Organizing collectively to elect women to office is a distinctive phenomenon of the second feminist movement. In the first feminist movement, the suffragists campaigned for over half a century to obtain the vote for women, so that they could have a voice in who the lawmakers would be. However, it appears that the suffragists were not concerned with women representing themselves. Either out of expediency or from a philosophy that viewed men and women as operating in different spheres of society, the suffragists did not publicly advocate the presence of women as officeholders. Many opponents of female suffrage inevitably regarded the presence of women in public life as degrading for their sex and for the political process.
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