Saturday, 19 September 2015

SUFFRAGETTE


I studied the Suffragette movement at school in sixth form, and while I found it interesting I don't think I really understood how important and difficult a time that was for women in Britain.  Most of the stories we see concerning that period deal with middle and upper class families.  There's struggle but it's all upstairs downstairs, liaisons in dark corridors, silky dresses, pre-war fears.  Rose tinted, or rather Julian Fellowes tinted.  But life for the working classes was a completely different beast.  I went to see Suffragette last week which is that rare thing - a film that actually portrays how those women fighting for the vote lived.  It's tough viewing.  The fact that less than a hundred years ago women had no say in how their government behaved and passed laws feels baffling and scary.  That these women would be so brave as to put their jobs, families and lives at risk in order to fight for something so simple as the freedom to vote is awe-inspiring.  It also feels very timely, many women in the world still don't have the vote, or equal pay, or a hundred other rights that men have and women should have.  It's a brilliant film, a great story with a fantastic cast, but be warned, you might leave feeling a little bit furious at injustice.  If it piques your interest there sadly seems to be a dearth of fiction around the Suffragette movement, but one book I strongly recommend is Sally Heathcote: Suffragette by Mary Talbot.  

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