The Anniversary: 6 February, 1918
Let's start with the anniversary, then. The campaign to gain women the vote in Britain had run for decades by 1918. Thinkers such as J.S. Mill had long advocated the reform. It was WWI which moved the game on – war has often be the locomotive of history. Women had taken on male roles; the armaments industry had based its production on the work of women. As the war progressed, politicians began to discuss how to bring about the change so that justice should be done. Thus on March 28 1917 the Commons with a huge majority, and the Lords by a far closer margin of 134 to 71, passed the Representation of the People Act, also known as The Qualification of Women Act; on 6 February, 1918 it received royal assent and passed into law.
Yet women were still not on equal terms with men as regards voting rights, nor would they be for another 10 years when a further Representation of the People Act was passed. In 1918 only women over the age of 30 (compared to men over the age of 21) were granted the vote.
The Movie: Suffragette (2015)
I saw this film and reviewed it here at FLY HIGH! but today it it the perfect day to recommend it, isn't it? It didn't do well in this award season, despite the stellar cast's efforts, but it deserves to be seen for its social and political message.
Maud is a young woman, a mother and a wife, who works as a laundress in a tough environment reminder of Dickens’s and Gaskell’s worst settings. She’s just similar to heroines we’ve met in those pages, similar to many women we’ve read or heard about. Her boss harasses her as well as other much younger workers. Her days are always too short coping with so much work both at the laundry and at home. She never manages to dedicate enough time to her little George and to her husband.
It is going on an errand on her boss's account that, by chance, Maud bumps into a group of suffragettes on a mission: they are crashing down shop windows in one of London most elegant shopping streets. She starts her own journey as a very reluctant activist, but her career as a suffragette will see Maud renounce and suffer very much in the name of her cause.
|Carey Mulligan in a scene of the movie Suffragette (2015)|
Read my review