Have you seen the movie Suffragette?
The movie Suffragette was released last month and was showing this weekend in our local arts theatre. I went with my daughter last night as I had been hoping it would be showing here. I wanted to share what this film was about and to encourage more to see it. The chilling fact was the statements that were rolling down after the film was over, mainly dates when women got the vote the world over. Switzerland in 1971 very much surprised me and the last was 2015 in Saudi Arabia that they are waiting to see if they will have the vote.
This film combined real and fictional characters in a very inspirational movie. Suffragettes focused on the battle of working class women in Britain in the early 1900’s that escalated to violence in 1912 – 1913. Maud Watts, the main character, was based on the testimonies of women in the movement. She was a working class woman brought up working grueling hours in a laundry. Her life became like many women that joined the movement at that time, where husbands left them and families and friends disowned them and they often lost access to their children.
Women were often beaten for their protest marches and imprisoned. Their hunger strikes while in prison led to violent forced feedings. All of this affected their health and their lives. Many carried on and Emily Davison was the one that brought the movement to world- wide attention. Emily had gone to Derby Day June 1913 and toward the end of the race and gone out onto the track as the king’s horse had rounded the track. There has been debate whether what was her purpose whether to commit suicide to bring attention to the movement. Nevertheless she felt the full impact of the horse striking her and she died four days later. This was caught on newsreel footage that you can see here.
The movie ends with newsreel footage of the funeral procession by several thousand women plus many others. Woman and men were finally granted equal voting rights in 1928 in the UK.