"We have prayed, we have coaxed, we have begged, for the vote, with the hope that men, out of chivalry, would bestow equal rights upon women and take them into partnership in the affairs of the state. We hoped that their common sense would triumph over prejudices and stupidity. We thought their boasted sense of justice would overcome the errors that so often fetter the human spirit; but we have always gone away empty handed. We shall beg no more."
—Speech to the delegates of the New Woman's Party, June 11, 1916, Chicago
"To-day, with the power of the vote, men shape the civil and legal affairs of the state and administer the laws they make, while women — one half of the people — are not represented, and have no voice in the appointment of those who shall rule over them. In such a man-made state, the laws are apt to be one-sided and antagonistic to the interests of the other half. Now we believe that it takes both men and women to run the world and run it right."
—Helen Keller's speech to delegates of the new Woman's Party in Chicago, June 11, 1916
"Men are never so absurd as when they urge the inferiority of women."
-Helen Keller, speech to delegates of the new Woman's Party in Chicago endorsing suffrage movement, June 11, 1916
"Every child has a right to be well-born, well-nurtured and well-taught, and only the freedom of woman can guarantee him this right."
—Undelivered speech for suffrage, prepared for Washington, DC, March 3, 1913
"The woman who works for a dollar a day has as much right as any other human being to say what the conditions of her work should be."
—"The Modern Woman. 1. The Educated Woman," Metropolitan Magazine, October 1912
"I think the degree of a nation's civilisation may be measured by the degree of enlightenment of its women."
—"My Future as I See It," Metropolitan Magazine, 1904
"Without the vote, women cannot solve satisfactorily some problems of living importance to them such as questions of public health, the education and welfare of little children, and the conditions under which women must labor. The parade which you will witness today will soon be over, but the march of women along the highways of progress shall not cease until she has attained her goal, and indeed the goal of all right minded women—liberty for all—fair play for everybody."
—Letter from Helen Keller to David Walsh, Governor of Massachusetts, advocating for women’s suffrage, 1912
"Rights are things which we get when we are strong enough to make our claim to them good. Today women are asserting their rights; tomorrow nobody will be foolhardy enough to question them."
—Speech given by Helen Keller entitled "Why Woman Wants to Vote." 1920