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Winning the West for Women by Jennifer M Ross-Nazzal - Essay Example

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Jennifer M. Ross-Nazzal book, winning the West for women: The life of suffragist Emma Smith DeVoe is an interesting book ever written from a feminine perspective showing how Emma DeVoe represents western suffrage among women…
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Winning the West for Women by Jennifer M Ross-Nazzal
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Winning the West for Women by Jennifer M Ross-Nazzal

Download file to see previous pages... In this book, Ross-Nazzal analyzes the situations that Emma DeVoe underwent as a suffragist in the American west and shows the clashes of personality, conflicts, disagreements and hard workings of the efforts to attain the vote for women in the American west at national level from the year 1889 till Emma’s death in 1927 (Ross-Nazzal 5). This book is fascinating in the sense that Ross-Nazzal stresses that Emma’s career offers a unique platform through which to fully comprehend the suffrage reform movement in America. In this, the career of Emma is a manifestation of women’s struggle to attain the vote. She clearly demonstrates how local and state suffrage unions or organizations in American west related to the National American women suffrage association and how this organization solicited for funds as well as depicting how suffragist attained the hard work of long distance travel and politicking. This book reveals that women suffrage movement was not monolithic as they combined with other people throughout the country to raise money to fund the organization so that their grievances were heard. The author of the book presents DeVoe as radical feminist in that she used feminine perspective to influence people in endorsing enfranchisement and particularly the use of sweetness in talking to male voters. For instance, she emphasized her appearance as a woman during public forums and talks striving to look lady like in presentation and demeanor. It is interesting to note that DeVoe’s tactics were effective in the sense she managed to convert both sexes to raise money, draw the support of businessmen and politicians and lastly bringing sanity and respect to the movement for women’s suffrage. Ross-Nazzal states that the prominence of DeVoe in suffrage movement gained centre stage when she was in South Dakota in 1880. South Dakota was a rotten place in that it included prostitution and gambling in that there was no moral order in that place. Therefore, DeVoe started engaging in moral reforms in order to eliminate these ills, often singing to various reform audiences (Ross-Nazzal 6). In addition, DeVoe planned for campaigns while in Dakota in order to get voters to support the suffrage movement. It is these events that shaped the career of DeVoe in that she began expanding the role of reform and the road to national healing and reconciliation. In the 1880s, she moved towards working for women’s’ suffrage movement at a time when she came to belief in women’s political rights that would help eliminate prostitution, drunkenness and other social ills witnessed during her stay at Huron in South Dakota. In addition, it is interesting to note that while in South Dakota, she voted for constitutional amendment geared towards women’s suffrage. In her move to support amendments in the constitution, she oftenly spoke using patriotism, humor, memories of civil war and conciliatory perspectives to both sexes so as to persuade audiences. She received criticism during her South Dakota campaigns in that she was accused of self serving, selfish and ambitious. In this book, Ross-Nazzal states that DeVoe moved to Washington where she gained a national reputation as a true patriot. In addition, she was given the position of a lecturer at NAWSA. She travelled widely organizing State and local suffrage clubs and bringing in money. Her position as NASWA lecturer better placed in that she was now in a position to travel widely and popularize the suffrage movement. More so, she spent her time organizing and soliciting for funds in States like Illinois, Montana and Nevada (Ross-Nazzal 18). The relation between populism and suffragist delayed the movement objectives as in some such as North Dakota populists delayed the movem ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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