State Library of New South Wales

'Why we oppose votes for men'

Printed poster


Purchased in 1999

Alice Duer Miller was an American novelist and poet who was active in the United States’ campaign for women’s suffrage. Dating from 1915, this poster shows how ridiculous some of the arguments against women’s suffrage were by applying them to men. The American constitution was changed in 1920 with the passing of the 19th amendment which granted women the right to vote. In the lead up to the 2016 US presidential elections, some Donald Trump supporters have said that if women were not allowed to vote, Trump would win.

‘Why we oppose votes for men’, 1915

By Alison Wishart

Alice Duer (1874–1942) was born into a wealthy family in New York City in 1874. She studied mathematics and astronomy at college and married Henry Wise Miller soon after graduating in 1899. An early and prominent campaigner for women’s suffrage, she published a series of satirical poems in the New York Tribune from arguing for women’s right to vote. These were collected into an anthology and published under the title Are Women People? in 1915. Miller had over 20 novels, verse poems or collections of poetry published in her lifetime. Her most famous is White Cliffs, a verse poem which sold over a million copies in both Britain and the USA. It is said that this poem, like those she wrote advocating for women’s suffrage, influenced American public opinion and encouraged the country to enter World War II.  It was made into a film, The White Cliffs of Dover in 1944.