One of the sad ironies of twentieth-century political life in the United States is how the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which extended voting rights to all women citizens of the republic, effectively worked thereafter to mark almost every social, political, and cultural initiative mounted by women as only “special interest.” Prior to the amendment's ratification in 1920, the suffrage movement had provided women of various ideological stripes and from diverse backgrounds a context for both complaint and action within a public sphere where their very disenfranchisement was increasingly grounds for both acknowledging and granting them a voice in cultural enterprises, regulatory and reform institutions, and even social policy formation, albeit...

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