HeforShe The Scoop: “The He for She Men of Days Past”

 

September 2017

(last item) http://bit.ly/2gUpM7i

Thank you, UN HeForShe for this perfectly phrased shout-out to The Suffragents! The paragraph highlights the many parallels between HeforShe and the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage of 100 years ago. Indeed, HeforShe is the closest contemporary echo of the long-forgotten League that I’ve been able to pinpoint. (Athena Swan also has resonance.) One distinction worth pondering: HeforShe is one of the great initiatives of UN Women. The inspiration, organization, leadership, and administration of the Men’s League was all men.

THE HeForShe MEN OF DAYS PAST.

In a few short years, we’ll be coming upon the 100 year anniversary of women’s right to vote in the US (the 19th amendment was passed by Congress on June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920). A new book looks at the men who mobilized on behalf of women to get us there.  This article says The Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote “reads almost as a manual for how people might sensitively approach allyship today.” Author Brooke Kroeger introduces the Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage, which had grown to 150 members by 1911, with big names attached. She says, “These were names to knock your socks off. They were big-time financiers, paragons of academia, clergy—leaders in their fields who were running major operations of their own but also took the time to do this.” In May of that year, 89 of them marched down 5th Avenue in support of women’s right to vote. “They were met with jeers,” Kroeger says. “hold up your skirts, girls!”—from the crowd of 10,000 spectators.”  While women worked tirelessly for their right to vote, male allies were able “to advance the suffragist cause in spheres women couldn’t otherwise have reached.” And Kroeger notes something equally important: they didn’t ask for any credit in doing it.

 

Futurity