The Suffragettes Shouldn’t be Pardoned

Yeah, yeah, I know.

When you state your opinion on the internet.

Well I certainly didn’t think I’d be writing this when I said that the other two blogs a month will happen as and when, but the Suffragettes shouldn’t receive pardons for their crimes. Now I could go the glib way and say “Hurr Durr, they broke the law and that’s that” and while technically true, as usual in the late twenty-teens we’re forgetting the most important thing – context. Surely they did break the law- they did, untabled, shout in a meeting, and in the ensuing uproar spit and punch the face of the police and officials there; they did barge their way in to the office of the PM, and upon ejection climb upon his car to give speech to all in earshot; they did stall debates in the House of Commons, including those for giving women the vote; they did deface art; disrupt court proceedings; and yes they did have the bloody audacity to fling themselves under the King’s horse and a long list of other things besides.

Contemporary legislation was wrong.

“Which is why we should pardon their crimes,” you say, “as recognition of the failings of society and legislation that was then overturned”

Oh Punch, come back. All is forgiven.

Ah, but you missed the point; contemporary legislation was in the wrong. What was always shall be what was. This is on par with taking down statues we don’t like and should in every single case be resisted. Do not remember these women as what history made them to be, remember them for what they were. These women were criminals – and they were in the right. To whitewash their accomplishments in history through pardons is to forget how far we have come, to erase the sad truth that some things have to be fought for and that sometimes you have to fight dirty. To put it another way – to give them pardons is just a legitimised, palatable form of Governmental cover-up. I seem to remember last year a man refusing his Alan Turing pardon for Homosexual Acts, but sadly can’t find the story. This man got what I’m saying, and I’m sure that Ms Pankhurst et al would agree with us both that a pardon does nothing other than make you feel warm and fuzzy that you did something.

This is what posthumous pardons do.

Of course, what few people actually realise is today’s utter in-significance. Today marks the day that only women we wanted voting getting the right to vote, only if you were educated and a landowner (or married to a landowner) could you vote. The date we should be celebrating for equality is:

The Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928

Big letters are big.
July 2nd 1928 marks the day that women could vote on the same terms as men.

I would carry on, but I think I made my point.



Oh and in case you still think I’m against votes for women you’re wrong, and probably shouldn’t be on the internet without supervision. My apologies for the clickbaity headline though.



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