Sister Suffragette
New Zealand Suffragettes

In 1893, women in New Zealand became the first to gain the right to vote.


Kate Sheppard, leader of the campaign, is shown at the forefront of the the group, which includes Meri Te Tai Mangak?hia, Amey Daldy, Ada Wells, Harriet Morison and Helen Nicol.

Te Tai Mangak?hia was the first women to address Te Paremata (the M?ori parliament), when she argued for M?ori women's right to vote (and stand for election) there. Daldy was president of the Women's Franchise League in Auckland and Wells was the organiser of the national movement. Morison, a union leader, vigorously supported the campaign and encouraged the involvement of women in the tailoresses' unions. Nicol led the fight in Dunedin.

New Zealand suffragettes led by Kate Sheppard.











Historical Context
1837 - 1901 Victorian Age - Queen Victoria rules England

1839 Photography invented
1846 Sewing machine invented
1848 Pre-Raphaelites
Discovery of gold in American west encourages westward expansion
1851 Harriet Beacher Stowe publishes antislavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin
1853 - 1855 Crimean War; England and France halt the advancement of Russia into Balkans
1861 - 1865 American Civil War
1863 First Impressionist Exhibition
1865 Emancipation Proclamation frees slaves in U.S.
Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
1869 Susan B. Anthony orgranizes Woman's Suffrage Movement in United States
1876 Alexander Graham Bell patents telephone
1888 Jack the Ripper murders and mutilates London prostitutes
Alexander Melville, Queen Victoria, 1845.











The Cult of True Womanhood

Domestic Happiness

The True Woman was:
  • Pious, pure, submissive and domestic
  • Morally and spiritually superior to men
Because of this, her body should not be used for debase things like sexual pleasure (men used prostitutes - "public" women - for such things)
  • Exposure to the nude form could disturb her delicate equilibrium
  • The home was the "separate and proper sphere for women"
Lilly Martin Spencer, Domestic Happiness, 1849.











We Both Must Fade

Lilly Martin Spencer, We Both Must Fade, 1869.











Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood


1848 - 1903
  • Rejected the conventions established by Raphael and supported by the Academy
  • Promoted return to naturalistic approach
  • Reacted against the materialization of industrialized world
  • Preferred idealized view of medieval world
  • Desire to reform ills of modern civilization through art
John Everett Millais, Ophelia, 1852.











Victorians were incredibly concerned with the problem of prostitution, which they called the Great Social Evil
the fallen woman = any woman who had sex outside of marriage

Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Found, 1853 - 1882.
William Holman Hunt, The Awakening Conscience, 1853.











Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Beata Beatrix, 1864 - 1870.











Pippa Passes

Elizabeth Siddall, Pippa Passes, 1854.











Jason and Medea
Evelyn Pickering de Morgan, Medea, 1889.
Eugene Delacroix, Medea, 1838.
John William Waterhouse, Jason and Medea, 1907.












Evelyn Pickering de Morgan, The Gilded Cage, 1919.










Sojourner Truth
"If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again.  And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them. ” - Sojourner Truth from her "Ain't I a Woman?" speech

"In 1850 [when] former slave Sojourner Truth drew crowds to a series of lectures in Indiana, the force of her rhetoric and personality led an incredulous audience there to demand she prove that she was not a man - culminating in her famously revealing her breast to the audience as indisputable proof of her sex." (Buszek, Pin-Up Grrrls, 38)

Sojourner Truth, Carte-de-visite, 1864.











By mid century the idealized True Woman
was increasingly questioned

suffrage parade

  • Industrial Revolution made more jobs available to women
  • Many families needed women to work because of class/ economic changes
  • Growing middle class broke traditional rules for women
  • Women became significantly involved in anti-slavery movement, prison reform, labor reform and educational reform movements, thereby gaining limited access to the public realm
  • After emancipation of slaves, turned collective efforts to women’s rights
Suffrage parade in New York City, May 6, 1912.











The Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 began the Women's Movement in America
Lucretia Coffin Mott
Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Lucretia Mott
Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Women's Suffrage Leaders











The Declaration of Sentiments
About 300 people attended the convention and 100 (68 women and 32 men) signed the conclusive document.
An article in the Oneida Whig published soon after the convention described the document as "the most shocking and unnatural event ever recorded in the history of womanity."
When, in the course of events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a absolution.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are suffer able, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they were accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.
  • He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.
  • He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men - both natives and foreigners.
  • Having deprived her of this first right as a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.
  • He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.
  • He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.
  • He has made her morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master - the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.
  • He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes of divorce, in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given; as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of the women - the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of a woman, and giving all power into his hands.
  • After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.
  • He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration.
  • He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction, which he considers most honorable to himself. As a teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known.
  • He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education - all colleges being closed against her.
  • He allows her in church, as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church.
  • He has created a false public sentiment by giving to the world a different code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society, are not only tolerated but deemed of little account in man.
  • He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action, when that belongs to her conscience and her God.
  • He has endeavored, in every way that he could to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.

Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation, - in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States.

In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object. We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and national Legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf. We hope this Convention will be followed by a series of Conventions, embracing every part of the country.

Firmly relying upon the final triumph of the Right and the True, we do this day affix our signatures to this declaration.











torturing suffragette
A Suffragette's Home
Suffragette Being Tortured in Prison