Though I no longer think that this paragraph from Eleanor Flexner’s classic 1959 Century of Struggle lends itself to a JP topic (as I did an hour ago; my mind has since moved on), I do still like it quite a bit:
The founders of these earliest women’s colleges had this in common with some suffragists: they believed higher education would be the panacea to remedy all evils, just as some suffragists thought that giving woman the vote would open the way to a new golden age (an illusion cherished by reformers in all ages). Sophia Smith in her will put her dream into words: “It is my belief that by the higher and more thorough Christian education of women, what are called their ‘wrongs’ will be redressed, their wages adjusted, their weight of influence in reforming the evils of society will be greatly increased, as teachers, as writers, as mothers, as members of society, their power for good will be incalculably enlarged.”
Now, however, I’m thinking I might write about critiques of the U.S. suffrage movement from the left. Thoughts on this point are of course appreciated.