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Newspaper stories from the good old days say the darndest things. So every week on the Sexist, let’s take a ride on journalism’s way-back machine, to a time when men weren’t helpless, girls were pretty enough not to need institutionalized power, and the Speaker of the House was a super-creep with a cigar fetish.

This Week In Sexist History:

Good Old Day: June 23, 1909 Dateline: Washington, D.C. Keywords: Joseph Gurney Cannon; pretty girls; rolling a cigar reminisciently in one’s mouth; smiling indulgently; women’s suffrage.

Joseph Gurney Cannon, who ruled over the House of Representatives from 1903 to 1911, is considered to be “the most dominant Speaker in United States history.” After Canon’s tenure ended, subsequent Speakers of the House were rendered increasingly helpless until an actual woman finally claimed the top Congressional spot, in 2007. See what happens?

Girls so pretty.

Pretty girls so pretty.

Girls pretty! Unfair how pretty girls are!

The women then waited ten more years before securing the right to vote.