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Progressive Argument for Women's Suffrage, 1911
Prepared by H.G. Cattell, Assembly Speaker Pro Tem 

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California Legislature

H. G. CATTELL, 67th District
Speaker pro tem

Women should have equal political rights with men as provided for in Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 8 because—

Women are equal to men intellectually. In fact, if we take the number of graduates from our schools and colleges, we must admit that they are farther advanced mentally.

Women should not be subject to taxation without representation any more than men. “Consent of the governed” means women as well as men; for they are subject to government as well as men.

Women are recognized in the family as a large part of the governing force. The state is only a large family composed of both sexes. Why should she not be considered in the government of the larger family?

Women have been given suffrage in numerous countries and in several states in this Union, and partial suffrage in nearly all civilized countries. We have no knowledge of such action having proved to be a failure or of such laws being repealed, which of course, would be done were the experiment not a success.

Women are better morally, as evidence by the criminals in the penitentiaries. For example: in the penitentiaries in California we have about three thousand men and about thirty women, and the cases tried before the police courts probably average about the same. We must, therefore, admit that women would be a great factor in promoting honesty, equity and morality if given the ballot.

It is argued that all women do not wish to vote. The same argument applied to men: for it has become common practice on election days to send conveyances for a large percent of the male voters, and many who go voluntarily do so from a sense of duty. Women, being more faithful to duty, will exercise their right of franchise and do it cheerfully; besides, their presence on such occasions will make the whole occasion more enjoyable as well as a guaranty that everything will be carried on respectably.

Women who are in touch with public affairs are none the less womanly, but, on the contrary, they are better and more companionable wives, more interesting mothers, because they have a common interest with their sons.

The time was thought that to allow a girl a high school education would ruin her morals, destroy her religion, impair her health, make her more masculine, and take away her desire to be a good wife and mother. Such theories are long since exploded, and, as we have progressed in these matters, let us progress in reference to suffrage; let us show the saloon element, the gambling element, the selfish element (for these are the opponents of women’s suffrage) that this great state of California is really a progressive state in every way.

H. G Cattell
Assemblyman in 67th District

Recieved by Secretary of State Frank Jordan on June 24th, 1911, for publication as part of a voters' information manual. Document is currently filed in the California State Archives under: Secretary of State Election Papers, 1911 Special Election

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