You may think today’s trendy memes are purely a product of the internet–even as they’ve evolved over the years, from Pepe and Success Kid to today’s more dynamic image-based Instagram posts, the meme has always seemed like the lovechild of the millennial meta-narrative.
The earliest memes existed long before the first surges of DSL–before women even had the right to vote.
Some of the dankest memes of all time actually originated in the early 1900s, employed by women’s suffrage groups to further the cause. Some are classic Pinterest inspirational quotes, whilst others reflect a 2010 Impact-font influence. They’re snarky, they’re self-aware–and best of all, they have cats! But instead of begging for cheezburgers, these felines are on the front lines of the fight for women’s suffrage. HELL YEAH.
The Atlantic gathered some of the suffragette’s best for us to enjoy, analyze, and make viral once again. Check some of them out:
Of course, not all memes were used for the powers of good. Much like Trump supporters, anti-suffragists also liked to employ “hilarious” meme in their campaigns against equal rights.
But screw them! Look at this feminist cat!
Or this statueof Abraham Lincoln illustrated with an actually correctly-attributed quote!