Suf­fragettes for whom, ex­actly?

CityPress - - Trend­ing - Gugulethu.mh­lungu@city­press.co.za

I wasn’t go­ing to watch Suf­fragette. They lost me when, as part of the mar­ket­ing cam­paign, Meryl Streep, Carey Mul­li­gan, Ro­mola Garai and Anne-Marie Duff donned T-shirts em­bla­zoned with an Em­me­line Pankhurst (Streep’s char­ac­ter) quote: “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.”

In 2015, it was just an­other thing from white fem­i­nists; an­other thing where they didn’t get why in­ter­sec­tion­al­ity is im­por­tant, and why you can’t throw black women un­der the bus for the sake of your mes­sage, an oc­cur­rence that has hap­pened time and time again through­out his­tory.

While fight­ing for white women to get the vote in a het­eropa­tri­ar­chal Bri­tain, Pankhurst her­self was pro-Em­pire, and

THE VOTE

MOVIE given how racist the Bri­tish Em­pire was, this made her okay with the ra­cial op­pres­sion that made the Em­pire pos­si­ble. It is im­pos­si­ble to be proEm­pire and not pro-racism – the two are the same. Fur­ther­more, many of the suf­fragette women later moved to fas­cism.

Writ­ing for the States­man, Anna Leszkiewicz noted: “There were some who were out­right fas­cists: No­rah Elam, who ear­lier in her life hap­pily worked along­side Sophia Duleep Singh, turned into a Black­shirt later.”

The film also erases the In­dian

Suf­fragette, un­for­tu­nately, nar­rows its scope to one work­ing class woman’s story

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