French Feminists Plan Tax Resistance to Win Vote

The Vote

From the issue of The Vote:

Notes from the Foreign Press

Tax Resistance

No Vote — No Tax! This question seems to have become all at once the burning one with French feminists, and a large portion of space has been devoted to it by French and Swiss women’s publications. Logical as the French nation reputedly is, this aspect of the case must surely come home very strongly to them. Apparently the position is so unassailable that the “Anti’s” are reduced to the feeble contention that, if women do pay taxes, they don’t do it properly. As, it seems, the greater part of French taxation is indirect (by means of duties, stamps, etc.), it is difficult to see how women are able to evade it, however much they, not unreasonably (seeing their lack of representation), might wish to do so. Frenchwomen do not find much difficulty, therefore, in repudiating so unworthy an assertion.

At a recent meeting of the Central Committee for Women’s Suffrage, Mme. [Cécile?] Brunschwig tells us in a leading article in “La Française,” there was at first division of opinion as to the propriety of “profiting by the confusion in which the country found itself, and the difficulties the Government were encountering in balancing its Budget, to stir up a movement of agitation and revolt that might risk complicating things still further.” Oh, the old, old story! Are there still indeed among us some who are still so (politically) young and fresh of heart? However, it appears that the doubters were soon convinced, by reasoning too familiar to need recapitulating here, and the following was issued to the Press:—

Considering that Frenchwomen have always shown themselves citizens worthy of the nation’s confidence; that they are ready once more to make all necessary sacrifices for the State in the form of the considerable fiscal effort now required of all citizens; but considering that it is iniquitous that women pay taxes without being able to discuss them through their representatives in Parliament, or to control their expenditure, that they have in vain demanded their political rights for a great number of years, and have always, to this end, adopted the most peaceful methods; while regretting profoundly having to modify this attitude, they nevertheless decide, should their political rights not be accorded to them with the least possible delay, to organise methodically all over the country among tax-paying women a collective refusal to pay.

Cheers! And from the remainder of the article one gathers that the Union is really going at it hammer and tongs. An article quoted from “La République,” written by Mme. [Marcelle?] Kraemer-Bach, concludes:—

Men alone declare war. They say to women, “Give your children!”

Men alone lead the country to the verge of bankruptcy. They say to women, “Make a fiscal sacrifice!”

Frenchwomen have had enough of it. They are quite willing to pay, but they demand the right to control.

Good luck to the tax resisters of France, and may the spirit of glorious John Hampden watch over them!


Around the middle of April as the federal income tax filing deadline approaches, tax resistance articles hit the media frequently. Here are two examples from past years:

“Minister Refuses to File Tax Return” Ocala Star-Banner
Maurice McCrackin again declares his war tax resistance.
“Others join Quaker tax protest” The Southeast Missourian
Quaker Bill Strong thinks war tax resistance “is moving to the center” and notes recent support from Catholics. Irwin Hogenauer is also quoted.
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