Tag Archives: Emmeline Pankhurst

“Great Work, Meryl Streep”: Marguerite’s Musings about the “Suffragette” film from the UK

"Marguerite's Musings" by Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

During an interview recently about the upcoming film “Suffragette” from the UK, Meryl Streep announced: “Girls, we’ve been waiting for this.”  Who was she talking to?

I haven’t been a girl for so long, I automatically assumed she wasn’t talking to me. But Meryl Streep got my attention and she’s referring to the new film, “Suffragette” from the UK where Streep has a starring role as Emmeline Pankhurst, the English suffrage movement matriarch. If there’s anyone who can knock down doors and get people to pay attention to something important, it’s Meryl Streep. She’s in a perfect position to bring this neglected part of history to light.

Meryl Streep made the point in an interview with USA Today that in their day, suffrage activists in England provoked the government so much that authorities developed surveillance cameras to document those they perceived to be terrorists.  In yet another statement, Streep expressed surprise about how the mainstream media generally has ignored this part of history.

APPEAL TO MERYL STREEP TO PRESS FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

How refreshing it is for those of us struggling to get out the word about the suffrage movement to have someone like Streep join the cheering section! While you’re out there, Meryl, please affirm the growing number of folks pressing for answers to questions about upcoming suffrage centennials as well as the 2020 suffrage centennial commemorating the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A considerable amount of blood, sweat and tears went into this accomplishment.

Will the upcoming 2020 national suffrage centennial in the U.S. receive the attention and funding it deserves? Is a national suffrage centennial commission realistic? The commission established to commemorate World War I recently received $5 million for its mission of serving as a national clearing house for events and programs. At the present time, there’s nothing in the wings for women and their suffrage centennial except more opportunities for yard and bake sales to carry out similar work.

WILL THE 2020 SUFFRAGE CENTENNIAL DO AS WELL AS THE CENTENNIAL FOR WORLD WAR I?

Meryl Streep, we’re delighted you’re on board. And we trust that you’ll be asking other questions wherever you go, such as:  Will the 2020 suffrage centennial observance in the U.S. bring to the attention of present and future generations the significance of this important votes for women accomplishment?

In what way will we receive the torch from past generations of activists and pass it on? There’s so much ground to cover and the “Suffragette” film is a terrific opportunity to raise questions and expect answers. Let’s the most of it, Meryl. We’re counting on you. And count on us to be allies by telling our friends about “Suffragette” and our plans to stand in line to buy tickets on opening night in mid September 2015!

BREAKING NEWS: The UK is pressing forward, not only with the “Suffragette” film but with the publication of two new books about the English suffrage movement: one about Princess Sophia and another about Emmeline Pankhurst. Stay tuned!

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The “Spirit of 1776″

Emmeline Pankhurst addresses crowd in U.S.

English suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst trumpeted the spirit of 1776 in her famous 1913 speech, “Freedom or Death,” when on a speaking tour in the United States: “We found that all the fine phrases about freedom and liberty were entirely for male consumption, and that they did not in any way apply to women. When it was said taxation without representation is tyranny, when it was ‘Taxation of men without representation is tyranny,’ everybody quite calmly accepted the fact that women had to pay taxes and even were sent to prison if they failed to pay them – quite right. We found that ‘Government of the people, by the people and for the people’ . . . was again only for male consumption; half of the people were entirely ignored; it was the duty of women to pay their taxes and obey the laws and look as pleasant as they could under the circumstances. In fact, every principle of liberty enunciated in any civilised country on earth, with very few exceptions, was intended entirely for men, and when women tried to force the putting into practice of these principles, for women, then they discovered they had come into a very, very unpleasant situation indeed.” Entire text of speech.