Female Suffrage and False History

Well, it’s 100 years since the Representation of the People Act which, as everyone knows, gave women in the UK the right to vote.

That, at least, is what we’ve been told today by a succession of commentators, journalists, politicians and “personalities”.

Actually, a few women did have limited voting rights before 1918, and even in 1918 the eight million who were given the right to vote were only those who were 30 and passed the property qualification.

Five million men also gained the right to vote in 1918.

Women were allowed to vote on the same basis as men in 1928.

The question, of course, is was it all worth it?

Universal suffrage seems like a good idea but I’m still waiting to see it do something good. In 1918 we had war, pandemics and social injustice. In 2018 we have wars, pandemics and social injustice. We also have Brexit, postal voting and electoral fraud.

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

28 thoughts on “Female Suffrage and False History

  1. Helen

    The world might not be a better place because of universal suffrage but for me the change of 100 years ago is symbolic. Woman at that time also gained other rights. If my daughter had been born in 1906 instead of 100 years later, I wouldn’t have been able to bring her up without staying in an abusive marriage. As for me, if I’d been born in the nineteenth century instead of the twentieth, how likely is it that I could have gained a Masters degree, which in turn enabled me to have a decent job and therefore able to leave the said marriage?

    1. quercuscommunity

      It might be symbolic, but the problem I have is that it isn’t accurate.

      I was born in the twentieth century and don’t have a degree. I feel your possession of a masters is more to do with your hard work rather than the Representation of the People Act of 1918.


      1. Helen

        Of course, the right to do a degree, let alone a Masters, did not come with the changes in the law in 1918. However, woman couldn’t do either at that time, hard work or no. So, I believe that more rights led to more rights.

  2. beatingthebounds

    The problem with democracy IMHO is that it puts people in charge who want the job and think that they know all the answers. Clearly unhinged. A sort of jury service in which those people who make the most effort to avoid being chosen are actually the ones selected, that’s my plan. Obviously, there are a number of hurdles preventing me putting this into practice. But I’m biding my time.

  3. Clare Pooley

    I continue to vote because, like you, I am honouring all the people who fought hard to get me the vote. But, I am finding it more and more difficult to find anyone I want to vote for. Our local MP is a good man. He works hard and not only speaks regularly in debates in the Commons but is regularly seen at all sorts of events locally. He strives to make the lives of his constituents better. However, he belongs to a political party with which I have very little patience. I don’t have a lot of patience with ANY of the parties these days.

  4. jodierichelle

    Maybe for the next 200 years we should let women and minorities control everything – just as an experiment. We’ll just see how things work out then we can decide.

  5. Laurie Graves

    And we have Trump, who is surely as bad as Brexit. But in this country, we also have a large groundswell of engaged and enraged voters. I am hopeful about the 2018 midterm elections.

      1. Laurie Graves

        Boy, that really sums it up. I don’t write about it too much—the slant of my blog is living in Maine—but what a terrible time for this country. Now he wants a huge military parade, just as though he’s a dictator in some awful totalitarian regime. I hope the midterm elections bring some relief.

  6. bitaboutbritain

    I think we’re progressing – but I’ve just seen your comment about Luddites, so maybe you disagree. Plenty of Luddites in politics. But, though we all have the vote now, I think we’re kidding ourselves about where power lies; much of it lies with major corporations, public as well as private.

      1. bitaboutbritain

        That IS unfortunate – a load of immature twits who don’t know their history will be making much of that. At least JRM tries to debate in a civilised manner, which is to his credit – even if you disagree with his views.

  7. tootlepedal

    At least we know as voters that we have a hand in creating all the mayhem. It is our chaos. That must be a little better than other people creating the chaos without even asking.

  8. Donnalee

    A big war ended 1815, when only British landowner men had the vote. All kinds of disasters happened, including Luddites and factory smashing and assassinations and attempted assassinations, widespread poverty, countless unemployed soldiers everywhere, often disabled and turning to crime. I think the problem is people in general, as opposed to any group of people, myself.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I’m happy to go along with that theory, though I’m quite fond of Luddites. They mounted their first attack in Arnold, which is just a couple of miles from here, where the duck pond is.

      1. Donnalee

        I used to really like them becauseIi am very against a lot of reckless use of technology, until I learned they did a lot of harm and get all stirred up by the Hunts and others and there were lots of problems. I am still maybe some abstract Luddite, but not the kind to get suckered in by the Hunts and get harmed and cause harm to anything other than factories and ‘demon machines’as a result.

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