A Parable About Government Taxation of Voteless Women

John Leighton’s cartoon

Government Methods Applied to Business:
Lady Customer: “I wish to see some dress materials to choose from.”
Shopkeeper: “Excuse me, madam. We do not permit our lady customers to ‘choose.’ You pay the bill — we supply the goods we think best for you.”

The Vote

From the issue of The Vote comes this charming parable:

A Ridiculous Story.

As the man entered the shop the tailor stepped forward and asked:

“How can I serve you, sir?”

“I want a good travelling suit; that is just the thing,” said the man as he pointed to a roll of cloth lying near, and one felt he had chosen something eminently serviceable; “what price would it be?”

“Four guineas, cash down,” replied the tailor.

The man paid the money; then the tailor deliberately folded up the cloth, put it away, took down another roll that was pre-eminently unsatisfactory and spread it out before the man.

“You have paid for a suit,” said the tailor, calmly, “and this is the suit I intend you to have for your money.”

The man was so astonished he could hardly stammer out, “But I do not want that cloth, it will not do at all!”

“Don’t worry,” said the tailor. “I am doing the very best I can for you.”

“But your best is not my best,” argued the man.

“Nevertheless you must be satisfied,” said the tailor.

By this time astonishment had given place to annoyance.

“I have paid for the suit, therefore I will choose the material,” retorted the man hotly.

“You are not capable,” said the tailor, “you would injure my reputation if I allowed you to choose.”

Thinking the tailor must be mad, the man, with great patience, tried to make him more reasonable, for the suit was wanted badly, and there was nowhere else to go. But the tailor turned a deaf ear to every persuasion and so persistently reiterated his cry of incapability that at last the man got angry and said:

“If you refuse to let me choose, I shall refuse to pay.”

Thereupon the tailor got angry and declared he would stick to the money whatever happened.

Naturally the man cried out against this injustice, and made every effort to obtain that which was his by right, whereupon the tailor made such a hullabaloo that the police rushed in and marched off to prison — the man!

Ridiculous? Of course it is.

Impossible? Oh, dear me, no; this sort of thing happens daily.

How? Those who have been at Mrs. [Kate] Harvey’s Tax Resistance Sales at Brackenhill, Bromley, and many others in all parts of the country at which women prefer the “spoiling of their goods” to paying for a Government they may not chose, have received practical answers to such a question. The situation as it affects women who are asked to pay and look pleasant, is admirably set forth in Mr. John Leighton’s telling cartoon on our front page. When it touches men it becomes “intolerable.”

Also from the same issue:

The Women’s Tax Resistance League Announces a Debate on the Insurance Act

Just or Unjust? — The much-discussed Insurance Act is to be yet more discussed, and a most interesting evening is assured on , when the Women’s Tax Resistance League will hold a debate on the subject at the Caxton Hall at Miss Margaret Douglas will maintain that the act is undemocratic and presses unjustly and heavily upon women; Sir Victor Horsley will oppose, and Sir Edward Busk will preside. The Tax Resistance League has arranged many stimulating gatherings, and the coming one will justify its well-earned reputation.