WOMEN’S LITERATION (Part 1)
The year 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the 19th constitutional amendment, which granted women the right to vote. The amendment was proposed by Congress on June 4th, 1919 and ratified by the states in August, 1920.
In Britain, the year 2020 is the 150th anniversary of the Elementary Education act of 1870, which instituted primary schooling for girls as well as boys, beginning a new era in literacy.
Although separated by fifty years, an ocean, and a common language, these events are connected by women’s literation.
A Woman on the $20
To commemorate ratification of the 19th amendment, there is a campaign to put a portrait of an outstanding American woman on the $20 bill.
With the slogan, “A woman’s place is on the money,” a website “WomenOn20s” proposed an on-line ballot of fifteen women candidates for the $20 bill. Candidates were: abolitionist and suffragist Harriet Tubman; US First Lady and campaigner for human rights and women’s rights, Eleanor Roosevelt; renowned civil rights activist, Rosa Parks; American suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth (also abolitionist), and Alice Paul; birth control activist Margaret Sanger; writer and founder of National Organization for Women, Betty Friedan; politicians Shirley Chisholm, Patsy Mink, and Barbara Jordan; scientist Rachel Carson; Red Cross founder and nurse, Clara Barton; New Deal Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins.
A New York Times “debate” about the campaign posted arguments by several women activists, scholars and writers, who variously favored Truth, Anthony, Carson, Sanger, Lazarus, Perkins, and Mankiller, and also nominated Emma Lazarus and Harriet Beecher Stowe, not on the two WomenOn20s lists.
After a primary round of balloting, the WomenOn20s field was narrowed to four candidates: Tubman, Roosevelt, Parks, and Wilma Mankiller, first woman principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, added to the short list by “strong public sentiment”. You can vote your choice from those four on the website. Polls close at midnight on May 10, Mothers’ Day.
Of course, those are not the only outstanding American women whose portraits deserve to be on the $20 bill. WomenOn20s started out with a list of about 100 candidates.
Nevertheless, there’s no reason to be limited to candidates proposed by WomenOn20s. If you have another woman to nominate (remember, only the dead can be on the money), send a letter or email to your congresswoman, if you have one (only 20% of US Senators and only 19.3% of Representatives are women). Of course, you can always write to your male congressman, too.
Let’s not forget Sacagawea, the Shoshone Native American interpreter and guide for the Lewis & Clark expedition of 1804-1806. Strictly speaking, she was not a suffragist or abolitionist nor even a US citizen, but her ancestors had walked (or paddled) to the Americas and populated the continents ten thousand or more years before boatloads of European conquistadors, colonists, opportunists and religionists swarmed onto the shores and claimed the land as theirs. By ancestry, Sacagawea was a more genuine American than Lewis or Clark, or anyone descended from the hordes of arrivistes, parvenus, and Johnny-come-latelies. But, beyond the distinction of ancestry, Sacagawea, the only woman on the expedition crew, distinguished herself by equalling the men in courage, resourcefulness, and industry, and surpassing them in linguistic ability, helping the expedition negotiate with diverse Native American tribes as it passed through a vast, unfamiliar, and often dangerous land.
Born into a Shoshone tribe decimated by introduced diseases, when Sacagawea was a girl, she was captured and enslaved by a rival tribe, and then as a teenager was sold in marriage to a French Canadian trapper, Toussaint Charbonneau, later hired by Lewis and Clark. A young mother at the time, Sacagawea accompanied her husband and cared for her baby over thousands of miles of hard traveling.
A century after the Lewis & Clark expedition, the National American Woman Suffrage Association meeting in 1905 lauded Sacagawea (also spelled Sacajawea and Sakakawea, sometimes translated as “Bird Woman”) as a paragon of American womanhood.
Lewis and Clark had low opinions of Charbonneau (though the men liked his cooking) and Clark later regretted that they hadn’t paid Sacagawea for her services. (They paid Charbonneau $500.) In 2001, to recognize Sacagawea’s meritorious service to fledgling America, President Bill Clinton promoted her to honorary “Sergeant Sacagawea.” Of course, women’s rights include equal pay for equal work, so President Clinton should have supplemented Sacagawea’s posthumous honor with back pay equal to her husband’s plus two centuries of compound interest. That would be worth many million dollars today and could be used for things like scholarships for Shoshone girls and women. Perhaps a future President Hillary Clinton would remedy her husband’s omission.
Maybe Sacagawea was omitted from the candidates for the $20 bill because she has appeared on stamps and money before. With Lewis and Clark, she was portrayed on a 1954 stamp commemorating the 150th anniversary of their expedition, and she appeared alone on a stamp in 1994. With her baby on her back, she is portrayed on the one dollar “Sacagawea” coin, which features Native American motifs on the reverse, changing from year to year. Nevertheless, it is time to award her another promotion, from the one dollar coin to the twenty dollar bill, where she would gain greater recognition. When was the last time you filled your pockets with dollar coins from your ATM? (Over six billion $20 bills are in circulation, but only 50 million Sacagawea coins.)
Those who feel it would be poetic justice for Sacagawea to replace Andrew Jackson, a notorious persecutor of Native Americans, can still vote for a Native American woman, Wilma Mankiller, former principle chief of the Cherokee nation, on the WomenOn20s site. Jackson presided over the infamously brutal “trail of tears” removal of the Cherokee from their indigenous lands in the southeastern states to Oklahoma, so it would be right and just for a Cherokee woman to kick Old Hickory off the Twenty.
Commemoration in Britain: “Suffragette”
In Britain, there do not yet appear to be official plans to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the 1870 Education Act, but a cinematic celebration of women who fought for the vote is scheduled for release this autumn, some three years short of Britain’s centennial of women’s suffrage.
“Suffragette” is a movie about British Suffragette leaders Emmeline Pankhurst, Edith New, Emily Davison, and their followers. It stars Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep and other luminary ladies of the silver screen. A movie blurb says they were “foot soldiers of the early feminist movement.” That’s understatement, like saying SEAL sniper legend Chris Kyle was “a grunt in Mesopotamia.”
Those legendary suffragettes were firebrands, literally. After their peaceable agitations for the vote were rebuffed, they resorted to arson, vandalism, assault, and battery. They set fire to post boxes, smashed windows, fought police, harangued the Prime Minister, interrupted Parliament, and blew up a house being built for the Chancellor of Exchequer, David Lloyd George (he wasn’t there at the time). Suffragette Emily Davison was trampled to death at the Epson Derby when she stepped onto the track to grab the King’s horse.
The Suffragette fight went on for decades of struggle and suffering, beginning in the 19th century. Around 1905, it entered a violent phase when frustrated women became disobedient, both civil and uncivil. Between 1905 and 1914, more than 1,000 suffragettes were imprisoned, and many were sentenced to hard labor. Imprisoned suffragettes protested by going on hunger strikes but were then force-fed. In a charade of justice, with covert repression, the force-fed women were occasionally released until they regained some of their health and then were re-imprisoned. Out on the streets, some suffragettes, angered by the inhumane force-feedings of their sisters (think water boarding with calories), beat up the prison doctors responsible. The furious women whipped the doctors with riding crops (or dog whips or horse whips, depending on which reports are believed).
The harsh treatment that police and prison authorities gave those militant women sounds familiar. Would those genteel, decorous, modestly dressed, ideologically driven women be labeled terrorists today?
Whatever label may be applied to those women, their efforts and sacrifices eventually gained the vote for British women in 1918 (initially only for women over 30; extended to women over 21 in 1928).
The movie “Suffragette” focuses on charismatic characters and their dramatic struggles. Pre-release photos show Edith New (played by Bonham Carter) knocking down a cop with a wicked punch. Floyd Mayweather, take note.
Movies seldom dwell on reading (action looks better on screen), so the screen story doesn’t highlight the fundamental, crucial social fact that in the 19th and early 20th centuries, nearly all the suffragettes in Britain were literate.
A century earlier, that hadn’t been the case. In 18th century England, most women were illiterate, not much different from what had prevailed throughout most of history. Only in the early 20th centuries did women’s literacy in England achieve near parity with that of men. Although there had been calls for women’s suffrage in the early 19th century, it was not until 1900 that literate women were numerous enough to attain critical mass and really start the pot boiling. Having achieved equality of literacy with men, women no longer accepted political inequality and agitated ever more strenuously for the vote and political power.
Comparing the suffragette movement in England and the suffragist movement in America (the minor difference between the terms is an instance of our two countries being separated by a common language), it is evident that literacy for a few women was not enough for social change, but literacy for lots of women was.
Literacy for the few (women).
In European history, there is a long tradition of literate aristocratic women, but in any given era, there seem to have been relatively few of them. In part, that may be because their writings have not survived, so we simply don’t know of them, and in part because few literate women were recognized for their literate works even in their own times, so their writings were not copied as often as those of men, and thus have not survived.
Women’s literacy in earlier eras.
In classical Greece, literacy was principally the domain of upper-class men, like the poets, playwrights, philosophers, scholars, and mathematicians whose works survive. Exceptions to masculine primacy were women poets like the celebrated Sappho and the lesser known Anyte and Nossis. Most of their works, alas, survive only as fragments.
In Greek-speaking Egypt in the early Christian era, Hypatia of Alexandria was an exceptional author of mathematical and philosophical treatises. (She was murdered by a Christian mob, but that appears to have resulted from religion and politics, not sexism per se.)
Literacy in ancient Rome was likewise the domain of aristocratic men, like, Caesar, Cicero and Virgil. There are references to a number of literate aristocratic women, but only a few examples of poetry, correspondence, or graffiti survive from a handful of known Roman women writers, including Cornelia, Sulpicia, and Balbilla, who are hardly household words today. The authorship of some writings attributed to them is even disputed.
The Middle Ages appear to have been somewhat better for women’s literacy, in part because they produced more and part because more of their written materials survive. In addition to aristocratic women literates, as in earlier eras, many Medieval nuns (some from aristocratic families) were literate and worked in monasteries as scribes, copyists, and correspondents. Some spent their time copying older manuscripts, but some wrote original texts, like the celebrated polymath and mystic, Hildegard of Bingen, a prolific author who wrote varied works on theology, herbal medicine, wrote sermons and music, and carried on a wide correspondence. Hildegard also invented an alphabet to transcribe a secret variant of Latin she had invented.
In poetry and romance, women troubadours or “trobairitz” of 12th century Provence composed poetry and songs from a woman’s perspective. Several examples have survived, and while it is assumed that those aristocratic women poets, like the Countess of Dia, were literate, their actual methods of composition are unknown. The phenomenon of women troubadours does not appear to have been prevalent in other areas and eras or to have survived into later eras.
Then came the Italian Renaissance with its wave of literate humanism. In aristocratic and scholarly households, some daughters, as well as sons, received literate educations. Vittoria Colonna, daughter of the Duke of Urbino, Federico Montefeltro, received such an education. Through marriage, she became Marchesa of Pescara, and in widowhood, was an accomplished poet who corresponded with her close friend Michelangelo as well as with notable Italian Renaissance writers like Baldassare Castiglione, Pietro Bembo, and other luminaries.
Italian anthologies of women’s poetry were popular in the latter half of the 16th century, and not all the poetry was by noblewomen. Women commoners wrote as well. Isabella Andreini, the most celebrated commedia dell’arte actress, wrote sonnets and plays. A portrait said to be of Andreini was painted by Paolo Veronese. Veronica Franco, a famous courtesan of roughly the same era as Andreini, late 1500s, was a prolific author, particularly on women’s issues. A portrait presumed to be of Franco is attributed to Tintoretto, or Veronese. Most Italian humanists were men, it is true, but it is also evident that women’s literacy was no longer restricted to the aristocracy; more women were becoming literate to a greater extent than in earlier eras. The Renaissance is closer to our time, and more texts have survived than from earlier eras; moreover, printing multiplied and distributed more copies of all writings, including those by women. Examples of their actual handwriting seem scarce.
Our knowledge of the handwriting of women writers of the Renaissance is fragmentary. Vittoria Colonna’s handwriting, for example, was a relaxed humanist cursive, less strict and regular than her friend Michelangelo’s italic handwriting. Albinia de La Mare’s fine treatise on the Handwriting of Italian Humanists gives examples of writing only by men. Likewise, most of the study of Renaissance handwriting focuses on the works and manuals of male writing masters like Arrighi and Tagliente. In both sense of the word “writing” — texts and handwriting — we know far more of the Renaissance works of men than of women.
From the sunlit palazzos of cultured Renaissance Italy, let us skip over the Mercantilist and colonialist eras to the later years of the Enlightenment, to early industrial England, where the next great advance in women’s literation gathered momentum among the dark Satanic Mills.
In late 18th century England, around the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, literacy rates were around 50% to 60% for men, depending on social class and region. Literacy was markedly higher in the upper-classes, as usual. Literacy was much lower among women, below 40% most areas and lower still in some industrial regions. In Lancashire, an early industrial city, women’s literacy fell below 20%.
It should be emphasized that in studies of 18th and 19th centuries, “literate” does not mean that a person read David Hume or wrote like Jane Austen; but simply that person could sign his or her name in a parish registry upon marriage. Because reading was taught before writing, signing one’s name presupposed some ability to read.
Hence, at the beginning of the 19th century, women lagged far behind men in literacy in England, but eventually caught up with men little more than a century later, in the decade before the “Great War” (World War I). This was also the decade when the militant phase of the women’s suffrage movement erupted.
How did women get from Mary Wollstonecraft’s 1792 manifesto “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” to suffragette agitation of the early 20th century, to the granting of women’s suffrage in 1918 in Britain and 1920 in America? The answer appears to be, literation.
Critical Mass of Women’s Literation
By the early 20th century, literacy rates in Britain had risen above 90% for both men and women, although men had a higher rate because there was a still a cohort of older women who had grown up without schooling. In terms of relative progress, however, girls had done much better than boys. Since the late 18th century, the literacy rate for men had not quite doubled, but for women it had had tripled or quadrupled.
Elementary Education Act of 1870
The major factor in women’s literation was a confluence of social initiatives promoting elementary education. Until the middle of the 19th century, schooling for girls, apart from home schooling by literate parents or governesses, more often concentrated on social graces than literacy or numeracy. In Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, published in 1811, Miss Bingley, educated in a school for wealthy young women, summarizes the goals of an elite curriculum:
“A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word [accomplished]; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half-deserved."
Beginning in the late 18th century with private and church-based schooling initiatives, education for girls and boys gradually gained support, culminating in the national Elementary Education Act of 1870, which provided schooling to all children between ages of five and twelve. The bill was first read in the House of Commons on February 17, 1870, and its second reading was in the House of Lords on July 25 of the same year, when it was passed.
A principal political justification for the Education Act was to maintain and increase England's industrial competitiveness. Although earlier generations of education reformers had emphasized the morally uplifting effect of literacy on character, progressive political leaders pushed for the Education Act by arguing that an educated populace was needed to maintain England's industrial preeminence in world markets, and to improve the competence of England's armed forces, who needed to read in a technically advanced military. Moreover, it was believed that a literate populace would be more knowledgeable and would vote more wisely.
Literacy and the Industrial Revolution
An important enabling force for the dramatic increase of women’s literacy was the Industrial Revolution, which facilitated literacy by decreasing the cost of books and magazines (among many other manufactured goods), thereby making reading matter more affordable and plentiful, and giving it greater variety, thus appealing to more of the populace, including more women. Among its myriad social effects, the Industrial Revolution also raised personal incomes and standards of living, enabling more people to buy books and magazines that had become cheaper.
Thus, an increasingly literate British populace interacted with industrialization in a virtuous circle. More readers encouraged longer print runs with greater economies of scale, resulting in cheaper books that the growing numbers of readers were better able to afford. More education and cheaper books increased levels of literacy, generating more readers who bought more books. And so on.
Universal literate education requires literate resources — schoolbooks and libraries — so another consequence of nationally sponsored education was the growth of the textbook market, still a lucrative publishing sector today.
Another virtuous circle (assuming that consumerism is a virtue) was that a more literate populace could read and be influenced by advertisements, handbills, labels, packaging, and posters promoting the myriad manufactured goods churned out by English industries. Hence, greater literacy promoted greater domestic consumption of industrial products, further fueling English industry. Because one of the functions of women was to act as domestic purchasing agents for their families, the three-to four-fold increase of literacy rates for women multiplied the positive effects of literacy on an emerging consumer economy.
A generation or so after the 1870 Elementary Education Act, schooling for women had produced a large cohort of literate women and increased their economic power, but not their political power. Girls who began school in the decades after the Education Act were young women in the first decade of the 20th century, when suffragism became militant. Not all suffragettes were young then, nor were all educated in public schools, nor were all violent, but nearly all the suffragettes and the women who sympathized with their cause were literate.
Hence, the 1870 Education Act, along with earlier initiatives to provide schooling to girls as well as boys alike, resulted in a possibly unanticipated but powerful social movement — women’s suffrage. Fueled by the tremendous rise in women’s literacy, the women's suffrage movement, which had been smoldering for more than a century, burst into flames, literally, at the beginning of the 20th century.
Near the end of the nineteenth century, a new generation of literate English women began to campaign for the vote. Having become equal in literacy to men, and almost equal in numbers, literate middle-class women demanded political equality as well. Although Mary Wollstonecraft had argued eloquently for women's rights a century earlier, the new generation of suffragists and suffragettes were more organized, more militant, and, as they were continually rebuffed, eventually more violent in their actions.
Literacy & Suffragism in America
In the United States, education of women did not have a centralizing national initiative like the British Education Act of 1870, but by fits and starts, private, local, and state initiatives, and patchwork progress, the education of women and women’s suffrage eventually resulted in a large group of literate women, who, like their militant sisters in England, agitated for the vote, with similar obstruction by the authorities. The American suffragists, as they were called, eventually in their push for political power, in 1920, only two years later than in England.
As in England, the American suffragist movement was in large measure initiated and propelled by literate women, but was also supported by non-literates. Abolitionists and suffragists Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth grew up without formal schooling because education of slaves was illegal in most southern states, not least because of beliefs that slave literacy would lead to slave rebellion.
In the mid-to-late 19th century, American suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and Susan B. Anthony received primary and secondary schooling. Stone went to Oberlin college as well. Stone and Anthony worked as school teachers when young, and were incensed at being paid less than men for the same job. Politically they began as abolitionists but later focused on women’s suffrage and rights. In 1848, Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and others organized a women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York, where Stanton proposed voting rights for women. In 1878, Cady and Anthony proposed an amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote. It would not happen until 42 more years of struggle and agitation had gone by, and 72 years after Stanton’s voting rights proposal of 1842.
Alice Paul and Woodrow Wilson
In the early 20th century, Alice Paul, a young American with college and graduate degrees, went to England to study but joined the suffrage movement and was soon imprisoned for pro-suffrage destruction of property. She went on a hunger strike, and was force-fed along with imprisoned English suffragettes. For her, England had been a training camp in militant suffragism. In 1910, Paul returned to the US where she continued the provocative tactics she had learned in England, organizing and agitating for the vote for women. President Woodrow Wilson initially opposed women’s suffrage and was infuriated when Paul and other women picketed the White House, bearing placards reading, "Mr. President, What will you do for woman suffrage?" and “Mr. President, How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty?” and when those didn’t influence Wilson, “Kaiser Wilson”. Picketing women were arrested for “obstructing traffic”. Wilson pardoned some of those arrested, but Paul was imprisoned and eventually put in a prison psychopathic ward. There, she went on a hunger strike and was force-fed.
Public outrage against the brutal treatment of imprisoned suffragists eventually forced President Wilson to switch sides and support a women’s suffrage amendment. In 1918, charges against the women picketers were thrown out and Wilson declared support for women’s suffrage amendment. It was passed by Congress in 1919 and ratified by the states in 1920, just in time for women to vote in the 1920 presidential election. Roughly 33% of eligible women voted, and The New York Times commented, “Women have good and sufficient reason to be fairly well satisfied with this, their first participation in a great national contest.” (December 19, 1920.)
Alice Paul had more advanced degrees than Woodrow Wilson. He got to be President in the White House; she got force-fed in prison.
The winner of the 1920 election was Warren G. Harding, now viewed as America’s second-worst president, but we shouldn’t blame that on neophyte women voters. An estimated 55% of men voted in 1920, two-thirds more than the percentage of women, so Harding’s corrupt and incompetent presidency can mainly be attributed to a poor choice by male voters. Women did vote for Harding, however, because he was a “dry” — against alcoholic beverage; the temperance movement and Prohibition were supported by many women. In the 1928 election, around 60% of women voted for Herbert Hoover, but in 1932, around 57% of women voted for Franklin Roosevelt, so fears that women would vote unwisely were unfounded, or, at least, they voted no more unwisely than men.
The vote was won for women, but that was not, of course, the end of the struggle for women’s rights. The struggle continued, propelled in large measure by literate women, and by women and girls who want to become literate.
What can be gleaned from the history of women’s literation?
It’s not like women’s striving for equality and defiance of authority should have come as a sudden surprise. Men have feared such eventualities for thousands of years. In Euripides’ eloquent tragedy, “The Bacchae,” written in 405 BC, women rebel against male authority, and not in a nice way. If the play were a supermarket tabloid today, the headline would read: “Women rip King to death with bare hands! Crazed by mind drug made from grapes! Ringleader is his mother!”
With fears like that, no wonder the ancient Greeks tried to keep literacy away from women. Euripides didn’t get first prize for the play, one of his greatest, but for millennia it has survived as a warning about militant women.
When critical masses of women became literate but didn’t have equal rights with men, they started marching in the streets, picketing government institutions, breaking the law, beating up men, fighting with police, burning things down, blowing things up, and, even when thrown into prison for their alleged crimes, they continued defying male authority. Worse, their militancy was contagious, attracting followers from other countries to absorb the ideologies, learn the tactics, and carry the tools of insurgency back home.
This is reminiscent of recent events, although it happened a century ago.
Those militant women exercised tremendous patience, dedicating their lives to a cause that lay in the far future. Despite arrest, imprisonment, force-feeding and other physical repressions, many of the suffragists lived remarkably long lives, continuing the struggle, without reaching their goal.
Lucretia Mott, co-organizer of the Seneca Falls convention of 1848 calling for women’s suffrage, died at age 87 in 1880, forty years before her efforts bore fruit in the 19th amendment. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who organized the 1848 convention with Mott, fought for women’s rights until her death at age 86 in 1902, eighteen years before the 19th amendment. She never got to vote. Susan B. Anthony began working for women’s rights around 1852 and died at age 86 in 1906, fifty-four years of fight without a right. Harriet Tubman died at age 91 in 1913, sixty-four years after escape from slavery, 50 years after Emancipation, and decades after supporting women’s suffrage, still didn’t get to vote. Alice Paul, younger than the previous suffragists, finally got to vote at age 35, after a dozen years of agitation, arrest, and imprisonment. She obtained three law degrees and continued the struggle, dying in 1977, age 92, having lived to see the Equal Rights Amendment pass in 1972, but before it failed to be ratified.
Probably almost everyone in modern techno-industrial societies would agree that literacy is vital, yet its far-reaching ramifications can be unexpected and hard to discern until we take a long view. Changes in the commerce of literacy are sometimes obvious, like the failing financial fortunes of newspapers and magazines as readers migrate from analog print to digital screen, but the unforeseen consequences of deeper changes, like women’s literation, can take much longer to become manifest. The connection between women reading and women voting is one of those.
Some would claim the connection is not causation but mere association, a form of the “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” fallacy. That is, “After this, therefore, because of this”. Nevertheless, the education of women in large numbers, not just aristocratic women or cloistered nuns, has been regularly followed by women achieving political power, although the time lag varies. In some countries, the vote came sooner after literation, in others, later. In France, the birthplace of the Enlightenment and a beacon for human rights, universal education for girls as well as boys was instituted in 1882, but women’s suffrage was not legally instituted until 1944 and the first elections in which women voted were in 1945. France’s most renowned feminist, the eminent philosopher and writer, Simone de Beauvoir, was 37 before she was allowed to vote. She wrote her most famous work, The Second Sex, about women’s oppression through history, when she was 38. The Vatican banned it.
— Chuck Bigelow
[Calligraphy by Kris Holmes]
(The next part of these remarks concerns issues of literation and suffrage beyond the Anglo-American experience, and the third part discusses matters of typography, education, and literation.)
For “A woman’s place is on the money”, go to: http://www.womenon20s.org
For the process of WomenOn20s selection, go to: http://www.womenon20s.org/the_process
To vote on the money, go to: http://www.womenon20s.org/vote2
For the NY Times debate, see:
For Sacagawea, there are many web sources, including these:
For actions by suffragettes, go to:
For an eminent suffragette, go to:
For a trailer and information about the movie Suffragette, see:
For the Education Act of 1870, go to:
On literacy in ancient Greece and Rome, see: Ancient Literacy, by William V. Harris, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1989.
On the rise of literacy in England during the Industrial Revolution, see: Literacy and Popular Culture: England 1750-1914 by David Vincent, Cambridge University Press, 1989.
On social and economic aspects of publishing during the nineteenth-century Industrial Revolution, see: Victorian Publishing: The Economics of Book Production for a Mass Market 1836-1916 by Alexis Weedon, Ashgate Publishing, 2003.
On English parish registries as indications of literacy rates, see: 'The Measurement of Literacy in Pre-Industrial England' by R. S. Schofleld, in Literacy in Traditional Societies, edited by Jack Goody, Cambridge University Press, 1968, digital paperback reissue, 2005.