Suffragettes still can’t save feminism


About a year ago, I had my fill of feminists trying to use the late 19th & early 20th century suffragette movement as means of guilt tripping nonfeminist women over our lack of support for their modern, man-hating and discriminatory law lobby. In response, I published a post titled Suffragettes Can’t Save Feminism. In it, I described the voting rights environment under which western suffragettes acted and explained why, rather than a struggle to free women from a system of gendered oppression, their actions were nothing but another example of feminism’s gendered approach to genderless issues. It is often passive-aggressively misconstrued by social justice ideologues as an argument that women shouldn’t have voting rights. When read without bias, however, it is clearly not. People of the nations discussed in that post deserved a unified fight for equal voting rights for all citizens regardless of sex, race, or economic background, and the suffragettes’ focus on gender denied them that fight.

Now, there’s a trailer out for a movie set to be released the day before Halloween. Once again, it appears that feminists are demanding that we view human experiences through a sexist filter that shows women and only women as victims, and only victims… and men as both gods and devils. The narrative the film looks made to support is the same one feminists currently promote. It treats women’s experiences and interests as more valid and more relevant than men’s, while attributing greater responsibility for their welfare to men than to themselves. The only redeeming factor I can see is that it doesn’t appear the film makers ignored suffragette violence.

Attack on Prime Minister Asquith 1913 [alt]
Attack on at King’s banquet hall [alt]
Murder attempt on Magistrate Curtiss Bennett [alt]
Horse-whipping doctor [alt]
Bombing [alt]
Bombing attempt
Bombing & threat [alt]
Vandalism & bomb threat [alt]
Pankhurst bomb deal
Pankhurst describes suffragette arson and bombing

Even if the film acknowledges that violence, it appears to be mitigated by a portrayal designed to excuse it in the minds of the viewers, and a failure to also include upper class suffragette bigotry against minorities, the poor, and men.

Suffragette White Supremacy
Did violence get women the vote?
Women as dictators? [alt]
Suffragette female supremacy [alt]

In order to create the impression the film is made to instill, the makers seem to have ignored the list of suffragettes and suffragists involved in various nations’ movements in favor of creating a fictional character.

The film’s protagonist, a British suffragette named “Maud,” is described on as one of a supposed majority of suffragettes who were, “working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing” and were “radicalised and turning to violence as the only route to change” at great risk to themselves and their families. She is not to be mistaken for real-life American Suffragist Maud Wood Park, a college graduate and professional educator. Park’s work with the College Equal Suffrage League and the League of Women Voters involved canvassing, distributing leaflets, and public speaking, all in the interest of influencing policy makers through public opinion and public support. She’s known as a pioneer of this style, now described as a front door lobby to differentiate it from the often suspect direct-to-politicians approach which generally excludes the public from the process.

Nor should the film’s character Maud be confused with American women’s advocate, consumer advocate, educator and suffragist Maud Nathan, who researched the working conditions of women retail clerks and advocated for reform as president of the Consumers’ League of New York. Unlike the working class character, Maud Nathan hailed from an elite family.

Why couldn’t the makers of Suffragette, the film, find a real-life suffragette or even a group whose activism and experiences they could make the basis and center of their story? Were they emulating the method used by Erich Maria Remarque when writing All Quiet on the Western Front? It will be interesting to see when the film is released whether it will be an historically accurate portrayal of the suffragettes, or the manipulative sales pitch comprised of selective presentation, false framing, and emotional appeal at which its trailer hints.


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About the author

Hannah Wallen

Hannah has witnessed women's use of criminal and family courts to abuse men in five different counties, and began writing after she saw one man's ordeal drag on for seven years, continuing even when authorities had substantial evidence that the accuser was gaming the system. She is the author of Breaking the Glasses, written from an anti-feminist perspective, with a focus on men's rights and sometimes social issues. Breaking the Glasses refers to breaking down the "ism" filters through which people view the world, replacing thought in terms of political rhetoric with an exploration of the human condition and human interactions without regard to dogmatic belief systems. She has a youtube channel (also called Breaking the Glasses), and has also written for A Voice For Men and Genderratic. Hannah's work can be supported at

<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="152292">16 comments</span>

  • “It will be interesting to see when the film is released whether it will be an historically accurate portrayal of the suffragettes, or the manipulative sales pitch comprised of selective presentation, false framing, and emotional appeal at which its trailer hints.”

    Unfortunately, I’m going to guess it’ll be the latter.

  • Suffragette white supremacy:

    Then there’s the close association of suffragettes and women of that demographic with the KKK:
    … close that they had their own f*cking auxiliary of the KKK. And note the close connection with the Temperance Movement.
    Mother Jones summed the whole movement up succinctly when she said the plutocrats had mobilized their women to thwart the rising labor movement. The fundamental gynocentrism of the culture ensured they would succeed.

    • Some were pro slavery and some were anti yeah, they didn’t really care I don’t think. Whatever would be most successful for their strategy.

    • Some were pro white supremecy and some were anti yeah, they didn’t really care I
      don’t think. Whatever would be most successful for their strategy.

  • “We break windows. We burn things because war is the only language men listen to!”

    This movie’s gonna be amazing. Full on hatred of men justified for your viewing pleasure. I can’t wait until it wins big at the Academy Awards and we get to be subjected to even more feminist soap box prattling than the 2014 awards…which no one thought was possible! I hope Josh Brolin and George Clooney attend the awards wearing high heels to protest the oppression of women.

  • If it’s got anything to do with the BBC, I sincerely doubt it will be honest and objective. The beeb has been well and truly overrun by feminoids for a long while now. I’ve seen ‘history’ documentaries on there that assmume the patriarchy is real.

  • I love all the historical links. The recent Mark Ruffalo post telling nonfeminist women to “kiss his ass” got me thinking, though, on additional arguments we should arm ourselves when the inevitable battle lines about this film and media hype arise.

    I think we can and should also argue that even if we (or those we try to reason with) pretend suffragettes were angels, people like Ruffalo and the kind of media coverage we can expect around this movie, “this is why you need to support all of today’s Feminism, Inc machine” is complete bull.

    Absolutely we need to know history and this article’s extensive links are great (interestingly even feminist dominated wikipedia when I checked a year or two ago, stated and acknowledged, in its own limited way, suffragist versus suffragette) and Hannah’s earlier piece on her blog which I just read has even more great historical links. But I want to also be able to demolish those who refuse to listen about history.

    And this is not a defeatist view that “the feminists will definitely succeed in falsifying history” but an attempt to equip us to fight even those who deny history, just as my comment on manspreading post showed how misandrist the very word “manspreading” is, even if 90% or 100% of the hogging of space was by men. We still need to point out that it’s nonsense, it’s not anywhere near 90% and often a majority at all…but still point out that even for those who ignore the facts, it’s easy misandrist, the very term is (if 90% or 100% of theft was by black, it would rightly be seen as outrageous to smear all blacks and call steaing “black-taking”)

    Now Feminisplainer Ruffalo comes along..

    He says to non-feminist women that they are “insulting” and “undermining the legacy of” and “denigrating” and slapping in the face…and he lists who the alleged victims of these “crimes” by non-feminists are: women who fought for the right to vote, those who fought for women to be able to own property, and so on. For my purpose here, I don’t want to be distracted by making criticisms I’d like to do elsewhere, like Ruffalo brushing under the rug how male victims of rape are treated as the rape crisis centers, or lack of protection for male victims of spousal rape, biased DV and harassment law, among other things. And non-feminist men are that much worse to him of course

    Really? Really? Suppose someone told a U.S. voter that they have to vote Republican today “if you supported Abe Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation” Or that not voting Republican is “an insult” to the pro environment policies of Theodore Roosevelt We would call that crazy.

    Suppose they told a libertarian or progressive they have to support Obama’s war policies and vote for Hillary in 2016 or else they are “spitting on the legacy of FDR and his New Deal policies. How dare you insult the 8 hour day and other hard won victories for labor thanks to the Democrat under FDR”

    We would either laugh ourselves silly or call it out as moronic reasoning. And THAT is what Ruffalo is engaged in, and what the media can be expected to do about this film.

    Yes we should absolutely call out the less than angelic truth about the suffragettes, but let’s also call out the logical fallacy here, the utter nonsense that’s akin to “if you don’t vote for Hillary you’re spitting on the legacy of FDR” and “if you don’t vote for (some horrible Republican) then you’re spiting on the legacy of Lincoln and Roosevelt”

    To the extent that there were good social changes in the past, and while the past includes ugly racist and violent incident, it does include good policy changes (advocated by a cross section of society not just by the suffragettes as is usually implied) then the people spitting on the legacy of those things that were good in this history, that are denigrating and and insulting the people and memory of those historical changes that were actually good? That would be the PC practitioners of Feminism, Inc it’s THEY who are doing that denigration of positive historical change.

    And that, after correcting their history by citing articles like Hannah’s, is going to be the second part of my response to those who will listen, when the media onslaught of Feminism, Inc comes. And the onslaught *will* come..

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