Once women’s right to vote passed Congress, it still needed to pass 36 state legislatures. One Kentucky legislator only voted for it because “My wife is a strong suffragette and weighs 200 pounds” so “I am forced as a matter of self-defense.”
This is from a Kentucky member, who was asked to write to the Governor to call an extra session of the Legislature: “As my wife is a strong suffragette and weighs 200 pounds and being very clever with the rolling pin, I am forced as a matter of self-defense to answer in the affirmative.”
Progress in the states stalled for an interesting reason: after Congress passed it in June 1919, many state legislators — most not full-time professional politicians — had to tend to their farms.
Maud Younger, Chairman of the Lobby Committee of the National Woman’s Party: “You would be surprised at how many we have been held up by the farmers busy with their crops. We got nine states to ratify in June, but only four in July and only one in August. In the West so many of the members of the Legislatures are farmers. It used to be lawyers. In one Western state, I am told, all the members of the legislature are farmers or have important farm connections.”
It all worked out in the end. Less than a year later, in August 1920, Tennessee would become the 36th state to approve the constitutional amendment — making it official.
Suffrage Index of Good and Bad Governors: How the Card System Which Forced Congress Into Line Is Being Used to Expedite Ratification by States
Published: Sunday, September 7, 1919