Suffragettes Fought for Our Rights to Vote.
Suffragette: “PG“ (111 min.)
Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Meryl Streep, Anne-Marie Duff, Grace Stottor
Directed by: Sarah Gavron
Voting is important
Regardless of what anyone tells you to the contrary, voting is important. It is perhaps the single most important right that citizens of democracies have — to have a voice in choosing their leaders. Unfortunately, the history of voting isn’t as sweet a progressive ride as we would have liked it to have been. Truthfully, it has been a long, arduous uphill fight, especially for women. This fill purports to tell the story of how the women in Great Britain fought for, and managed to gain the right to vote.
Suffragette on DVD
Suffering for The Cause
This drama tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement in England in the early 1900s. Women who were seeking equal rights with men — that is to say, the right to vote — were forced underground in order to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State that was bound and determined to prevent them that right. Interestingly enough, these women were not primarily from the genteel, educated classes, but rather, they were working-class women who had seen that peaceful protest achieve nothing. Hence, they radicalized and turned to violence as the only route to change (violence, they realized, was the only language that men understood). These women were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality — their jobs, their homes, their children, and even their lives if necessary.
The Story of Women who Fought
Maud (Carey Mulligan) was one such (albeit reluctant) foot soldier. This then is her story of her fight for dignity, which is as gripping and visceral as any thriller, it is also heart-breaking and inspirational as we come to realize that these women who only desired to control their own lived where treated like chattel by their husbands, and as less than human by men who weren’t’ their husbands. They were mocked, beaten, abused and imprisoned, simply because they desired equality.
Protesting to get the Vote
The fought for all of Our Rights
Maud, and several other women and young girls worked in a laundry and were mistreated by their boss as well as their husbands (Maud’s husband threw her into the street when he came to discover that she had the audacity to seek the right to vote for herself. Eventually, after a long, hard battle the women of England did win the right to vote, but it came slowly and at great cost in 1918, however, only women who were householders over the age of 30 (some six million women) received the vote at that time. It wasn’t until 1928 that women over 21 got the vote. This, even though the 1918 Representation of the People Act gave the vote to all men over the age of 21. By contrast the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on August 18, 1920 granted American women the right to vote
The Rights of all Women
This film proves to be even more important when you consider that now, nearly a century later that so few people turn out to vote in most elections, decrying the same myth that voting doesn’t matter, when it couldn’t be further from the truth. Willingly not voting is never an option, and it proves to be disrespectful to all of those who fought and died to gain the right to vote. As stated at the onset of this film review, it is not only a right, but the obligation of each and every eligible citizen to vote.
Picketing for the Cause
© 2016 Robert J Sodaro