Within a U.S. History curriculum, women’s suffrage is often discussed in the context of Progressive Reforms. Consequently, examples of hostile sexism are generally used to illustrate female legal and practical subjugation as well as dramatic efforts to repress the Women’s Movement. While this approach is an important facet of understanding 20th century reforms, it may sabotage students’ ability to recognize the seriousness of modern sexism by inadvertently establishing an unrealistically hostile threshold for discrimination. This lesson and the accompanying PowerPoint, developed by Shawneen Morrison, are designed to build on the traditional approach to teaching about the Women’s Movement by examining the drive toward women’s suffrage as the first major political battle in the U.S. that is dominated by modern discrimination. The lesson begins by tricking students into establishing global voting standards that seem wise but will have the inevitable result of suppressing women’s suffrage. Then, primary source documents, both supporting and opposing passage of the 19th Amendment in the U.S., are probed for parallel concepts including benevolent sexism. Subsequently, the process of political paralysis, resulting from strategic and philosophical disagreements, is examined and extended to the modern era. Finally, the lesson ends with the dramatic story behind the single legislative vote (in the Tennessee Legislature) that allowed passage of the 19th Amendment including the irony that it was motivated by benevolent sexism rather than any notion of feminine equality. Parallels are drawn to modern sexism and the global movement to enfranchise women.
INCLUDED IN THIS PRODUCT:
PowerPoint presentation with script for simulation
Background information for instructor
All Answer Keys
Primary Source Document – Some Reasons Why We Oppose Votes for Women
Primary Source Document - Suffrage Songs and Verses
Primary Source Document – Vote No on Women’s Suffrage!
Common Core Alignment
If you use simulations in your classroom, please consider previewing these products:
ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS SIMULATION: POPULATION, CONSUMPTION, AND GLOBAL WARMING
SLAVERY SIMULATION - HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL
SLAVERY SIMULATION - MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVEL
For further work on discrimination, consider:
CULTURE, DIVERSITY, EQUALITY, PREJUDICE, AND TOLERANCE
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Women's Suffrage Simulation
by Shawneen Morrison
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License