Tuesday, June 04, 2013

One small step for woman, one giant leap for womankind

So, today marks the centenary of Emily Davison's ill-fated intervention in the Epsom Derby - a rather more noble Morpeth-and-derby-and-horse-related act than another recently widely reported, and one of which we Morpethians can actually be proud...

This BBC article gives some useful background on the incident, though I'd recommend catching the Channel 4 documentary Clare Balding's Secrets Of A Suffragette if you can. It includes an intriguing forensic re-examination of the evidence and footage (endorsing the view that Davison didn't set out to commit suicide, but that it wasn't mere accident that the King's horse was targeted) but is also an eye-opening expose of the extent to which she and her fellow suffragettes were brutalised and to which they fought back with civil disobedience and violence. Watching it made the act of putting a cross in a box in a local community centre feel far more significant than it usually does come election day.

Elsewhere, the Guardian's Kira Cochrane has outlined nine lessons the suffragettes taught (or still can teach) their modern-day counterparts. Pussy Riot seem to have been taking notes - certainly as regards the mantra that publicity is power.

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