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Handout A: Decision Time


Check your assigned identity below, then write a brief speech showing how you respond to the prompt. Be sure to mention whether/how what you have seen and experienced has affected your approach to the issue. You will practice and edit your speech in your small group.

It is 1918. From the perspective of your assigned identity, do you favor or oppose women gaining the nation-wide right to vote?

  • Italian American: You are a 40-year old immigrant from Italy who has been in the U.S. for 20 years. You’re too busy making ends meet to be very concerned about women’s right to vote. Your 14-year-old daughter died in the 1911 Triangle Factory fire.
  • Younger Brother: You are 17 years old, and you don’t give much thought to whether women should have the right to vote. Your older brother has just been drafted into World War I. You are proud of him, and you think right now the country should be focused on winning the war.
  • Suffrage Procession Spectator: You are a supporter of women’s suffrage, and you were among the spectators at the 1913 suffrage procession, where marchers were jeered and attacked.
  • Newspaper Reader: You previously thought things were just fine without women having the right to vote. But your conscience was shocked when you read in the newspaper about the brutal treatment Alice Paul and other suffragists endured in prison in 1917.