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Friday, 29 January 2016


I have just returned home from the second movie I have seen in the space of a month. Suffragette is a must view to have a better comprehension of the conditions women were living and working in - the same conditions that led to Emily Davison throwing herself under the King's horse on Derby Day in 1912.

We have a lot to thank those women for - in New Zealand Kate Shepherd and her suffragette's. Without them women would still be the property of their father, brother or husband depending on what their marital and/or familial status was. They would be subject to laws that did not favour any of their rights - in the story this is protrayed through a lack of parental rights, the right to be safe in the workplace and the right to keep the money they earned.  Even the mere right to have a voice heard in their own home was not open to a woman. 

While some have said it is sanitised I did not find it to be the case. There were many points that had me uncomfortable or squirming or wanting to hug Maud as Cary Mulligan's portrayal of the main character had me right there in the moment. It is true the cast was white - but that was the reality of East London at the time and does not diminish or demean the fight so many others have had over time to ensure their voice is heard. It was with pride that the list of countries where women gained the vote was led by New Zealand in 1893 thanks to our own suffragettes.  The film is set in England in 1912, a country where it took another 6 years for certain women over 30 to get the vote and 1928 for all women. 

If you have not had the opportunity to see it - you should make the time. You should also take your daughters so they too have a comprehension of the fight to gain the rights they will have as women, your children so they have some understanding of why Labour Day is a holiday as well as why they should appreciate their right to have an education and the right to vote. 

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