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Maker(s):Cruikshank, George
Culture:British (1792 - 1878)
Title:The Rights of Women or The Effects of Female Enfranchisement
Date Made:1853 published
Materials:etching on paper
Place Made:United Kingdom; England; London
Measurements:sheet: 9 1/8 x 18 7/8 in.; 23.1775 x 47.9425 cm; image: 6 3/8 x 16 1/4 in.; 16.1925 x 41.275 cm
Narrative Inscription:  inscribed in plate: Published by D. Bogue, 86 Fleet St., London for The Common Almanack for 1853
Accession Number:  SC 1985.26.1
Credit Line:Transfer from Smith College Archives
Museum Collection:  Smith College Museum of Art

The Women's vote; suffrage; Satire

Label Text:
Discussions of the "woman question," as it was called, reached a fever pitch in Victorian England during the mid-nineteenth century and continued into the twentieth. While male suffrage was gradually widened throughout the nineteenth century, women did not gain the vote until 1918. This caricature was undoubtedly in response to Harriet Taylor's essay, "Enfranchisement of Women," published in 1851 in the Westminster Review and written in response to the first National Women's Rights Convention held in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1850. This essay was reprinted in the United States and became an important validation for the early U.S. women's movement. One of the key arguments of anti-suffragists was that women were, by nature, unsuited to political life as they were both mentally and physically frail and thus unable to make reasonable and rational choices. Cruikshank uses humor and mockery in this etching to illustrate this argument: Mr. Darling is clearly the favorite of the ladies, because of his good looks and impeccable manners (as well as a platform that promises Parliamentary Balls every week), as opposed to the candidate one woman's sign refers to as "Ugly Old Stingy."

satire; women; protests; politics

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