When Being a Suffragette Was Adorable

Sometimes even the most radical demands take a turn for the awww.

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote, was ratified almost 93 years ago, on August 18th, 1920. In honor of that upcoming historical landmark, Therese Oneill of The Week dug up some extraordinary images from the long fight for women's emancipation. What she found: The fight against allowing women to become full citizens looks shockingly familiar, as suffrage opponents cast the women's rights advocates as a bunch of unmarriagable, ugly, unfeminine single ladies, who were at the same time overly sexually aggressive, emasculating, and neglectful of their homes and children.

Looking through the archives myself, I found there was also another side to the suffrage fight: an impossibly cute one. Some of the postcards and imagery mocked up for the suffrage movement were, well, just adorable. The equality-fighters were trying to make the idea of women joining fully in American democracy an unthreatening prospect, and with these cards, pulled from the Woman Suffrage Memorabilia collection, they succeeded.

Here's a look back at a radical political demand as interpreted for people who grew up playing with dolls:

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Presented by

Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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