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(53 Posts)
Deedaa Fri 09-Oct-15 21:12:28

AIBU to have been shocked to read that, until she was in the film, Carey Mulligan didn't know that suffragettes were beaten and force fed. She thought they went on nice marches, waving banners, and obviously knew nothing about the infamous Cat and Mouse Act. If girls aren't being taught about this it's no wonder that they put so little value on the right to vote and seem to enjoy knowing nothing about current affairs.

Ana Fri 09-Oct-15 21:27:17

Yes, I think you are being unreasonable. The suffragette movement isn't a subject regularly covered in schools, and a lot of young women haven't even heard of it.

rosesarered Fri 09-Oct-15 21:29:51

True, nothing was taught to us at school about it, only from private reading at home, and later on old news reels.

Luckygirl Fri 09-Oct-15 21:32:25

We did not cover it at school - but I think we should have done.

grumppa Fri 09-Oct-15 22:18:20

I am always surprised at how little many younger people know of our history. I recall being taught it from 55 BC to the death of Victoria and possibly later, including social history, all before I was thirteen. The modern approach of studying a particular period and describing how people felt has much to commend it, I am told, but it does not paint the big picture.

trisher Fri 09-Oct-15 22:29:01

The history of women and the suffragette movement is largely forgotten. For example most people think it was a single cause movement- to win the vote Whereas the women wanted equal pay for equal work, better working conditions and better care for the poor and children as well as the vote. I think Carey Mulligan is probably a fairly typical young woman.

crun Fri 09-Oct-15 22:44:19

I've got a real beef about the way I was taught history. At primary school I was taught stone age, bronze age iron age, etc., up to about the middle ages.

Then when I went to secondary school, they wound the clock right back and started with ancient history all over again. We did Egyptians, Sumerians, Incas, Aztecs, blah blah. By the time I left school I had done no modern history at all.

I think that history would be better taught 'back to front' with the most of the ancient stuff left until uni, and schools doing the more modern stuff that has more impact on our current lives.

crun Fri 09-Oct-15 22:45:57

...and the Romans, they got done to death as well.

Deedaa Fri 09-Oct-15 23:27:51

We did the same crun although we didn't cover the Incas and Aztecs. Our history stopped at 1914 which seemed odd to me even then as it meant we knew nothing about the modern world. On the other hand at least we did some history. I was rather taken aback when DD was given the choice of History or Geography for GCSE. She chose History and only has a very scrappy knowledge of Geography and DS chose geography so his history stops in the Middle Ages.

I ran the Suffragettes by DD and found that at least she knows about the hunger strikes but children today don't seem to have the sort of magazines that cover stuff like this. I can remember stories about reformers like Elizabeth Fry in Girl and Look and Learn was a good one.

MaizieD Fri 09-Oct-15 23:31:01

We only 'did' 19th & early 20th C history if we did O level history. As the suffragettes came towards the end of the syllabus it was all a bit rushed. though we did also cover advances in some women's educational chances with early women doctors and women being admitted to university.
I think we touched on the Married Women's Property Act too but it was all rather sketchy. That was at a single sex grammar school. I should think that women's history got even less of a look in at boys' schools or co-ed schools.

Those who didn't do O level got about as far as the end of the Stuarts.

I doubt if either of my children covered the suffragettes at all as their 'history' was all topic based rather than linear. I'm not at all surprised that modern young women don't know much about them.

whitewave Sat 10-Oct-15 07:31:10

My grandsons seem to study quite a lot of 20 century history. Not sure about the suffregettes though, must ask them.

nightowl Sat 10-Oct-15 07:50:57

I'm saddened to think that this, and the history of working people's struggle for equal suffrage and other rights is not taught in school. But I have to say, school is not the only place where children learn; don't they learn as much about history and the world we live in from their parents and other adults in their lives? According to Wikipedia, Carey Mulligan's mother is a university lecturer, so I really would expect her to have had a more rounded education than seems to be the case.

Anya Sat 10-Oct-15 08:12:34

At least a film like "Sufragette" brings this to the public's attention. I think I made a similar point on a political thread Nightowl - that education should also take place outside of school, in society and in the home and through the media.

Though I'm constantly correcting people that "Les Miséables" is set in the 19th century and not during the French Revolution.

Deedaa Sat 10-Oct-15 21:07:47

I think it was Bernard Shaw who complained that going to school interfered too much with his education.

bear Sun 11-Oct-15 10:04:39

I learnt about the Suffragettes from my aunt, who was one, and wrote about them in a book called 'Octavia'. Unfortunately it was marketed as though it was chick lit with a vacuous 21st century face on the cover and very few of my readers knew what it was. Who knows that our great Keir Hardie was the only MP to take their cause to the House of Commons?

durhamjen Mon 12-Oct-15 00:13:57

Not only Carey Mulligan who knew nothing about suffragettes.

bear Mon 12-Oct-15 08:21:54

I've just signed the petition. Thank you for bringing it to my attention durhamjen,

trisher Mon 12-Oct-15 11:13:48

Thanks durhamjen signed-we need more Women's History everywhere!

durhamjen Mon 12-Oct-15 11:27:36

I went once with my son and grandson to Beamish. It was a suffragette weekend, but we did not know it. In the restaurant there were groups of suffragettes and ordinary women haranguing each other, and asking the customers what they thought. Then a policeman came in, so one of the suffragettes chained herself to the handrail at the top of the stairs. The policeman took another one away with him, and the others ran.
My grandson enjoyed being asked his opinion about whether women should be able to vote. Living history. It's not just in schools.

trisher Mon 12-Oct-15 13:23:40

Beamish did a huge amount to commemorate the 100 anniversary of Emily Wilding Davison's death. I took part in a march and demonstration in Newcastle where we argued at the Monument, walked in the procession in Morpeth and joined the memorial service(all in suffragette costume), Couldn't make the Beamish day, but heard it was fantastic. Anyone within easy distance of Newcastle might like to join our suffragette walk- "Deeds not Words" on 18th October. Meet 2.30pm at The Haymarket.

bear Mon 12-Oct-15 18:38:10

I would love to join you. I doubt I could find a full suffragette costume but I could wear my (genuine) suffragette necklace and ear rings. I shall be with you in spirit, shoulder to shoulder.

AlieOxon Tue 13-Oct-15 11:44:16

Just been chatting to one of the men who have come to put up a fence in my garden (chat rather to the delay of his work!) about the film. He was seriously impressed with it - and he didn't know many of the facts before.

I haven't seen it, but it sounds like one of the few I feel I would really like to see, out of all the recent films!

JulieGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 13-Oct-15 22:32:46

I studied about the Suffragettes at school (sorry to jump in), probably because my history teacher was a feminist grin. My son hasn't learned about them at school, so I taught him myself. It's important to know just how we've become what we are, I think. We're going to go to the cinema to watch this.

durhamjen Tue 13-Oct-15 23:21:41

How old is your son? I was wondering about taking my grandson.

M0nica Wed 14-Oct-15 08:31:57

It has been suggested recently that the extreme behaviour of the suffragettes delayed the introduction of votes for women as the government before WW1 did not wish to be seen to be bowing to the tactics of violence used by sufragettes. After the war, they granted women the vote as a 'reward' for their work during the war

There was a second movement for votes for women, a non-violent group called the suffragists, one of whose leaders was Millicent Fawcett, after whom the Fawcett Society was named. Although the Suffragettes have hogged the limelight because of their extreme actions, the suffragist movement had many more adherents than the suffragettes. 2,000 suffragettes to 50,000 suffragists.

Reading Millicent Fawcett's biography on Wikipedia I would suggest that in her life she did more for the rights of women than all the Pankhurst family rolled together. She was involved in campaigns to curb child abuse by raising the age of consent, criminalizing incest, cruelty to children within the family, to end the practice of excluding women from courtrooms when sexual offences were under consideration, to stamp out the 'white slave trade', and to prevent child marriage and the introduction of regulated prostitution in India. (I quote from Wikipedia) to name but a few.

The Suffragists did the hard work and achieved success by showing their worth. The Suffragettes were just 'virtue signallers'