It wasn’t easy being married to a suffragist. Take the article below, for example, where men were jeered from the parade sidelines and one joker handed the male marchers an armful of weeds. My grandfather Wilmer Kearns marched in that 1911 parade. And he probably had something to do with the 1915 book I found in my grandmother Edna’s archives, How it feels to be the husband of a suffragette. It’s free for a download and is available as a Google book or on

The book is funny. It’s true. It’s a great reminder about the process of social change and where change meets resistance. The article below also points out another perspective –the crowds of people watching the Votes for Women parade and how it was an enormous attraction to see women out in the streets, exposing themselves to make their point. There came a time, of course, when parades became old news. But they served a useful purpose. May 1911. from the collection of Pamela Hobbs-Glackmeyer.

6 Responses

  • Monique L.

    Always the need for a laugh or two.

  • Great post. Thank you.

  • Emily Belmont

    Thousands of men clinging to railings? What railings? Where? Railings were never a big feature on New York City streets. And the idea that thousands of men clung to these invisible railings is downright funny.

  • I read the pamphlet by the suffragist’s husband and enjoyed it very much. Back in 1915, the times indeed were a-changin’.

  • Thanks for this. I’d always been curious about Wilmer.

  • Tara

    I love the “thousands of helpless men”!

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