18 Absurdly Offensive Postcards About Women That We'd Never Let Fly Today

18 Absurdly Offensive Postcards About Women That We'd Never Let Fly Today

One won't hear anyone around here arguing that life as woman is perfect in 2016, but we're not about to claim that we're worse off than our foremothers were. Cool hats aside, being a woman in the early 1900s was utter nonsense. Before August 18, 1920, the suffragettes had to do the dirty work to get us the right to vote, and after, women fought hard for social equality. Half the time, straight dismissal was the kindest reaction they got from society -- most of the time, it was cruel ridicule if not flat-out imprisonment.

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We know this, but still, the evidence is shocking. Want to know how tough it was to be a woman in the 1900s? Most women were expected to cook, clean, and raise children, and if a woman wanted to join the women's suffrage movement, she was discouraged, ridiculed, or even ostracized. We forget so easily, but it's important to remember the past so we can build a better future. These postcards are a reminder of these dark times before a woman had the right to vote or had the same rights as a man. We can prove it, too: Here are 18 postcards from the early 1900s that show off the truly disgusting way the world hated suffragettes. We still have a long way to go -- but we've really, truly come far, too.

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Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

  • The Easiest Way

    1
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    Can we just be clear that the suffragettes protested and went to prison and were separated from their children to get the right to vote? Just ... to be clear.

  • Election Day

    2
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    This is a literal illustration of 20th century men's insecurity about being replaced by women. Aaand it's amazing.

  • My Wife Won't Let Me

    3
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    We're not sure which part of "we want to vote" turned into "we want to vote and we want you not to," but apparently, it did for those fellas. Poor men, washing clothes. Must stink.

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  • Stay Single

    4
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    What's with this theme of men being laden down with all these "terrible" "female" "duties"?? Maybe they should stay single and spare us. (Or spare the suffragettes. Whatever.)

  • Women's Sphere

    5
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    We're not sure why this postcard was made for Valentine's Day --specifically when it's a sentiment that seemed to dominate every day in 1900, but whatever.

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  • The Girl for Me

    6
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    This lovely poem seems to be from some terrible man who doesn't deserve a suffragette anyway. He also doesn't understand rhymes, but maybe that's beside the point.

  • Well I'm __

    7
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    This wife's note reads, "Gone to a meeting. The children are next door and the cold meat is in the pantry. Ethel." Can someone explain to us why this is such a post-apocalyptic scenario and why it warrants that jaw-dropped face?

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  • Find the Head of the House

    8
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    The artist here clearly had some ideas about what feminists look like (and we're not sure those ideas are totally gone today). But this woman looks like a gem who knows how to handle a household ... so, like, his cruel joke DIDN'T EVEN WORK.

  • I Want!

    9
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    Yes, because the women fighting for basic democratic rights are whining babies screaming for food. Of course! Actually, this makes sense, if only because judging by the other postcards, men would have no idea what to do with this baby ... just like they had no idea what to do with feminism.

  • When Women Vote

    10
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    Okay, to be totally honest, the scene shown here actually looks ideal. We'd love to kick back with cigars and cards and our lady club for a while while the men take care of the kids. 

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  • We Don't Care

    11
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    These cats say that they "don't care if we never have a vote," which means that ... cats ... equal ... women? Or something?

  • I've Suffered Ever Since

    12
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    At least she's giving him a pad for his knees. It really could be worse, you know?

  • Bearded Lady

    13
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    JEEZ. We don't know if this is a comment about how suffragettes looked or if it's them trying to disguise themselves as men, but we hate it either way.

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  • The Wild Wives

    14
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    It's a truth universally acknowledged that women who spend time together in any context must eventually rip out each other's hair. Apparently.

  • Votes for Wimmen

    15
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    Of all the insults men could throw at suffragettes, we don't know why they went with stupid. Also, we don't know how voting would even make them spend more time with men, so, like, we hate this on all levels.

  • Don't Marry a Suffragette

    16
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    Don't marry a suffragette becauuusee ... she'll paint the trim the wrong color? Is that what he's going for?

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  • Don't Monkey With "Women's Rights"

    17
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    If the guys are calling themselves monkeys here, we're more okay with it. But again: What's with the child-hating? And what's with the quote marks around "women's rights"?

  • Mummy's a Suffragette

    18
    Image via Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

    Oh, okay, so now they care about the kids. But only because they're crying because their mom's out protesting. Cool, guys.

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