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Front Pages, Front LinesMedia and the Fight for Women's Suffrage$
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Linda Steiner, Carolyn Kitch, and Brooke Kroeger

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043109

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043109.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Front Pages, Front Lines

Linda Steiner

University of Illinois Press

The introduction explains the crucial significance and “agency” of various media to the debates over the vote and to suffragists and antisuffragists, arguing that print newspapers and magazines are not merely sources of information about the movement, although this is largely how news coverage has been treated by historians and rhetorical scholars. The introduction uses a relatively unknown case of a Missouri suffrage paper to exemplify suffragist experiences, illustrating both their strategic creativity in the face of money problems and their decision making regarding when to abandon their suffrage organ. Then, a twenty-first-century website named for one of the earliest suffrage periodicals is used to show the contemporary postfeminist depoliticization of suffrage politics. In the end, suffragists’ flexibility and adaptability, their willingness to experiment, and their openness to working with an array of reform-minded partners were probably all crucial to their eventual victory.

Keywords:   agency, postfeminism, politicization, depoliticization, antisuffragists

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