One reality of the aspect that women’s universal suffrage often (not always) lagged behind that for men is the alternate way of looking at the picture. In most nations, when men finally gained universal suffrage (often through struggles and life-threatening risk) one of the earliest things they did was to grant women universal suffrage. In some countries, the universal suffrage fought so hard for by men was automatically granted to women (e.g. Britain, where the suffragettes arguably had held back the willingness to grant women the vote) and in other nations it was only a few years later (e.g. Australia, where the suffragette campaign only for middle/upper-class women – like many suffragette campaigns – had also held back universal suffrage).
I have been surprised as I looked into the issue of universal suffrage how often suffragettes may have held back women from getting the votes, either by not wanting the ‘lower classes’ to vote (e.g. Germany, Britain, Canada) or because of the violence they perpetrated (e.g. Spain, Britain). I have also been surprised at how often women were given the vote within a couple of voting periods of men being given it: one effect of universal suffrage for men was clearly to grant women the vote (there are exceptions such as France and USA, in these cases for very different reasons).
My studies (almost all in English-language nations) have also revealed how it was not feminists who got the vote, contrary to modern feminist claims. Everywhere I looked, suffragette societies and associations were distinct from feminist groups. I even found one suffragette society that had banned feminists. There were notable individuals – such as Louise Lawson in Australia – who were feminists and helped out the (female) suffrage cause but this only serves to illustrate that the two groups were distinct. Feminists today will often talk about how ‘they’ got women the vote but that seems historic revisionism in an attempt to gain support for the current divisive policies, as does the teaching that it took men millennia to grant women the vote, rather than just a few years.