Of Men and Their Legs, Now and Then

June 23, 2017

The BBC yesterday carried a story about some 50 boys from the ISCA Academy in Exeter, England, who, when denied permission to wear shorts on very hot days, resorted to the next best thing: they donned the black-and-white plaid kilts of the school’s uniform for girls.

Peter Lloyd, author of Stand By Your Manhood, tweeted the story, adding in reply, “Respect to these fellow suffragents!”

My Suffragents were a force of thousands of men who supported the right of women to vote in England, the United States, and much of the developed world. They, too, were willing to risk some performance art. Take this clipping from the New York Sun of March 17, 1914.

The James Lees Laidlaw referred to as having shapely enough calves for silk stockings was the head of Laidlaw & Company, a major investment banking firm of the day, and a member of the board of directors of what eventually became Standard & Poor’s. He was also the president of the New York-based National Men’s League for Woman Suffrage and became the only man whose name appears on the bronze plaque struck in the 1930s to honor the great women of the New York suffrage campaign. Now that is a suffragent.



The Suffragents won the Gold Medal in US History in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards and was a finalist for the 2018 Sally and Morris Lasky Prize, presented by the Center for Political History at Lebanon Valley College. Brooke’s “Summer Camp Newsletters” (with photos and often video) and Facebook posts from book-related appearances. Reviews, notices, and articles about her books under their titles here. National History Day contestants, please read this.

Next up: 2019: UCLA Law Conference on Food and Animal Rights: February 23. Scarsdale Women’s Club, March 13. National Women’s Republican Club, May 15.