On Friday while I was at home, I went to see “Suffragette” with my mum after her graduation (we got the comfy seats and everything!) and I was really excited about watching it because it’s something that I’ve wanted to see for a while, and I think it’s got a really important message about equality- not just 100 years ago, but even today.
One of the main things I liked about “Suffragette” was that it wasn’t just based around Emmeline Pankhurst, and it wasn’t just her life story. The film is about young Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan), an “everyday”, normal woman who works as a laundress, and has done for her whole life. She is married, with a son, and doesn’t really have a massive interest in joining the suffragette movement. However, she meets Violet, a co-worker and suffragette, and eventually Maud gets swept up into the action.
I studied the suffragettes in Year 11 for GCSE history, so I knew about Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Davison (who are both characters in the film) and so the ending wasn’t exactly a shock for me because I knew it happened. But then again, it is a historical drama based on true events, so of course some people in the audience are going to know more about what happened than others. But I studied the suffragettes three years ago now, so even though I had some background knowledge, this film was such a good way to really bring it back and remind myself of how important it is to stand up for something you believe strongly in. One of the things I hadn’t thought about too much, was how much women gave up in order to fight. Maud loses her husband and her son and faces social stigma from her neighbours and co-workers.
Since watching “Suffragette”, I can’t help but wander what I would have done if I was involved. There is a part in the film when Maud asks Sonny, her husband, about how different their lives would be if they had a daughter. She asks him what sort of life their daughter would have had, and Sonny replies “the same life as yours” (or something similar) and that was the moment for Maud (and me, as well) when she realizes that this isn’t the type of world for a young girl to grow up in. When you watch the film, you get to know how terrible Maud’s life has been, so for someone to say that their daughter would have to face the same thing is somewhat sickening.
I think I would have been a suffragette if I was alive 100 years ago. I consider myself a feminist which is another reason why I wanted to watch “Suffragette” so badly. I think it’s so, so important for people to learn about why they fought as hard as they did to get women the vote, because that was only one step towards making men and women equal. We’re still not entirely equal, I mean, there is still a difference in wages for women working the same job as men. But the point is that this film should help inspire people to make a change, and to not be afraid of standing up for your rights.