My project is to teach students’ historical thinking by using women’s suffrage as the example. The target audience is the freshmen of college. The major part is the analysis of images. This cartoon is the one who opposed women’s suffrage. One of the reasons why some people opposed women’s suffrage is “domestic feminism,” the belief that women had the right to complete freedom within the home. This cartoon well reflects this sentiment that the women’s domain was only domestic. They can’t execute their voting right well because of their home affairs. Students may be confused about this cartoon if they don’t know this historical background. Voting is a serious matter that decides many important things of the civil society. However, in this cartoon, Mrs. Jones ditches this sacred right and civil responsibility for a cake in the oven. It not only shows women care about home affairs (home is their domain) so much but also, they can’t be trusted with voting right. How can you give up voting because you put a cake in the oven as priority? This cartoon reflects well the viewpoint of anti-suffragism. This is why I choose this image to help students understand the mindset of the anti-suffragists.
I will guide students to understand this image with questions and group discussions. 1. what happened in the cartoon? Describe it with details. 2. What do you think this cartoon want to say? It is pro or against suffrage? why? 3. Why does Mrs. Jones rush to go just for a cake in the oven? And why does this matter as it’s the theme of the cartoon? 4. What’s the connection between a cake in the oven and votes for women? 5. If you were a person living at that time, were you convinced by the cartoon or not? why? What evidence would you use if you lived at that time to counterargue against this cartoon? 6. Do you have other cartoons that show the similar theme? Share one that interests and analyze it.