This was actually part of the conversation back in the good ‘ole days. Considering that grandmother Edna Kearns’ oldest daughter Serena was a poster child for the suffrage movement, Edna definitely felt sensitive about criticism for taking her daughter on the campaign trail. Often people shouted at her from the sidelines: “You should be at home taking care of your child.” For Serena, accompanying her mother was thrilling and no doubt, educational. Even though at the turn of the 20th century it was noteworthy for a young person to join the movement, there were instances of young people taking part, such as with this photo, above, of children barnstorming for the movement. Edna’s in the photo, though barely. You can barely see the top of her head to the left of the driver, behind the flags. Edna handled media relations, so I expect she was responsible for this image appearing in numerous Long Island and NYC publications. The news article below illustrates Edna’s response to criticism that suffragists weren’t good mothers.
Don’t forget about Tara Bloyd’s article in “Albany Kid” last week that features Serena Kearns, her mother Edna Kearns’ suffrage campaign wagon, and the young people of the suffrage movement.