Finland Lies about a Historic Suffrage Achievement Really? Finland? Yup

By Powell, Mark W. | Journal of International Women's Studies, January-February 2011 | Go to article overview

Finland Lies about a Historic Suffrage Achievement Really? Finland? Yup


Powell, Mark W., Journal of International Women's Studies


What country first allowed women to stand in national parliamentary elections? Australia, in 1902, the year after the Commonwealth's formation. (And for anyone under a rock recently, Australia in June swore in its first female prime minister.) Finland so elevated its women (all of them, it claims) in 1906. But Finland officially claims the title outright.

Why? Ask Finland, which you'd think wouldn't lie or feel the need to, and refuse to right itself later. After all it was recently rated world's best country, not even without cause, by Newsweek. (Newsweek has its own factual problems, sometimes spectacular, in history, geography, science and math--but all I've seen came from incompetence, not lying, save perhaps its October 2008 claim that DNA tests simply proved that Thomas Jefferson procreated with Sally Hemings, when it maybe knew better. But my Newsweek sample will appear in another outlet).

I've repeatedly remonstrated with the Finns, twice face-to-face and twice by e-mail last spring with the cultural counselor in Washington, D.C., then in October face-to-face with the deputy chief of mission. Counselor Pekka Hako obfuscated, temporized, finally went silent. The embassy #2, Anne Lammila, dispensed with such tactics. She brazenly acknowledged the lie as government "policy" and said "It's not your place" to cite historical facts to Finland, let alone request correction--both appalling declarations that facts are not facts but toys of politics. Yeah, who am I, or you or anyone, to ask the world's best country to tell truth?

Researching this isn't hard. Typical Australian sites addressing the issue include these:

http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/politics/women/

http://www.aph.gov.au/library/Pubs/RN/2000-01/01rn23.pdf

Here's what one (http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=4105) says:

"In 1902 Australia became the first nation to nationally grant women the right to vote and the right to stand for parliament in national elections [...]The next country to allow women to stand was Finland, and by 1919 it had elected 19 women to the Eduskanta, the Finnish national parliament. By contrast, in Australia it took nearly 20 years before the first woman was elected to a state parliament."

As Australia also admits, "Franchise of Indigenous Australians at the federal level was not universal until 1962." 1902's grant was to nearly all, but not all, women (not to mention native men). Australia tells the truth, including properly crediting Finland for jumping quickly ahead, and noting Australia's slowness to realize the right it was first to create.

Further, Finland was, hello, still under Tsarist Russia in 1906, declaring independence in 1917--a country in spirit and culture, no doubt, but not in fact. Not only did Australia precede Finland in granting national female election rights, but it was a genuinely autonomous, self-governing democratic country at the time, however strong remained ties to Britain, the original modern parliamentary democracy.

Further deepening Australia's claim, "The self-governing colony of South Australia granted both universal suffrage and allowed women to stand for the colonial parliament in 1895." South Australia, with Adelaide, was never a penal colony and granted limited female voting rights as early as 1861. And while the Grand Duchy of Finland had more autonomy than other parts of Russia, it was from 1899 generally under Tsarist repression called Russification--hardly more self-governing than 1895 South Australia, even during a 1905-07 reassertion (including the 1906 voting law) taking advantage of Russia's 1905 setback against Japan.

Regarding excluding a minority from voting/election, it also bears note that Finland's ethnic and cultural divide with its extremely tiny Sami minority is hardly as severe and tragic as what European Australians have and have had with Aboriginals (who at Confederation represented less than 4 percent of population). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Finland Lies about a Historic Suffrage Achievement Really? Finland? Yup
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.