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Suffragette myth that turns men into the enemy


As thousands took to the streets last Sunday to commemorate the centenary of votes for women, many held banners calling for the ‘battle’ to continue. The battle referred to was that of the suffragettes, the gender freedom fighter heroines today’s young women are taught uncritically to believe in.

‘Fight like a Girl’ read one placard read. ‘Deeds, not words’ said another, echoing the slogan of the suffragettes, who were responsible for 337 acts of arson or bombing during 1913 and 1914.

Nothing, from Hollywood’s outpourings to the constant BBC tributes to the suffragettes, seems ever to be said to disabuse young women of the suffragettes’ virtues. Nothing is told them of the real heroines – and the men who helped them – the quite different, peaceful and effective suffragist campaign.

So three cheers for the Daily Mail whch today has published my account of the history of the campaign for women’s rights – one that I believe is accurate and sets the record straight:

‘The real action did not lie with the suffragettes and their shameful violence. It lay with another group of women, the suffragists led by Millicent Fawcett, and their collaboration with men in the Labour party.

‘It was Millicent Fawcett and her 50,000 suffragists whose peaceful and persistent work turned the tide: Pankhurst’s suffragettes (estimated to number only between 2,000 and 5,000) were an aggressive offshoot from which Fawcett repeatedly tried to distance herself.

‘Yet somewhere along the line the tale has been twisted. To the extent that when a statue of Fawcett was unveiled in Parliament Square this year, they used suffragette colours (white, green, purple) when Fawcett herself established suffragist colours (red, white, green) to distance herself from the violence.’

For my full account of what actually happened you can read on here.

And please share this article, for it is crucial that the record is set straight. Until it is, girls will continue to be unreasonably and wrongly encouraged through this distorted and highly ideological feminist version of history to see men as the enemy.

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Belinda Brown
Belinda Brown
Belinda Brown is author of 'The Private Revolution' and a number of well-cited academic papers. More recently, she has started writing and blogging for The Daily Mail and The Conservative Woman. She has a particular interest in men's issues and the damage caused by feminism.

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