"Why Women Should Vote" by Jane Addams (1910)

Jane Addams is best known as a leader in the Settlement House Movement and the founder of Hull House in 1899. In her efforts to raise immigrants and the poor into the middle class she also became a Suffragist, a woman who advocated for the right to vote. She published this article in the "Ladies Home Journal" in 1910.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. affair
    a matter or concern
    Public-spirited women who wish to use the ballot, as I know them, do not wish to do the work of men nor to take over men's affairs.
    "Concern" or "business" are synonyms for "affair." Addams is saying women do not wish to get involved in men's concerns or do men's work.
  2. overlook
    leave undone or leave out
    They simply want an opportunity to do their own work and to take care of those affairs which naturally and historically belong to women, but which are constantly being overlooked and slighted in our political institutions.
  3. slight
    pay no attention to; disrespect
    They simply want an opportunity to do their own work and to take care of those affairs which naturally and historically belong to women, but which are constantly being overlooked and slighted in our political institutions.
  4. political
    of or relating to the profession of governing
    They simply want an opportunity to do their own work and to take care of those affairs which naturally and historically belong to women, but which are constantly being overlooked and slighted in our political institutions.
  5. institution
    a custom that has been an important feature of some group
    They simply want an opportunity to do their own work and to take care of those affairs which naturally and historically belong to women, but which are constantly being overlooked and slighted in our political institutions.
  6. point of view
    a mental position from which things are perceived
    In a complex community like the modern city all points of view need to be represented; the resultants of diverse experiences need to be pooled if the community would make for sane and balanced progress.
    "Opinion" is a synonym for "point of view."
  7. diverse
    many and different
    In a complex community like the modern city all points of view need to be represented; the resultants of diverse experiences need to be pooled if the community would make for sane and balanced progress.
  8. freight
    transport commercially as cargo
    If it would meet fairly each problem as it arises, whether it be connected with a freight tunnel having to do largely with business men, or with the increasing death rate among children under five years of age, a problem in which women are vitally concerned, or with the question of more adequate streetcar transfers, in which both men and women might be said to be equally interested, it must not ignore the judgments of its entire adult population.
  9. concern
    be on the mind of
    If it would meet fairly each problem as it arises, whether it be connected with a freight tunnel having to do largely with business men, or with the increasing death rate among children under five years of age, a problem in which women are vitally concerned, or with the question of more adequate streetcar transfers, in which both men and women might be said to be equally interested, it must not ignore the judgments of its entire adult population.
  10. transfer
    a ticket that allows a passenger to change conveyances
    If it would meet fairly each problem as it arises, whether it be connected with a freight tunnel having to do largely with business men, or with the increasing death rate among children under five years of age, a problem in which women are vitally concerned, or with the question of more adequate streetcar transfers, in which both men and women might be said to be equally interested, it must not ignore the judgments of its entire adult population.
  11. judgment
    an opinion formed critically
    If it would meet fairly each problem as it arises, whether it be connected with a freight tunnel having to do largely with business men, or with the increasing death rate among children under five years of age, a problem in which women are vitally concerned, or with the question of more adequate streetcar transfers, in which both men and women might be said to be equally interested, it must not ignore the judgments of its entire adult population.
  12. administration
    the act of governing or exercising authority
    To turn the administration of our civic affairs wholly over to men may mean that the American city will continue to push forward in its commercial and industrial development, and continue to lag behind in those things which make a City healthful and beautiful.
  13. civic
    of or relating or belonging to a city
    To turn the administration of our civic affairs wholly over to men may mean that the American city will continue to push forward in its commercial and industrial development, and continue to lag behind in those things which make a City healthful and beautiful.
  14. wholly
    to the full or entire extent
    To turn the administration of our civic affairs wholly over to men may mean that the American city will continue to push forward in its commercial and industrial development, and continue to lag behind in those things which make a City healthful and beautiful.
    "Entirely" or "completely" are synonyms for "wholly."
  15. commercial
    connected with or engaged in the exchange of goods
    To turn the administration of our civic affairs wholly over to men may mean that the American city will continue to push forward in its commercial and industrial development, and continue to lag behind in those things which make a City healthful and beautiful.
    "Business" is a synonym for "commercial."
  16. function
    the actions and activities assigned to a person or group
    After all, woman's traditional function has been to make her dwelling-place both clean and fair.
  17. dwelling
    housing that someone is living in
    After all, woman's traditional function has been to make her dwelling-place both clean and fair.
  18. humble
    low or inferior in station or quality
    Is that dreariness in city life, that lack of domesticity which the humblest farm dwelling presents, due to a withdrawal of one of the naturally cooperating forces?
    "Humble" in this context means unpretentious or simple.
  19. gentle
    soft and mild; not harsh or stern or severe
    If women have in any sense been responsible for the gentler side of life which softens and blurs some of its harsher conditions, may they not have a duty to perform in our American cities?
  20. harsh
    unkind or cruel or uncivil
    If women have in any sense been responsible for the gentler side of life which softens and blurs some of its harsher conditions, may they not have a duty to perform in our American cities?
  21. recapitulate
    summarize briefly
    In closing, may I recapitulate that if woman would fulfill her traditional responsibility to her own children; if she would educate and protect from danger factory children who must find their recreation on the street; if she would bring the cultural forces to bear upon our materialistic civilization; and if she would do it all with the dignity and directness fitting one who carries on her immemorial duties, then she must bring herself to the use of the ballot—that latest implement for self-gove
  22. recreation
    an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates
    In closing, may I recapitulate that if woman would fulfill her traditional responsibility to her own children; if she would educate and protect from danger factory children who must find their recreation on the street; if she would bring the cultural forces to bear upon our materialistic civilization; and if she would do it all with the dignity and directness fitting one who carries on her immemorial duties, then she must bring herself to the use of the ballot—that latest implement for self-gove
  23. materialistic
    marked by a desire for wealth and possessions
    In closing, may I recapitulate that if woman would fulfill her traditional responsibility to her own children; if she would educate and protect from danger factory children who must find their recreation on the street; if she would bring the cultural forces to bear upon our materialistic civilization; and if she would do it all with the dignity and directness fitting one who carries on her immemorial duties, then she must bring herself to the use of the ballot—that latest implement for self-gove
    "Money-oriented" is a synonym for "materialistic."
  24. civilization
    a particular society at a particular time and place
    In closing, may I recapitulate that if woman would fulfill her traditional responsibility to her own children; if she would educate and protect from danger factory children who must find their recreation on the street; if she would bring the cultural forces to bear upon our materialistic civilization; and if she would do it all with the dignity and directness fitting one who carries on her immemorial duties, then she must bring herself to the use of the ballot—that latest implement for self-gove
  25. dignity
    the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect
    In closing, may I recapitulate that if woman would fulfill her traditional responsibility to her own children; if she would educate and protect from danger factory children who must find their recreation on the street; if she would bring the cultural forces to bear upon our materialistic civilization; and if she would do it all with the dignity and directness fitting one who carries on her immemorial duties, then she must bring herself to the use of the ballot . . .
  26. implement
    a piece of equipment or a tool used for a specific purpose
    . . . and if she would do it all with the dignity and directness fitting one who carries on her immemorial duties, then she must bring herself to the use of the ballot—that latest implement for self-government.

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