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Hearts And Minds: The Untold Story of the…

Hearts And Minds: The Untold Story of the Great Pilgrimage and How Women…

by Jane Robinson

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I have never understood why history seems to celebrate the violent, destructive and generally anti-social methods of the suffragettes in their bid to gain 'votes for women' just before the First World War. Now I know why - the fight for female suffrage was a dual-party campaign, divided between the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) of the Pankhursts and the non-militant National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies lead by Millicent Fawcett. (Plus many other smaller groups.) While the Pankhursts and Co were smashing windows, destroying works of art, committing arson, chaining themselves to railings and throwing themselves under horses, Fawcett and her ladies were thinking of practical demonstrations of how women could handle responsibility and organise themselves respectably enough to manage their own affairs - and cast their votes. Hearts and Minds is a powerful account of the suffra-gists campaign for women's votes, and the 'Great Pilgrimage' to London of 1913, ending with a mass rally of over 50,000 women in Hyde Park.

Inspirational and emotive on the whole, Jane Robinson's account of 'the Great Pilgrimage and how women won the vote' is a must-read for all modern female voters who might be thinking 'Why bother?' Because of all the abuse and heartache these women went through for a cause - a right - they believed in, including public attacks and force-feeding in prison. My view, after reading this, is that small-minded men have been running scared of strong women since time immemorial, and so had to come up with ridiculous and hypocritical 'laws' like women being mentally and emotionally incapable of understanding and taking part in politics. Whether the suffragists and suffragettes won women the vote, or whether the war brought a necessary change in the law, there is no denying that these women deserve our respect. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Sep 9, 2018 |
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