Suffragette City: On the Delicacy and Charm of Women

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Biographical and source note: Rose Schneiderman (1882-1972) was union leader known for saying, “The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too. Help, you women of privilege, give her the ballot to fight with.” With the exception of the workers’ fictional asides, the entire text of this comic is taken from the words of Rose Schneiderman (whose name was misspelled in the flyer used in the title image). Schneiderman’s brief reminiscences at the beginning of the comic are from her 1967 autobiography, All for One (with Lucy Goldthwaite, published by Paul S. Eriksson, Inc.). The text of her speech was excerpted from a pamphlet published by the Wage Earners’ Suffrage League of New York: “Senators vs. Working Women: Miss Rose Schneiderman Cap Maker replies to New York Senator on Delicacy and Charm of Women” (circa 1912). Images are public domain with help from the New York Public Library Digital Collections (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture) and the Library of Congress.


Kelcey Parker Ervick likes to tell offbeat histories, preferably about women and preferably with drawings. She is the author of three award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová, about a not very bitter Czech fairy tale writer, and Liliane's Balcony, in which Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater may be haunted. Her comics and graphic essays have appeared in The Believer, Quarterly West, Passages North, and Nashville Review. She is the co-editor, with Tom Hart, of the forthcoming Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Graphic Literature. Follow her daily-ish art habit on Instagram. More from this author →