With the election looming over us, I decided to pull together something about some rather spectacular ladies.
Growing, I was constantly reminded of The Suffragettes as many of my past family members had been a part of them. My great, great, great grandmother (Granny Stockwell) gave birth to 12 girls and was rather forward thinking for the time, teaching all of them that you should never stand in many mans shadow. And that mentality has been passed down through generations from Stockwell’s to Dewhurst’s.
Then this was clarified when I started secondary education. I attended a GDST school, which was set up by The Suffragettes with the aim to extend the age of education for girls. We celebrated the birthdays of Millicent Fawcett & Emmeline Pankhurst and were regularly reminded of their hard work.
One thing that always struck me was their use of their campaign colours: Purple, white & green.
The colours made their first appearance in the June of 1908 after they were picked by Emmeline Pethick Lawrence;
“Purple…stands for the royal blood that flows in the veins of every suffragette…white stands for purity in private and public life…green is the colour of hope and the emblem of spring”.
Another interpretation was that it stood for the the Suffragettes slogan:
GIVE : GREEN
WOMEN : WHITE
(the) VOTE: VIOLET
Personally, I like both!
And surprisingly, even though they wanted the equal rights of men, they still dressed rather feminine (unlike after the second World War). Many members were of a higher class, and had accounts with shops that could cater for their needs (sensible coats for standing on picket lines) including Burberry.
Companies such as Derry & Toms even started advertising outfits just for the members in magazines, papers and reading materials aimed at the Suffragettes. Mind you in 1908 a law was passed that a hat pin could be no longer than 9 inches long due to the violence many women carried out. Plumes up! Shanks out!
It’s said the more militant members had accounts with Selfridges. Yes, Mr. Selfridge on ITV wasn’t too far off the truth (series 1, episode 6). Selfridges invited Suffragettes to the opening of the London store (seen below) and was a firm supporter of their movement.
The Suffragettes are firm proof that you can fight for your rights and still look fabulous! Don’t forget your vote is important. And ladies like the above were put through traumatic ordeals, so future generations could have a voice. Happy voting! x