THE BEST LAID PLANS . . .
BUT THE BEST LAID PLANS of women as well as of mice and men go astray. During the spring and summer of 1939, the conflict raged within the ranks of the PRM over the choice of a presidential candidate for the 1940 election. For a second time the issue of woman suffrage became a mere incident in a battle for control of the party. The struggle involved more than the customary antipathy of Mexican men to the participation of women in politics, although by now this certainly had begun to show itself very strongly in a land with an intense tradition of masculine superiority.1 By 1939 the conservative opposition to the government's policies had consolidated behind the National Action Party (PAN) and its presidential candidate, Juan Andreu Almazán, a popular army general. The PAN was beginning to put together a frightening array of potentially powerful groups for the 1940 election. It adopted a more moderate policy of social reform than the PRM had been pursuing. The PAN had the apparent support of the proclerical forces, the business interests, and the pro-Fascist groups like the Falange, the recently organized Sinarquistas and the pro-Nazi elements. The pro-Almazán coalition organized the Feminine Idealist party in 1939 to support his candidacy. The Feminine Idealists, with much show of proclerical support and what appeared to be an affluent political treasury, began to establish feminine groups in all parts of the country and threatened to control most of the feminine vote if women gained the right to participate in the coming election.2
This faced the PRM with the increasingly dangerous prospect that legalizing equal suffrage rights for women at this time might