazi Germany. They literally just Godwinned their movement—which is a shame, because there are still a lot more groups that are or have been horribly, murderously oppressed that the white, western men of the MRM have not yet belittled by comparing their plight to divorce court. Slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings, TheMotherfuckingHolocaust; what’s next, comparing Andrea Dworkin to Skynet?

I remember talking with a guy about the right to vote. I mentioned the fact the women hadn’t had the right to vote very long and his response was that women hadn’t done ANYTHING with their right to vote. He then went further to speak of how WOMEN didn’t have to fight for their right to vote. He informed me that womens right to vote hadn’t changed the fact that people in africa were still starving. I was thrown for a loop and I suppose my face most of had shown that and he said that he had blown my mind.

Yep, he had. I thought I was talking to a rational human being apparently I was wrong. I couldn’t get away from him fast enough. I just wasn’t up for arguing with him and being declared on the rag, shrill and a cunt. And that probably would have been what that “debate” would have ended in.

@Melody: Just… WHAT? No, women haven’t managed to vote away all the world’s problems, but neither have men. By that logic, we could just as well have a dictatorship.

I’ve seen that kind of “logic” however about women in politics, like, women politicians are useless because bringing women into politics hasn’t made the world more peaceful etc. Look, we don’t have to justify having female politicians or female right to vote by its consequences. If MEN get to be politicians and MEN get to vote, women should TOO, in the name of FAIRNESS: That’s ALL the justification we need.

I vote against people starving whenever given the opportunity. I will also vote for subsidies for sunshine and rainbows whenever they are on the ballot. I am fiercely pro-happiness. But my last ballot had no box to check on these topics – just lists of names, mostly dudes, and something about a zoning variance for a PetSmart.

I’m always puzzled by cat owners who claim that cats are smarter than dogs because cats don’t just obey you unquestioningly.

I know! I’m a cat person myself, but people who portray dogs as slavish, perpetually obedient slobber-machines in contrast to cool, independent cats are so ridiculous. I’ve lived with both cats and dogs, and seen the cats whine for attention and snuggles and the dogs go off and do their own thing when they’ve had enough petting.

Even sillier are the cat lovers who claim cats are superior because Hitler loved dogs and hated cats. I know he had dogs, but I’ve never found anything where he even mentions cats.

The whole thing reminds me of this video:

As for the first postcard with the kittens, I found it comically surreal. “We don’t care if we never have a vote”. Well, no, because they’re CATS and don’t even know what a vote is.

@Kathleenb – ooh, that’s worrisome. My old buddy Kodama didn’t used to let us trim his claws, and twice we ended up taking him to the vet because a claw had grown so long it curved back into his pad.

Well the knowledge of patriactionary’s existince has set back my faith in humanity considerably. Why do beliefs like that even still exist in 2012, I mean I can sort of understand conservatives in being scared shitless that change *might* end up being for the worse, but reactionaries? It just doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever.

What is going on with the Canadian Liberal Party?? O.o
No wants the leadership job? To top it off, one of the men asked to step up declined, and I can swear I heard dogwhistles about how white men won’t be able to take leadership of the party cause white male. Really.

On the upside, there are three women contenders for the leadership race, well respected and hopefully they will choose to run! This is so exciting!!

Lowquacks, I’m sorry to hear about the side effects issues you’re having. I once had that experience too, back when I had depression. I hope that either the effects clear up quickly or your doctor finds the right dosage for you. Living in a perpetual fog is not nice.

Dvärghundspossen, I think that pointing out that despite men being in power for millenia and numerous faiths professing male messiahas and male prophets, men have failed to bring world peace. Really, how much worse can it be to have women leaders?

I just saved a bunch of those postcards. I’m going to use them as icons everywhere I can.

Many cats already exercise dictatorial powers. They ruled Lenin, who ruled Russia; Earnest Hemingway, at the height of his influence, was pushed around by cats, especially ones with thumbs. Only rarely and by accident have women exercised parallel powers. As for the idea that only ugly women needed either temporal power or the vote, I refer you to Irene Forsyte, q.v.

It’s also curious how, until the 1970’s, in a woman, beauty was equated with feminine worth. Ugly, or even just average, human females were not only assumed to be inherently blameworthy for their lack of pulchritude; they were assumed to be mean, angry, frustrated, and castrating because of this shortcoming. (And sometimes latently Lesbian, too.)

Whoever thinks dogs are heel-clicking sycophants should have some of mine. I add that I have never attempted to “break” a dog and regard that as scurvy as anything ever done to “break” human beings.

By the way, folks, Otis is on the loose, saying that he likes rape jokes because they make feminists cry, and he thinks the constant threat of rape is good for keeping women humble and in their place. Maybe Otis will wind up in the Big House. I’m hoping he doesn’t just wind up in the House.

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