This cartoon appeared in The Harlequin on December 27, 1899, just at the dawn of the new year. Given the journal's generally progressive viewpoint, we wonder whether this paean to women's lofty virtue was delivered tongue-in-cheek. (The cartoon's caption reads: "Woman's Station is the Treasure of Civilization. I not only admire Woman as the most Beautiful Object ever created, but I revere Her as the Redeeming Glory of Mankind; the Sanctuary of all the Virtues, the pledge of all perfect qualities of Heart and Head."--Robert G. Ingersoll.) In any case, contrast the caption with a quotation from suffragist and ERA Club president Kate Gordon, which appeared in the Times-Picayune's list of the New Year's wishes of prominent New Orleanians. In the over-the-top language of the day, Miss Gordon hoped that:
as the shadows of the dying cycle merge into the dawn of the twentieth century the men of Louisiana vested with power will take steps to crown woman with liberty, take her down from her pedestal, but at the same time raise her from the degradation of the disenfranchised to that place where, as equal, she will stand in the sight of God, man and the law.
Is The Harlequin worshiping woman on her pedestal or making fun of the stereotype that was beginning to be questioned and criticized at the turn of the century?