I have watched the movie «Suffragette», which is a movie about women and their fight for voting rights in the UK. The movie takes place in London, 1912, and represents only the beginning of the fight that women had to take up for the next decade. The Suffragettes were a unity of women who got together and planned different ways to get the attention of the government to change its voting laws.
Personally, I learned a lot from this movie. I had heard about the Suffragettes before, but this movie gave me a greater image of their history. I found it really shocking that women in the UK had tried peaceful approaches for over 50 years to get voting rights for women. Even then, the police would beat and imprison the demonstrators. The measures that women at that time had to go through to get the governments attention is unbelievable. The movie definitely woke some frustration in me as well, being a woman. It bothers me that men at that time had so much power over women.
Another thing that really shocked me, was the list at the end of the movie where they put up the years of when different countries got voting rights for women. Especially when I saw that Saudi Arabia did not get voting rights for women until 2015! The worst part is that there are still countries in the world that do not have voting rights for women. And to imagine that this fight for women’s rights started over a 100 years ago, and there are still so many women oppressed in the world.
Emily Davison played a huge role in the suffragette movement in the UK. She gave up teaching in 1909 to devote herself fully to the suffragette movement. She was imprisoned several times for her political actions, but it never stopped her from continuing the movement. During her time in prison she went on a hunger-strike and inspired many others to do so as well. This was to protest the government’s refusal to acknowledge the suffragettes as political prisoners. As the others who went on a hunger-strike, she was eventually force-fed. She also attempted to jump from a prison balcony as she stated, «The idea in my mind was that one big tragedy may save many others». This tragedy, however, was not to happen until her death at the Epsom Derby on June 4, 1913. She ran out on the field and stood in front of the King’s horse as the King and Queen were watching. She died of an injured skull 4 days later. She was hailed as a martyr by the suffragettes and thousands showed up to her funeral.
This movie brings out such an important message, and represents part of the fight for women’s right to vote in the world. The news of Emily Davison’s death spread across the whole world and brought attention to the problem. It is unfortunate that she had to die to get this attention, but it was so important for the movement. In 1928, she finally achieved her dream, and the cause she died for, when Britain gave women the right to vote.
The US had a similar movement as the suffragettes. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the leading figures of the early women’s rights movement and is best known for her efforts in writing the Declaration of Sentiments for the Seneca Falls Convention and for organizing the women’s suffrage movement in the United States. When she went to London, she met Lucretia Mott, and the two of them organized the Women’s Right’s Convention at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. Cady Stanton read her Declaration of Sentiments at this convention, which is a rewriting of the Declaration of Independence that proclaimed all men and women to be equal.