British Isles Friday logoWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!

Last week, I reviewed the British-French TV production, The Tunnel. Sim’s fantasy walk in London took her to Finsbury Park and surrounding areas. Jackie shared photos from Glenveagh National Park in Ireland. Heather reviewed Leftovers by Stella Newman, a fun chick lit novel with a nod to Bridget Jones. Becky reviewed B is for Big Ben, an alphabet book that doesn’t really seem to be for small children. Mike shared beautiful sunset photos from Calton Hill, overlooking Edinburgh.

Suffragette, film poster

East End women fight for the right to vote

Suffragette tells the little-known story of the involvement of lower class women in the East End of London in the suffrage movement of the UK. Through a fictional character, we learn about the ill treatment of washer women by their employees and husbands. As bad as that was, women faced even worse treatment if they fought for better conditions — abuse from the police, disdain from friends and neighbors, and estrangement from spouses.

I was warned about the violence in Suffragette so it didn’t bother me as much as some. Votes for women was a more militant effort in the UK — or at least the part that’s widely known was. I suspect that there were quieter moments in the UK suffrage movement. I know that there were more forceful actions in the US movement than we are usually taught.

One of the most startling moments of the film is at the very end, when countries are listed by when women got the right to vote. Switzerland in 1971?! I looked that up and it’s true, but complicated. Some Arab countries are just now getting around to giving women the right to vote.

On election day, I like to remind people that my grandmothers reached voting age before they had the right to vote in the US. That was not that long ago, folks! And, something we don’t want to take for granted, especially as voter ID laws threaten to disenfranchise the elderly who have a hard time tracking down birth certificates. I’ve never done phone banking before, but I’m set to participate this fall to defeat Missouri Amendment Number 6 for that reason. Phone banking isn’t near the sacrifice that the women of the East End made for the right to vote, so I’ll do it in their honor. And, in memory of Grandmother Hoover and Grandma Weese who voted every chance they got, even in their 80s and 90s.

Have you seen Suffragette? What did you think?


Suffragette #BriFri #FilmReview — 7 Comments

  1. I’m with you, if we have an opportunity to vote you just have to go! I have not seen this movie but it sounds like an interesting piece. I can’t believe Switzerland didn’t allow women to vote until 1971, that really is astounding.

  2. Im gradually working my way through the Man Booker longlist. The Many by Wyn Menmuir is set in a small Cornish fishing village which is facing destruction from pollution. A superb novella – pity it didnt make the shortlist

  3. Pingback: The British Stuff of My Week #BriFri – Joy's Book Blog

  4. Has a strong message and Carey Mulligan is great, but the execution failed to ever captivate me. The camerawork is very sloppy, and director Sarah Gavon didn’t mesh scenes together well, and paced the film poorly.

  5. I enjoy seeing movies that cover historical events that we learned about so briefly in school. It’s very instructive to see what life was like so long ago and how it’s still present in parts of the world today. Only voters make the laws, so if you don’t have the vote, you get the short end of the stick.

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