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MOVIE – "Suffragette"

Eleanor McCloskey, CND

Suffragette is a British movie that played in selected cities. The DVD is now available. Carey Mulligan (Great Gatsby) and Helena Bonham Carter (Margaret’s Museum, The King’s Speech) are prominent and Meryl Streep has a bit part as an inspiring political activist. The movie shows the up-front and also the behind-the-scenes struggles of the women seeking, in 1912, the right to vote. (Not realized in Britain until 1928). Having exhausted the peaceful means available to them, they resorted to more radical means. They lost their homes, husbands, children and endured public humiliation, domestic abuse for insubordination, and jail terms. I thought it interesting that the women we saw in the film were working women, poor women, not the upper class or the wives, daughters and sisters of the men who were constant in maintaining the status quo. (One exception was the wife of an MP who encouraged the women to present their case.) The movie opens with a statement: “They (women) don’t need rights. They have husbands and fathers and brothers to take care of them.” I feel like a wimp when faced with the passion of these women. 


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