Baseball or Why We Oppose Votes For Men Discussion May, June 1996

>From Genevieve McBride gmcbride@csd.uwm.edu 19 May 1996

Can anyone on H-Women assist our colleagues on H-Local in identifying Alice Duer Miler, source of the following suffragist humor ca 1915? Thanks.

Why We Oppose Votes For Men

  1. Because a man's place is in the army.
  2. Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.
  3. Because if men should adopt peaceable methods, women will no longer look up to them.
  4. Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms and drums.
  5. Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions show this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them particularly unfit for the task of government.

---Alice Duer Miller, 1915

Responses:

>From Kimberly Jensen jenski@fsa.wosc.osshe.edu 20 May 1996

Entry for Miller is in _Notable American Women_(eds. Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S. Boyer) Vol.II pp.538-540 written by Sue Walcutt. Miller (1874-1942) studied math and astronomy at Barnard, later tutored math there. Wrote stories to support herself through school and after her marriage to Henry Wise Miller in 1899. Wrote novels, was serialized in the "Saturday Evening Post", "Harper's Bazaar", and some for "The Masses." From 1914-1917 Miller wrote a column for the "New York Tribune" called "Are Women People?" and wrote _Women are People_ in 1917. "Are Women People?" is probably the source for the quote.

>From Nancy Marie Robertson nmr1675@is4.nyu.edu 20 May 1996

For information on Alice Duer(there's an umlaude there) Miller, see Judith Schwartz's _Radical Feminists of Heterodoxy: Greenwich Village, 1912-1940_(New Victoria, 1982)

>From Cynthia Russett cynthia.russett@yale.edu 20 May 1996

Miller(1874-1942) is described by Aileen Kraditor in her _Up >From the Pedestal_ as "the rhymester of the feminist movement." She graduated from Barnard in the class of 1899, and wrote _Are Women People?_: A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times_, pub. in 1915. In the 1920's she was a member of the famous literary Round Table(including Dorothy Parker) at the Hotel Algonquin. Her biography is in _Notable American Women_, v.II, pp.538-540.

>From Fran Becque fdbecque@siu.edu 22 May 1996

Alice Duer Miller was a graduate of Barnard College. While a student there she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma women's fraternity and Phi Beta Kappa. She later became an accomplished writer and trustee at Barnard.

>From Judith Schwarz judithschw@aol.com 03 June 1996

Alice Duer Miller was a member of Heterodoxy, best known now for her extended prose poem "The White Cliffs,"(1940), _Are Women People? !Women Are People!_(exclamation marks at both ends of title on cover), "Manslaughter," "Gowns by Roberta" (made into a 1930s wonderfully silly Fred Astaire movie with Heterodoxy member-- and Theatre Guild co- founder--Helen Westley as dress designer Roberta, with a great death scene.) At least four or five issues per year of the "Woman's Home Companion", "Ladies Home Journal," and "Delineator" from the 1920s and 1930s carried one of her serialized novels or short stories.

This baseball satire is typical Heterodoxy humor. Remember the send-up on the Women's Obituary Society by Florence Guy Woolston Seabury that was published in "Harper's" as if it were for real? A sister H-Women wrote asking if it was a real group. No, but thank heavens, Heterodoxy was--and they knew how to play hardball and laugh while they did it..


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