Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Can We Be Modern Day Suffragettes?



I am a feminist. And a proud one at that.
So naturally I'd been eagerly awaiting the release of Suffragette. (Especially 'cause I've got mad love for Carey Mulligan). I'm so glad to say it met, even exceeded my expectations in every way.

I'll start by promising no spoilers in this post. I will NEVER be that person!!

However, if you know the basic trajectory and milestones of the suffragette movement and fight for votes for women, many of the plot points (including the climax) won't be a surprise to you. It does not lessen the impact in any way at all, though. It still hit me like a tonne of bricks and I have to give credit for the amazing sound and camera work.

The film the captures the real essence and "grit" of the suffragettes; not just the big-names like Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Davison, but the impact that it had every day on the lives of these working class women.

The amount that they sacrificed and endured to fight for our right to vote literally gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. They faced torture, brutality, ostracism and slander which, of course, paid off in the long run, but their lives were hell. And really, when you think about it, how far have we come?


img: madameulalie.org

As obvious as it may seem, remind yourself that the events of this film (that is set in 1912) took place over one hundred years ago. How crazy does that sound?

Less than a hundred years ago, we didn't have the right to vote, didn't have any rights over our own children, and were treated like second class citizens. Fast forward a century or so and we now have the right to vote. Yes! Thank you girls, great job! But (and this is a big but), did you know that out of 650 members of parliament, less than 200 are women? (BBC, 2015). Less than a third. Despite making up half of the population.

I'm sure it doesn't come as surprise to most of you that women earn on average 30% less than men for the same jobs. That is, when we finally get promoted to the same levels as these men which is a chore in itself. A startling, not to mention truly horrifying, statistic that I read this week revealed that there are more men called John than women leading the 100 FTSE firms with seventeen John's and only seven women. Don't even get me started on the Davids, Marks and Andrews that also outnumber the women. (The Guardian, 2015)

That disgusts me.

Back onto some positives, though. The film wasn't all doom and gloom! The two words that come to mind to best describe this film are heartbreaking and inspiring, in every sense of the words. The injustice, the let downs, the barbaric way these women were treated by the government and society alike is beyond heart wrenching.

However, I felt truly inspired by and in awe of the suffragettes. These women are absolute legends who worked tirelessly to make our lives what they are today, and I truly like to believe I would have been one of them. They initiated true change in society and without them we wouldn't be seeing the number of women in parliament at the highest number it's ever been, and women like me are able to attend university and subsequently have far more opportunities, which is great!

Is it enough though? The obvious answer to this is no.

We shouldn't be content or satisfied with how things are. The suffragettes weren't, and they fought for it when so many other women just accepted the status quo. I don't know about you, but I'm not going to accept being paid less than my boyfriend for doing the same work, and I'm not going to be happy until women are fairly represented in politics. I refuse to believe that that is a lot to ask for.

We need to respect these women by making sure that we utilise the vote that they fought so hard for and carry on the fight that they started!

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5 comments

  1. As a fellow feminist ;) I feel like I can't wait to see this film. I'm so glad something like this has been released as feminism is definitely something we need to see more of in society... but I won't get into a feminism rant, for now.

    To sum it up nicely, I'm glad you enjoyed the film and it made you feel inspired. There's nothing better than watching something motivating and inspiring. xx

    Kathryn | Chapters of Kat

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    1. I'm all about feminist rants, rant away!! I'd love to know your thoughts when you watch it :-)

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  2. I'm desperate to see this film! I might even go on my own if I have to! I love the fact it has focus on working-class women too xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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    1. It's something so different at the moment, I loved the grittiness and realness of the women. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! xx

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  3. Love this post!!!! I thought the film was amazing and also did a post on it myself (see here if interested lol http://Lifebylaurax.com/2015/10/15/suffragette-the-movie/ ) xx

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