The biggest misconception re: the 19th Amdt


The biggest misconception re: the 19th Amdt


Before Jeannette Rankin became a Congresswoman, she was a suffragist. She worked to win the vote in Washington state in 1910, and then in her home state of Montana in 1914. The first vote she ever cast was for herself.

When Rankin entered the House chamber on April 2, 1917, every other member of Congress rose. In my imagination they rose not just to honor her, but to acknowledge the wrong of women’s absence in all the Congresses that came before.

It will be 100 years tomorrow since women entered the Constitution. The biggest misconception of the 19th Amendment is that it was only about voting. If it were just about civic participation, it wouldn’t have taken so long to win.

What was at stake in the women’s suffrage movement was the end of patriarchy, and the path to genuine power. If you can’t vote, you can’t run for office and if you can’t run for office, you can’t make laws.

Men were afraid of the laws women would make, of how they would feel living in a country governed by women.

As it happens, Jeannette Rankin’s first vote in Congress was against the declaration of war. She is the only member of Congress to vote against U.S. entry into both world wars.

Nowhere in this country do women control a majority of the legislature + the executive + the courts. Would women make different laws? Who knows. But look forward to finding out.


Daily Suffragist




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Daily Suffragist, “The biggest misconception re: the 19th Amdt,” Daily Suffragist, accessed September 27, 2022,

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