Women's rights movement

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Song Sheet

In honor of the Annual Inter-Society Debate pertaining to the question of women's suffrage, male Dickinsonians composed and performed songs regarding women's suffrage. The songs included "What's the Matter with Suffrage?", "Suffrage all the Day," etc.

Date: February 17, 1914
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In their 23rd Annual Inter-Society Debate, Belles Lettres and the Union Philosophical Society held a debate surrounding the question of women's suffrage. The debate prompt read, "Resolved, that the progress and prosperity of the United States of America would be increased if the elective franchise were not withheld from any one solely on account of sex." Because no women were allowed in either literary society, the question was debated and judged by male Dickinsonians.

Date: February 17, 1914
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In response to the posters put up by an anonymous student in protest of the Roe v. Wade anniversary posters of the Women's Center, Susannah Bartlow of the Women's Center created this lunch forum sponsered by the Women's Center, Office of Campus Life, Office of the Dean of Students, and Institutional and Diversity Initiatives.

Date: February 2, 2009
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On the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortions the Women's Center placed hangers hung with different phrases around campus to get student attention and make students more aware of the history of being able to choose and make decisions over one's own sexuality and the choice to bear children. This poster says "Don't Like Abortion? Get a Vasectomy!"

Date: January 22, 2008
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After seeing posters attached to coat hangers put up by the Women's Center in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, an anonymous student put up a reaction coat hanger with this poster. Some of the Womens Center celebration awareness posters included phrases like "Don't like abortion? Get a vascetomy!" and "Keep your theology off my biology."  The anonymous student wanted to make it known that abortion and other female issues are much more complicated than narrowing them down to religion/politics and other aspects of opinion.

Date: January 22, 2009
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Circa 1984, this constitution for the Equality for Females student organization outlines its mission of creating a community that better understands current feminist issues.

Date: c. 1984
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This Progress Reports includes changes and plans to change College policy regarding female students. Most notably is the mention of the 1973 Spring semester and the success of the movements to "rescind the 'sex quota,' by action of the Board of Trustees, so that henceforth Dickinson College will strive for an approximate ratio of 1:1 in admissions of male and female students; and to omit singing at College functions the last verse of the Alma Mater, with its references to 'men' and 'sons.'"

Date: May 4, 1973
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The Inter-Society Debate took place on March 9, 1922 between the Harman Society (a female society created in 1896) and the McIntyre Society (also for women, founded in 1921- It appears to have only been active in 1921) at Bosler Hall. It discussed the enactment of a constitutional amendment for the protection of women against political, legal or civil discrimination due to their sex. Margaret Eslinger (this document came from her personal scrapbook of her Dickinson years) assisted Kathryn Smith '24 on the negative side of the argument.

Date: March 9, 1922
"Woman's Work and Woman's Wages"

The event of the Junior Oratorical Contest of 1891 was documented in the July issue of the Dickinsonian. Minnie Mack was the first speaker, who chose her subject to be "Woman's Work and Woman's Wages," which stirred much interest in those listening. She spoke on the "great injustice done to women, who...very often performing the same labor as men, yet received much less compensation." Minnie Mack then further comments on the changing times, how now women are more fitted for "mechanical or professional work" than the chief role of adorning a house.

Date: July, 1891
Excerpt from Chaapel's reflection

Barbara Chaapel writes a reflection in the Dickinson Women’s Newsletter on what it means to her to be a “liberated” individual, and more specifically to be part of the Women’s Liberation Movement.  In her piece, she explores the stigma that is associated with being labeled a “woman’s libber” and says that for her, because she has “considered [herself] a liberated person long before the ‘movement’ brought her freedom to words, no change in dress or language will make her more or less liberated”.  “Liberation,” Chaapel argues, “is an attitude about oneself and something that every woman must

Date: January 1974