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.



National History Day contestants, please read this before you contact me.

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.  See Summer Camp Newsletters” and Facebook posts from book-related appearances. Reviews, notices, and articles about my books are under their titles here. My articles are here.

Upcoming Events 2019-2020: August 7:  Panel, “From Emma Goldman to the Marketplace of Ideas: Marking the 100th Anniversary of Free Speech at the Supreme Court.” (page 40) AEJMC, Toronto. August 14: Webinar, National Park Service. September 23: Bentson Dean’s Lecture, College of Arts and Science, New York University.October 17: Suffragents Panel, National Archives, Washington DC. [2020] June 4-6Métiers et professions des médias (XVIIIe-XXIe siècles),”  Université de Lausanne (Switzerland).

Happened 2019: Exhibition Opening Remarks: “Women Get the Vote: A Historic Look at the Nineteenth Amendment,“New York Society Library. February 23: Public Values in Conflict with Animal Agribusiness Practices,” UCLA Law School, Los Angeles.  March 13: The Suffragents,” Scarsdale Woman’s Club, Scarsdale NY. March 24: League of Women Voters, Albany County at the Bethlehem (NY) Public LibraryMarch 25:Judges, Lawyers, and Women’s Suffrage: Recognizing the Men Who Stood with Women on the Front Lines,” Gender Fairness Committee of the Third Judicial District, CLE, NY State Courts at SUNY Albany Law School, Albany NY. May 15: “The Republican Suffragents,” National Women’s Republican Club, New York City.