Tea with a Purpose

Historically, the Tea Cup had more significance than its use as a vessel for hot liquids or as a means of raising money. We might call it a tradition of “Tea with a Purpose.” In its early years, the AWI organized “Pink Teas,” events at which women were instructed in the electoral process and shown how to cast their vote.

The idea of the Pink Tea was imported from the United States, where it had developed as a successful tactic for guaranteeing the privacy of Suffragettes (HTMLhtml PDFpdf) activities.

When a hall was decorated in pink frills, husbands vacated the room. It was then an easy matter to close the doors and get down to the serious business of learning how to vote in elections.

Note: This information on Pink Teas is anecdotal, provided to Dr. Ellerman by a former Executive Director of the AWI, Mae Deans; I have found no historical proof for this story, but it is a charming notion, nonetheless. EE