Kevin Motl’s essay entitled Mary Kate Hunter: Small Town Texas Suffragist gives a significant discussion about the beginning of women suffrage in rural communitites, how difficult it was for the advocacy’s earlies leaders, and how the suffrage movement changed the lives of American women. Motl’s work specifically highlights the role of Mary Kate Hunter, one of the most prominent names behind the advocacy, in the promotion of woman suffrage in her town in Palestine, Texas. The article addresses the reality that there had been bigger conflicts and more difficult problems in suffrage work in rural towns of Texas.
But Hunter and her group were able to ignite the idea of women’s right to vote through their endless efforts and determination. Motl was able to thoroughly explain and substantiate his thesis by providing information about Hunter’s achievements and narrating the experiences she encountered all throughout the years that she was actively promoting women suffrage. Motl highlighted the reality that “understanding of the suffrage movement as a regional or national phenomenon” was quite invisible to people so Hunter’s name may not ring a bell to a lot of people.
But the article emphasized how Hunter had been as the center of suffrage activism in Texas, even serving as president and active speaker for the Palestine Equal Suffrage Organization. The article refers to several historical and significant events in the rise of women suffrage. Motl traced the events that happened between 1915 to 1919 that centered to Hunter’s vigorous work of trying to make women educated and aware of their rights to vote. And yet, Hunter suffered a lot in trying to popularize suffrage.
She even experienced people she had know her whole life turning her backs on her just because they did not want to be associated with suffrage. Motl noted that “Hunter’s own experiences clearly demonstrate that even long-standing bonds of friendship could be severed by suffrage activism”. Motl’s article was very substantial and informative for it noted not just the strengths and successes of Hunter as a leader, but also the times when she experienced failures and weaknesses in promoting their advocacy. He was able to prove his point that promoting women’s right to vote was indeed very difficult in rural towns.
The article highlighted that fear of social death, ignorance, and apathy had been the greatest troubles of Hunter and her organization. As a whole, Motl’s work was a satisfying article that significantly noted the role of Hunter in women suffrage, the sacrifices and contributions she had for the advocacy, and at the same time explain the real experience of the promoting women’s right to vote in rural towns during the times when people are still hesitant to embrace it. Work Cited Motl, Kevin. Mary Kate Hunter: Small Town Texas Suffragist. Ouachita Baptist University: Mid-America Conference, Fall 2007. Print.