Thursday, October 1, 2009
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1920, provided for women's suffrage:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
For those interested in the grammatical structure of the Amendment, should that ever be necessary to interpret it, the following diagram (from "Diagramming Sentences" with thanks to Feminist Law Professors) might be useful:
I was thinking that "Diagramming Sentences" should have included the Fourteenth Amendment rather than the Nineteenth, because, after all, the Nineteenth Amendment is hardly controversial. But then I saw mention (and audio) of an interview with John Derbyshire, author of the new book, We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism. Derbyshire apparently made statements in the interview that we'd be a "better country" if women didn't vote and that "we" got along for 140 years without women voting and women lean too hard to the left: “They want someone to nurture, they want someone to help raise their kids, and if men aren’t inclined to do it — and in the present days, they’re not much — then they’d like the state to do it for them.”
The advertising material for We are Doomed has a blurb from Robert Bork, as well as a description of the book as a "scathing, mordantly funny romp," so I suppose one shouldn't take this too seriously. But perhaps I'll keep the grammatical diagram of handy, just in case the issue of the Nineteenth Amendment's interpretation arises.