Suffragette Notes

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On the 4th June 1913 the Epsom Derby was underway. King George V was there watching his
horse Anmer, ridden by Herbert Jones. Also watching was a young woman called Emily
As the horses thundered towards the finish, Emily Davison stepped through the barrier and
threw herself in front of the king's horse. She died of her injuries four days later.
Emily Davison was a suffragette, a campaigner for the woman's right to vote and her death
is perhaps the most powerful image of that entire movement.
But is it fair to distil the movement into this one image of desperate militancy, how was
universal suffrage for women actually achieved, and what was the nature of the opposition
to granting women equal rights with men?
Krista Cowman, Professor of History at the University of Lincoln
June Purvis, Professor of Women's & Gender History at the University of Portsmouth
Julia Bush, Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Northampton
Audience reactions to this edition
Charles Suffragism
The idea that women were hard done by compared to men is, of course, nonsense.Even
today, it is men, not women, who make up the majority of victims in just about every area
jane - Suffragism
This is an incredible programme - it doesn't just bring things to light, it brings them to life.
I've often thanked Melvyn but this week I feel particularly inclined to thank James Cook.
Shouldn't his picture be up on the website too? (Unless he prefers anonymity.) There's been
much nonsense between the two sexes for so long - I light heartedly taught my daughter
very early on about these sort of issues in order to 'forearm' her. "Victims of their own
biology".....bit like 'kettle calling pan black' if we take the Y chromosome into consideration!
The subject is vast, deeply ingrained and not yet fully resolved .... however, I turned off the
radio deeply touched by what I'd heard. Wandering through to my kids I said, with a renewal
of hope in my heart (naf as that may seem), "You know, amidst the madness and mayhem of
this strange planet there are always a few amazing people who somehow keep things at
least a bit on the right track". What shining jewels those women were - I'm not proud to
admit that I don't think I could muster that sort of physical courage, even in the face of
such injustices as they were addressing. It was an extraordinary heroism. I really want to
thank you for this particular programme which produced a certain and very humble
'sea-change' in me. Best wishes as always.
léo burton suffragettes
there was no reference to the participation of women in the paris commune....did these
parisiennes influence the british womens' movement?
Mitzi Auchterlonie Women's Suffrage
I was, as usual, disappointed that after 1903 all the emphasis on the women's suffrage

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Millicent Fawcett (who were far greater in number), who continued
their peaceful campaigning. There were other suffrage groups too, like the Conservative and
Uniionist Women's Franchise Association, who were founded in 1908 in reaction to the
increased militancy of the WSPU and the founding of the Anti-Suffrage League. Party politics
cannot be left out of the suffrage movement - the women who joined the NUWSS, the
CUWFA, the WSPU and the Women's Freedom League very often had strong party
allegiances which affected their campaigning agendas.…read more

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IT analyst, a colleague's gender has never borne the slightest
relevance of any sort. If such sexism does still exist, (obviously we mean in the western
world), I would argue that it's a generational anachronism and that in future, as my
generation become the elders of this society, this will pass away. This is the century of
women.…read more

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Melvyn, but thank you all the same.
Judith Kazantzis: Suffragism
I enjoyed this brief retelling very much but have several comments: why no welknown
feminist historians such as Sheila Rowbotham to give us more insight into the feeling among
the women as well as a broader context? Am I right to think the panellists seemed a little
unenthused with this complex and revolutionary movement, which hooks onto so many
contemporary living issues.…read more

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IOT, a programme for which I have the utmost praise and Melvin Bragg who
does a superb job in bringing such depth of historical knowledge the British public, that have
been so starved of honest academic appraisal.see www.wws-gb.freeuk.…read more

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