Elevating a fanatic
How disappointing it was to see Emmeline Pankhurst voted one of the 100 Women Who Changed the World. The idea that she gained women the vote is one of the biggest myths in British history. What Pankhurst did was more than make passionate speeches and break a few windows. Between 1912 and 1914, she permitted arson attacks on churches, trains, theatres and museums; the sending of bombs and hazardous chemicals through the post; and violent targeted assaults, such as the firebombing of Lloyd Lloy George’s house (Lloyd George wa as a supporter of female suffra age!), arson attacks on Kew Ga ardens and the bombing of We estminster Abbey. The T movement for female suffrage can be traced back at least 36 years before Pankhurst formed the suffragettes, when the (sadly forgotten) suffragist movement was created in 1867. After a long and peaceful campaigning process, they had made strides towards gaining female suffrage before Pankhurst and her militant methods turned society against their cause.
The only helpful thing Pankhurst ever did was stop her violent “deeds not words” tactics after the outbreak of the First World War. It would be women’s contribution to the war effort that later gained them the vote, not the suffragettes. Pankhurst was a fanatic who seemed to do her utmost to degrade and hinder women’s rights in general. Emilie Lamplough, Wiltshire