EP 488 – Pioneering the Vote: Neylan McBaine on Utah’s Role in Women’s Suffrage

Utah was the first territory in the U.S. where women voted. What is the story behind suffrage in the west, and how is it relevant to Latter-day Saints?

We’re excited to welcome Neylan McBaine back to the TWiM dungeon! (Yes, we have a dungeon.) Six years ago, we discussed the role of women at Church, and now Neylan has a new book, Pioneering the Vote: The Untold Story of Suffragists in Utah and the West, which goes into detail about the often unheralded and misunderstood role that women, particularly Latter-day Saint women, played in being the first in the United States to vote legally.

Why would such a topic be important to Latter-day Saints? The answers might surprise you. Polygamy played an outsize role in Utah’s slow march toward statehood, but it was also a crucial component of the suffrage movement.

Many men, even Latter-day Saint men, did not women to vote. Why not? What was B.H. Roberts’ deal? What was The Mormon Question?

Who were the important figures in the suffrage movement in the West? What drove them? Why was it the norm for so many women to be feminists in the 19th century, but today we largely view feminism as a problem in the Church and a threat to the family?

Did you know the language in Utah’s state constitution was used in part to author the wording of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)? Yet why is the ERA anathema to Church leadership and most members today?

Did you know Latter-day Saints could not legally vote in Idaho until the 1980s? That’s right, Boomers of Pocatello. You’ve been participating in voter fraud!

Perhaps most important, what do we learn from the bravery of these women that matters most to us today? Are women fully enfranchised in 2020? Are all races?

Support Neylan and the show by buying the book, which is available now!

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on whatsapp

More Good Stuff

Stay current with all things Latter-day Saints

Give Us Your Sacred Email

We don’t spam, unless you consider emails from us recapping stuff to be spam.