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Picturing Political PowerImages in the Women's Suffrage Movement$
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Allison K. Lange

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226703244

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226703381.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Dominant Images of Gender and Power in Antebellum America

Dominant Images of Gender and Power in Antebellum America

(p.25) 2: Dominant Images of Gender and Power in Antebellum America
Picturing Political Power

Allison K. Lange

University of Chicago Press

Chapter two focuses on imagery distributed by opponents of women’s rights during the mid-nineteenth century. In the 1850s, spurred by the rise of illustrated newspapers and women’s rights conventions, opponents published satirical cartoons. They based their pictures on long-established visual conventions to mock the reformers. Artists represented women in politics as masculine women who rejected their families. Cartoons suggested that as women gained rights that were once restricted to men, men would become more feminine and domestic. Opponents distributed portraits of Martha Washington and promoted her as an ideal political hostess and wife, a foil to the female reformers. In response to these popular pictures, women’s rights advocates sought greater visibility. They began to distribute their portraits to demonstrate that they were feminine, respectable women.

Keywords:   Martha Washington, visual culture, suffrage, anti-suffrage, women's rights, illustrated newspapers, engravings, portraits, Seneca Falls Convention, cartoons

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