I’ve seen a lot of people in the manosphere blame women’s suffrage for many of the excesses of feminism. “If only women hadn’t been granted the franchise,” they say, “we could have avoided all of these problems.” Sure, that’s probably true, but in a one person one vote system like Democracy, politicians will always have an incentive to extend the franchise, as we are seeing today with the Democrats’ push to give illegal immigrants citizenship.
There’s a simple explanation for it:
Say you’re a politician who wants to keep his job, and you have an opportunity to gain a lot of grateful, supportive voters who will keep you in office. If you’re ambitious like most politicians, you’ll do what you can to make that a reality. When that chunk of potential supporters actually exceeds 50% of the adult population, as women do, you’ve got an enormous incentive to be the guy who gave them the vote. This would give you great job stability.
Maybe some male voters would drop their support for a candidate based on that issue, but knowing men most would not, and even if a politician lost a large proportion of his male supporters, he could still come out ahead with significant female support, which would be all but guaranteed if he were the one who gave them the vote.
As one can deduce from simple arithmetic, the more voters one stands to gain, the stronger the incentive. I’m not sure what percentage a given population of non-voters has to reach to provide a strong enough incentive for a politician to defy his constituents on their behalf, but it’s probably far lower than 50%. I’d guess it’s around 15-20%, which suggests that if illegal aliens came to be that large a proportion of the national population, there would be overwhelming pressure to give them the vote. Whatever the number is, I think this would be the sort of thing on which a statistician could base a revealing study.
So why weren’t women given the vote immediately after Democracy was implemented in the US? First, most of them didn’t ask for it or care much about it. Female literacy wasn’t all that high in the early 19th century. Then, there’s the fact that traditions – even newly established ones – are more firmly followed in young, vigorous nations. Finally, in pre-industrial America men and women had essentially the same interests, so for most of the country the idea that there was a conflict of interest between the sexes was simply an alien notion, and therefore men and women in a given family would vote the same anyway.
The latter is highlighted by one of the first states to attempt to legalize women’s suffrage: Utah. Because polygamy was still common in Utah in the mid 19th century, giving women the vote would substantially increase Mormon clout relative to non-Mormon neighbors. The Mormons did in fact give their women the vote, and they promptly voted in favor of polygamy and other Mormon norms, which ultimately triggered the federal suppression of traditional Mormonism and the delay in granting women suffrage in other parts of the US.
As we can see from the above, there will always be an incentive for some people to grant universal suffrage, and all it takes is one change to the law for it to become permanent. Therefore, if a country bases its political process on the one person one vote standard, women’s suffrage is all but a certainty.