CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN IN BRITAIN (THE XlXth- XXth CENTURIES): THE SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT. Махрина И.A.


CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN IN BRITAIN (THE XlXth- XXth CENTURIES): THE SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT
Махрина И.A.
H. рук.: к.ф.н., доц. Доборович А.Н.
Аспекты изучения иностранного языка и культуры: Сборник научных суденческих работ
(по материалам студенческой конференции 11 апреля 2012 г., г. Белгород). Вып. 4. Т. 2. Отв. ред. Е.В.Пупынина. - Белгород, 2012. - 222 с. (с. 9-10)
        Do you know how women began to struggle for their rights? What is the suffrage movement? When did it begin to develop?
        So, women's suffrage in the United Kingdom was a national movement that began in 1872. The members of the suffrage movement were mostly women from middle class backgrounds, frustrated by their social and economic situation and seeking an outlet through which to initiate change. They struggled for change within society, for suffrage. The fact is men thought that women should not get the vote because they were too emotional and could not think as logically as men; Women wanted to be involved in the running of the country and they wanted to be treated as equals to men.
        Besides, the suffragists aspired to deliver women from «family slavery». And for this purpose, first of all, it was necessary to provide to the woman the right to decide herself, should she give birth or not. Also, women argued that the wife isn't a property of the husband, also as well as children. Children belong to the woman and the man hasn't the right to interfere with the relations of the woman with the children. As a result the suffragists achieved the right to own property and to receive guardianship over the children in case of divorce. Also, Women demanded to give them a right of entering the universities and learning a trade. Besides, the suffragists opposed alcoholism. They fought for acceptance «the dry law». They thought that the alcohol affects men as the sexual activator, and it is the first step to immoral behavior concerning women.
        The Suffragists were members of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies. In the United Kingdom it was founded in 1897. This Union was formed of a collection of local suffrage societies. It was led by Millicent Fawcett, who believed in constitutional campaigning. « One of the most remarkable movements gradually develops before eyes of the present generation. It isn't closed in one country, but it is shown in all nations submitting to influence of the western civilization. It is revolution, but revolution without violence "- Millicent Fawcett wrote about feminist movement [1, c. 103]. She issued leaflets, organized meetings and presented petitions. However this campaigning did not have much effect. So in 1403 Emmeline Pankhurst founded a new organization, the Women's Social and Political Union. Pankhurst thought that the movement would have to become radical and militant if it were going to work. The Daily Mail later gave them the name 'Suffragettes' [4, c. 60].
        Emmeline Pankhurst was a key figure in the women's suffrage movement. She was a British political activist who helped women win the right to vote. Pankhurst founded and led the Women's Social and Political Union. It was an organization which was focused on direct action to win the vote. The Women's Social and Political Union organized meetings and different demonstrations. Demonstration in a Hyde Park was the largest action which has collected about half a million people [2, c. 81].
        Her husband, Richard Pankhurst, also supported women suffrage ideas. He was the author of the first British woman suffrage bill and the Married Women's Property Acts in 1870 and 1882. During the struggle at Boggart Hole Clough, Richard Pankhurst began to experience severe stomach pains. He had developed a gastric ulcer, and his health deteriorated in 1897. The family moved briefly to Moberly, with the hope that country air would help his condition. He soon felt well again, and the family returned to Manchester in the autumn. In the summer of 1898 he suffered a sudden relapse. Pankhurst had taken their oldest daughter Christabel to Corsier, Switzerland, to visit her old friend Noйmie. A telegram arrived liuin Richard, reading: "I am not well. Please come home, my love." Leaving Christabel with Noйmie, Pankhurst returned immediately to England. On 5 July, while on a train from London to Manchester, she noticed a newspaper announcing the death of Richard Pankhurst.
        The loss of her husband left Pankhurst with new responsibilities and a significant amount of debt. She moved the family to a smaller house, resigned from the Board of Guardians, and was given a paid position as Registrar of Births and Deaths in Chorlton. This work gave her more insight into the сonditions of women in the region. She wrote in her autobiography: "They used to tell me their stories, dreadful stories some of them, and all of them pathetic with that patient and uncomplaining pathos of poverty. » Her observations of the differences between the lives of men and women, for example in relation to illegitimacy, reinforced her conviction that women needed the right to vote before their сonditions could improve. In 1900 she was elected to the Manchester School Board and saw new examples of women suffering unequal treatment and limited opportunities. During this time she also re-opened her store, with the hope that it would provide additional income for the family. After her husband's death, Emmeline decided to move to the forefront of the suffrage battle. She joined the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). Emmeline founded the Women's Franchise League in 1889 and the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903. From 1908 the WSPU adopted the colour scheme of purple, white and green: purple symbolized dignity, white purity, and green hope. These three colours were used for banners, flags, rosettes and badges, and appeared in newspaper cartoons and postcards. Frustrated with years of government inactivity and false promises, the WSPU adopted a militant stance. Millicent Faucet noted that the authorities punished insignificant violations of the law as, for example, a swinging flags and pronouncing of speeches more cruelly, than the serious crimes which were made by men" [2, c. 63]. After many years of struggle and adversity, women finally gained suffrage but Emmeline died shortly after this. Shortly after the funeral, one of Pankhurst's bodyguards from her WSPU days, Catherine Marshall, began raising funds for a memorial statue. In spring 1930 her efforts bore fruit, and on 6 March her statue was set in Victoria Tower Gardens. A crowd of radicals, former suffragettes, and national dignitaries gathered as former Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin presented the memorial to the public.
        She was widely criticized for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness, but her work is recognized as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in Britain.
        During the twentieth century Emmeline Pankhurst's value to the movement for women's suffrage was debated passionately, and no consensus was achieved. Her daughters Sylvia and Christabel weighed in with books about their time in the struggle, scornful and laudatory, respectively. Sylvia's 1931 book The Suffrage Movement describes her mother's political shift at the start of the First World War as the beginning of a betrayal of her family (especially her father) and the movement. It set the tone for much of the socialist and activist history written about the WSPU and particularly solidified Emmeline Pankhurst's reputation as an unreasonable autocrat. Christabel's "Unshackled: The Story of How We Won the Vote," released in 1959, paints her mother as generous and selfless to a fault, offering herself completely to the most noble causes. It provided a sympathetic counterpart to Sylvia's attacks and continued the polarised discussion; detached and objective assessment has rarely been a part of Pankhurst scholarship.
        Recent biographies show that historians differ about whether Emmeline Pankhurst's militancy helped or hurt the movement; however, there is general agreement that the WSPU raised public awareness of the movement in ways that proved essential. Baldwin compared her to Martin Luther and Jean-Jacques Rousseau: individuals who were not the sum total of the movements in which they took part, but who nevertheless played crucial roles in struggles of social and political reform. In the case of Pankhurst, this reform took place in both intentional and unintentional ways. By defying the roles of wife and mother as the docile companion, Pankhurst paved the way for feminists who would later decry her support for empire and sustainable social values.
Emmeline Pankhurst's importance to the United Kingdom was demonstrated again in 1929, when a portrait of her was added to the National Portrait Gallery. The BBC dramatized her life in the 1974 mini- series Shoulder to Shoulder, with Welsh actress Siвn Phillips in the role of Emmeline Pankhurst. In 1987 one of her homes in Manchester was opened as the Pankhurst Centre, an all-women gathering space and museum. In 1999 Time named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating: "she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back." [3, c.5].
 
Использованная литература
1 Фаусетт M. Женское движение в Англии//Русская мысль. 1896. № 10.
2 Fawcett M. Women's Suffrage. L., 1912.
3 Warner, Marina (14 June 1999). "Emmeline Pankhurst Time 100 People of the Century". Time Magazine.
4 Ben Walsh. GCSE Modern World History second edition (Hodder Murray, 2008) p. 60.

Дата: 29 июня 2014

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