How The Wasp Saw Women

As much as I enjoy paging through the Wasp and looking at the cartoons, I have to acknowledge that it was a newspaper produced by men for men. Two cartoons from 1878 issues of the Wasp will give you a pretty good idea of how the editor and cartoonists (who were all men) saw women.

The problems of women’s fashions:


Elaborate trains or “trails” stirred up dust, knocked aside small children, and created a public hazard to men crossing the street. Other than that, the Wasp liked to depict pretty women fashionably dressed. But they didn’t go along with the idea of giving women the vote. Shall women vote, they asked?


“To be sure they shall, the little dears!” was the condescending opinion of the Wasp.


Sigh. With that kind of attitude, it’s no wonder it took another 33 years for women to get the vote in California, and 40 years before they could vote in national elections.

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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