This bit of verse appeared in the respected San Francisco News Letter at a time when agitation for the woman's right to vote in the United States was quite high. It is not known if this verse refers generally to women's rights activists, or suffragists, of the era, or to a specific San Francisco activist.
It does, however, give a most revealing look into the upper-class view of the woman's rights movement of the late 19th century.
THE WOMAN'S RIGHTS WOMAN.
She believed in the dress reform skirt
And she wore what resembled a shirt;
She'd a will of her own
and a deal of backbone,
And despised any girl who would flirt.
She insisted on wearing short hair,And she carried a cane
Which gave her a masculine air,
With an air of distain
That made people turn round and stare.
To her club she devoted her nights,In detailing the woes
Where she lectured about woman's rights.
Of her sex and her clothes,
She would rise to Depewian heights.
She'd a husband whose first name was SteveBut like the old, old coon
Who oft at her conduct would grieve,
Who fell from the balloon,
He was "not in it," you may believe.
Her children all trembled with fearIt was her delight
Whenever their mother came near;
To give them a fright,
Which I thinkdon't you? was quite queer.
She was well up in Latin and Greek,When her tongue was let loose
And could several languages speak;
She would pour out abuse
Upon women who talked with a squeak.
But this woman whom every one feared,Whene'er she addressed
Was completely and dreadfully "queered"
The simplest request
To her cook, who in Erin was reared.
For the cookshe was Irishoh my!And a single "black look"
And she had a bad look in her eye,
From that big Irish cook
Made the woman's rights woman just fly.
San Francisco News Letter
January 17, 1891