Our Idea of Nothing at All

"I am opposed to woman suffrage, but not opposed to woman." Anti-suffrage speech of Mr. Webb of North Carolina

O, women, have you heard the news
Of charity and grace
Look, look how joy and gratitude
Are beaming on my face!
For Mr. Webb is not opposed
To woman in her place!

O, Mr. Webb how kind you are
To let us live at all,
To let us light the kitchen range
And tidy up the hall;
To tolerate the female sex
In spite of Adam's fallIn the Biblical story of creation, God forbade Adam and Eve to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they did, they would be cast out of Eden, or paradise. A serpent tempted Eve and told her it was no sin to eat the fruit. Eve ate the fruit and convinced Adam to eat it as well. As a consequence, Adam and Eve were cast into the world, and faced pain, suffering, and death. This story has often been used as evidence of women’s weakness, and women, represented by Eve, took the blame for the "fall of man" or "Adam’s fall.".

O, girls suppose that Mr. Webb
Should alter his decree!
Suppose he were opposed to us—
Opposed to you and me.
What would be left for us to do—
Except for cease to be?


Credit text

Poem by Alice Duer Miller, in Are Women People? (New York: George H. Doran, c. 1915).