...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



Reading Wikipedia on Women's Day:

Denmark "granted" women sufferage suffrage, the right to vote in oldspeak, in 1915.
Preceded only by the Pitcairn Islands way back in 1838, and Australia, 1902, opening the doors of democracy for the wives and mothers and daughters and sisters of already-voting men.
Russia 1917.
Ukraine SSR 1919.
The other end of the timeline is of course still open, with Saudi Arabia, a kingdom, a major US ally and trading partner, still trying to make up its kingly mind:

Saudi Arabia - Not yet. Women were denied the right to vote or to stand for the local election in 2005, although suffrage was slated to possibly be granted by 2009, then set for later in 2011, but suffrage was not granted either of those times.
In late September 2011, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud declared that women would be able to vote and run for office starting in 2015.
Vatican City, which is very tiny so probably doesn't have a lot of women to start with, doesn't allow women to vote either, but unlike Saudi Arabia isn't pretending to be thinking about it. Oh, and it's where the Pope lives, and so it's HQ for the Catholic Church. So bigger in a kind of image-y way.
And France. 1944. France!
Switzerland - 1971, boys and girls.
United Kingdom - 1918 (partial) (Then including Ireland)1928 (full)
            From 1918-1928, women could vote at 30 with property qualifications or as                    graduates of UK universities, while men could vote at 21 with no qualification.

And the home team, USA: 1920. Not quite a century yet.
There's something there that isn't visible, even today.
No, not why isn't it visible. Not why not give them the right to vote. Why?
Why weren't women voting already?
And it's like it's not important, or not that important.
It's over whatever it was, can't we just move on?
But it is important, and it may turn out to have been even more important than whether or not they got to, finally.
It's not real profitable to always reduce a complex social condition to an individual analogy, but sometimes it makes it easier to see things, things that get lost in the noise of the larger signal.
Imagine some husband, won't let his wife sign anything, she can't discipline the kids, can't spend any money without his permission, can't give her opinion about any important family things. Etc etc.
She starts asking for a voice in things that are affecting her and her kids. Then after a bunch of really violent fights, violent on his end, she just yells after reasonable argument fails completely, she just goes out and lays down behind the car so he has to move her out of the way to get to work, and he whacks her around a little for obstructing him in the performance of his duties.
Then he locks her in the garage, and when she refuses to eat the dog food he pushes her in the little cage he's built next to the lawn mower, he makes a pan of watery oatmeal, shoves a garden hose down her throat and pours the glop into her. For her own good. He's a doctor so it's okay.
Finally some of the neighbors, the ones that aren't laughing at her silliness for trying to be like men, convince him to stop all that, and you know, let her have a little more say in things. Takes a while, but eventually...
Cool. People change, right?
He's better now. She's better too.
It's just probably no, it's not cool, lots of reasonable folks would tell her to lose the loser, get away from him before he does something even crazier, right?
Because there's something wrong with him.
Okay. Now back to that larger picture.
If it wasn't a sickness, what was it? A reasonable assessment of women's abilities at the time?
Want to try and make that stick?
And if it was a sickness, exactly when did the cure take place?
Because I can't find that part on Wikipedia.

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