27 Masters of Politics: In a Personal Perspective

By Raymond Moley | Go to book overview

Uncle Mark's Daughter
RUTH HANNA McC. SIMMS

RUTH HANNA McCORMICK SIMMS would cock her quizzical eyes in perplexity if she knew that she was to be the focal figure in a piece about women and politics. But I am sure that she would agree with my conclusion--that there are or should be no women's politics as distinguished from men's politics. For she never asked that political life should provide a special preserve where women might play the game with a soft ball, frequent rest periods and short innings. And she was the one politician in a thousand who knew that women voters want no special appeal for them, no framing of political issues around the concerns of the kitchen and home and no labored interpretation of problems of government in the phraseology of the nursery or the powder room. To Ruth Simms a vote was a vote, and a citizen a citizen. Matters of state had no sex and therefore, so far as politics was concerned, there should be no women's faction.

She had little faith in, only tolerance for, separate women's bureaus in campaigns, for special literature for the "fair sex," or for "representative women."

All this seems simple, and almost every woman instinctively feels it. But such is the thraldom of tradition which binds politicians that very few ever realize its truth.

When women are addressed in politics as citizens, without smirks or womanly adaptations, they respond much as men respond. I have some justification for a judgment on this point, because for thirty years I have taught politics to college women. I learned very early that they wanted no women's course on this subject. They want to learn it as men do. They believe that just

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