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Vintage news: Women told they have power

Mansplaining since forever
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Headline from the Friday, July 8, 1983, Durango Herald.
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Headline from the Friday, July 8, 1983, Durango Herald.

“Women told they are powerful,” isn’t the header to an “Onion” article, it’s a real, front page headline from 1983.

See, those darling, little, pretty women were so busy teasing their hair and putting on ’80s blush that, surely, they didn’t realize they were half of the populace and thereby had half of the voting power in the country. Good thing a Democrat male governor was able to walk into the National Women’s Political Caucus convention, a gathering of 750 civically-active ladies, to tell them that they had political power.

It’s not like American women battled from 1840 to 1920 for voting power and used it for 60-plus years before the good governor told them they had power.

Mansplaining, it ain’t new. You can find it on the page in 1903 when prominent theologian Lyman Abbott wrote “Why Women Do Not Wish the Suffrage” for The Atlantic. Abbott was convinced that women didn’t actually understand their own life experiences until he explained them. Thanks, Mr. Abbott, for helping establish a long line of men telling women what they should think, in print and in person.

Good thing mansplaining has stopped in our golden age of respectful communication ...

Patty TempletonDGO Staff Writer

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Headline from the Friday, July 8, 1983, Durango Herald.