The author has used three different expressions meaning “vote”: the franchise, suffrage, enfranchisement. Look up these words and make a Wordle for each of them. Similarities? Differences?
Watch The Battle for the Vote and answer the questions.
- Why did women join the Suffragette Movement?
- What methods did they use to get their message across?
- What was Black Friday?
- What was Direct Action?
- How successful were the Suffragettes?
- Queen Victoria said, “Let women be what God intended, a helpmate for man, but with totally different duties and vocations.” What do you think Queen Victoria meant by this? Do you think she had herself in mind when she said this? Discuss why the Queen, a woman, would say this.
- What is your opinion about the different methods employed by the WSPU? Is there anything that can justify these actions?
- Can you imagine involving yourself so passionately in a cause?
- What kind of cause might invoke such passion and self-sacrifice in people today?
3. Listen and Present
In the first half of the 20th century, the BBC had the foresight to interview some of the Suffragettes and others who knew them and had shared some of their experiences. Work in pairs and listen to one of following interviews. Present the interviewee to the class and give an account of her experiences.
You will find all the interviews on the Suffragettes Collection site. Mary Leigh is not interviewed but presented in this article.
Sir John Ervine
Eleanor Higginson and Grace Roe
Vera Brittain and Dame Ethyl Smyth
- Imagine that you are a journalist reporting from the 1913 Epsom Derby. Write the news report on the death of Emily Davison.
- Write a diary entry of one of the imprisoned Suffragettes, describing her experiences.
- Write an essay in which you discuss whether the Suffragettes were justified in using violence in their effort to gain the vote.
- Write an essay about gender eguality today.
6. Find Out More
- Several people are mentioned in this text: John Stuart Mill, Lydia Becker, Millicent Fawcett, Emmeline Pankhurst, Christabel and Sylvia Pankhurst, Emily Davison, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Kofi Annan, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman. Choose one of them, Google them and do some research. Make a poster and give a short presentation to the class.
- Look up the NUWSS, the WSPU or the Seneca Falls Convention, and give a short presentation to the class.
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