Handout C: What’s the Plan
After hearing the speeches of the four hypothetical people listed on Handout A: Decision Time, and working in character according to your assigned identity, now it is decision time. In your group of four, discuss and decide together which of the options listed below are most likely to be chosen by each of the four 1918 Americans.
- Work at the state level to convince states to give women the vote. After all, it is states who control voting rights. It will be way too hard to convince members of Congress to support a constitutional amendment when it’s not something the voters in their home states want.
- Work at the national level to convince Congress to pass a constitutional amendment. We can focus our efforts in Washington. Every state will never agree to do it, and so a constitutional amendment is the only way we will secure women’s right to vote all through the nation.
- Let’s face it, our current efforts in the states and Washington D.C. are not getting us anywhere. We need to ramp things up with some attention-getting protests. We must be willing to exercise unconventional and assertive methods, including nonviolent civil disobedience. The consequences we face in any such confrontations will be worth it for the attention they bring to our cause.
- Do none of these. Voting is a privilege, not a right, and it does not need to be extended to women. American history is full of examples of women having a great influence in American government and in society without voting. Women know this, that’s why I believe most of them don’t even want the right to vote.