HARD SELL TO HARD CELL
A little over 100 years ago, the Representation of the People Act fundamentally changed the political landscape of the United Kingdom. For the first time, women were able to vote. But not all suffragettes welcomed the Act: in order to vote, a woman had to be over 30 years of age (men had to be just 21, or 19 if serving military personnel), and had to meet certain property qualifications.
In this talk, Emma Rees asks who the Act omitted, and why. She maps the road to 1918 and asks what the consequences of the Act were for the suffragette movement and for surely its most vocal campaigners: the Pankhurst family. She also reveals some surprising continuities between the suffragettes’ struggle and the political world today, as well as identifying some local suffragette heroes.
About Emma: Emma is Professor of Literature and Gender Studies at the University of Chester, UK, where she is Director of the Institute of Gender Studies. In 2013 her second book, The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History was published, and a revised, paperback edition came out in 2015. She has presented her talk, ‘Vulvanomics: How We Talk About Vaginas’ at well over 30 venues throughout Europe and the US. She has published widely in the field of gender and representation, and is currently working on her third book, tentatively called That is a Feminist Issue, looking at modern feminism’s fractures. She runs the biennial international, interdisciplinary Talking Bodies conference at the University of Chester (next conference: 10th-13th April 2019)
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