Thursday, April 25, 2024
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Reader’s comment: No suffragettes in the trenches


In response to Belinda Brown: Myths about the suffragette ‘martyrs’, Colonel Mustard wrote:

It is astonishing that in narrating the suffragettes’ ‘struggle’ they completely ignore the fact that conscription for single men aged 18 to 40 was introduced in January 1916. Married men, who were at first exempt, became liable in June 1916 and the age of liability was raised to 51 years.

Not one of the modern feminists ‘celebrating’ the suffragette cause will address that very deliberate discrimination against men. Not one suffragette stood shivering in a cold, wet trench at dawn, with a churning stomach and lice-infested uniform, waiting to climb a ladder into a no-man’s land swept by machine gun and shell fire. Those were all men, many compelled to be there by politicians safe in England, and who faced being shot as cowards if they refused to go forward.

It is difficult to appreciate the sheer phlegm and sense of duty that made all those men continue to face that politically contrived horror, without a general uprising or mutiny, for four years. To put suffragettes on a pedestal in that context is really quite disgusting.

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