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Suffrage 125 - Schools Debate: 1893, Why should men get the vote?

Tuesday 04 September

PRICES

Free. Bookings essential.

WHEN

Tue 04 September, 17:30-18:30

WHERE

Tauranga City Council chambers, 91 Willow Street, Tauranga

Welcome to 1893 and the new herstory. Society is dominated by women, who have been voting since New Zealand’s first General Election was held in 1853. They are fully engaged in work, society and political life. Men are the primary homemakers and responsible for rearing children…after the women have given birth.

Now men have decided they want a say in governing the country, too. They are holding meetings and gathering signatures on a suffrage petition to present to parliament. The debate rages as to whether it would do the country any good whatsoever for men to be granted the vote, with many viewing it as an attack on natural gender roles that could lead to the breakdown of society.

A few women support the men in their endeavours, but social commentators are saying: “Tampering with men’s and women’s ‘natural’ gender roles could cause the breakdown of society – or at least screaming babies, burnt dinners and cats in the milk jug.” “Women have the vote and the power at the present moment; I say for Heaven's sake let us keep it!” “There are obvious disadvantages about having men in Parliament. I do not know what is going to be done about their top hats.

How are we to see if they are sitting in front of us?” “One of the greatest features in connection with this country is the responsibility of women towards men, and I would view with the greatest apprehension any step which would tend to relieve women of that responsibility.” “Men are tremendously accessible, extraordinarily impressionable, noted for the adoption of any new thing, and for the easy acceptance of other people’s views.” “This is a commercial and industrial country. But it could hardly be hoped that men could govern and manage our commerce and industry.” “Electioneering men are requested not to call here. This poster urges men to go home, look after the children, cook their wife’s dinners, empty the slops, and generally attend to the domestic affairs for which nature designed them.”

The event is free, but bookings are essential. Tickets must be presented on the night.

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