In 1917, women voted in New York for the first time. Two months later, the New York Times published a month-long series called, "The Woman Voter," which sought to help the newly enfranchised voters -- as well as the already apathetic men who had been able to vote for years -- learn about politics. The National Municipal Review summed up the book that was later made of the columns (it cost $1.50) in November 1918.
This is a symposium in which the politician, the Washington correspondent, the lawyer and the ex-congressman converse on the mechanics of politics for the benefit of the new voter, the college woman, the business woman, the man who acknowledges his ignorance and his wife. The 'new voter' is a woman of intelligence apart from her lack of political information.
In their January 1 introduction to the series, the New York Times called the columns a "manual of instruction for women voters." They explain, "men who are already voters and women who have yet to vote will find a great deal of profitable reading."
It looks a lot like mansplaining -- which the New York Times defined as "A man compelled to explain or give an opinion about everything especially to a woman" nearly a century later when they wrote about the practice.
Although the women conjured in the column do get a few moments to vent their frustration. "Citizens — poppycock!"
But mostly their job is to despair about how little they know about politics until it is explained to them by the congressman and the reporter.
So, without further ado, here is a list of some of the things women voters learned about in January 1918.
2. How life is different from the movies.
4. How everyone in politics is a dude
5. How being vice president is just like Werner Herzog film
Why this astute statement needed a "frivolously" appended to it remains to be seen.