Fathers, Daughters and Feminism: Shades of John and Inez Milholland and That “Flighty” “Homewrecker” Mary Wollstonecraft

John Milholland

October 8, 2017

The Huffington Post today featured a new photo portrait project of fathers and daughters talking feminism. Of all the routes to support for women’s suffrage I encountered in my research—men recruited to the cause by the passions of their wives, mothers, sisters, and lovers—only one involved the route of daughter to father. That would be Inez Milholland and her father, John, a member in good standing of the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage.

Inez Milholland Boissevain

John Milholland makes several cameo appearances in The Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote. His name appears in the alphabetical listing of the first 150 members of the New York State Men’s League.

And that spring of 1910, on May 24, Milholland was tapped as toastmaster for a dinner at the National Arts Club, co-sponsored by both the Quaint Club and the Twilight Club. In the course of the evening, a charged debate erupted over the importance of the English writer and philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary Wollstonecraft

Editors at the New York Times were so amused they published this headline:

THE SUFFRAGE CAUSE INVADES THE MEN’S CLUBS

Warm Debate at Quaint Club’s

Feast Over the Merits of Mary Wollstonecraft

SOME THOUGHT HER FLIGHTY

One Speaker Declares the Early Advo-

cate of Women’s Rights was a

Home-Wrecker 

Here’s the full text:

 

 

NHD contestants: Please read this.

The Suffragents in the news: Kirkus FeaturesKirkus Reviews, Foreword ReviewsTown & Country, The American ScholarTabletmag.com,  Unorthodox podcast, Top of Mind with Julie Rose (live), NYU FeaturesWomen’s Media Center,  Futurity, Non-Fiction FansHeforShe.org’s The ScoopOpzij magazine (NL), AmericasDemocrats podcast, Facebook , Brooke’s posts, Good Men Project , suffrageandthemedia.org,

Upcoming events:  Oct. 19: East Hampton Library. Oct. 22: Author’s Talk & Tea: Woodlawn Conservancy. Oct. 26: Talk Back at the Black Box Theater  for Nancy Smithner’s “Hear Them Roar: The Fight for Women’s Rights.” Nov. 5: Holiday Book Signing at the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck, NY. Nov. 6: Brentwood Public Library Nov. 7: NYU Center for the Humanities. Nov. 10: Gotham Center for NYC History/CUNY Graduate Center Nov. 16: Book & Bottle: Suffolk County Historical Society & Museum. Nov. 17-18 Researching New York Conference, Albany. Nov. 20: Brookhaven League of Women Voters. March 10: Keynote, Joint Journalism & Communications Historians Conference, New York City.

Parting shots of: the book launch events of Sept. 1 in East HamptonSept. 11 in NYC and Sept. 14 in Cambridge Mass. I’ve got comment and a video (expected soon) of the Sept. 28 event with Angela P. Dodson at the NY Society Library I spoke at the NY Genealogical & Biographical Society Fall Luncheon on Oct. 10 to an audience in which men were very well represented. Oct. 14, I presented on a panel at the AJHA Convention, Little Rock, Ark., on ‘When the Women of Suffrage Got Its Makeover On.” More to come on that.