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Experiential Learning at UD

Marie Poinsatte: Dean's Summer Fellowship Research on Women's Suffrage in Dayton

By Jamie Morris

Marie Poinsatte, a senior history major and College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Summer Fellowship recipient, spent the spring and summer of 2020 studying the women’s suffrage movement in Dayton. Through her research she discovered many fascinating details about the women’s suffrage movement; for example, she learned about anti-suffrage women and their insistence that female voters could cause damage to American society. Poinsatte references Talbott and other anti-suffrage women who felt women could not be both a political being and a homemaker. Throughout her research, she found that anti-suffragists felt it was a mother’s job to teach her son right from wrong and if a male political representation is somehow problematic, that meant that their mothers had failed to teach their sons how to consider the good of society in matters of governmental importance. 

She concludes that Talbott was concerned that women would be diminished by partisan politics and therefore shouldn’t participate. However, as Poinsatte points out,  it is necessary for women to participate in government if that government so claims to be representative. As we move into election season, it is important to remember the ballot is a shared responsibility of equal citizens and a hard-fought right.

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