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May IrwinSinging, Shouting, and the Shadow of Minstrelsy$
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Sharon Ammen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040658

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040658.001.0001

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Causes and Compromise

Causes and Compromise

(p.137) 6 Causes and Compromise
May Irwin

Sharon Ammen

University of Illinois Press

This chapter looks at the variety of causes Irwin was involved in, from animal rights to suffragism to pacifism. The chapter reviews the anti-trust movement led by Theodore Roosevelt and blossoming during Woodrow Wilson’s push for progressivism. Irwin’s immunity to anti-immigrant sentiment because of her Scottish roots is discussed. Her reason for opposition to the new Actors Equity Association is covered. As the calls for suffragism grow, Irwin lends her voice to the cause, as do other actress suffragists, including Mary Shaw and Lillian Russell. She urges Woodrow Wilson to appoint her as “Secretary of Laughter.” Through it all, she stresses the strong connection between women and humor and her belief that women have a greater sense of humor than men do.

Keywords:   suffragism, pacifism, Woodrow Wilson, progressivism, Actors Equity Association, anti-trust, anti-immigration, women and humor, actress suffragists

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