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Thread: 6 February 1918 - 100 years ago today -Women in Britain and Ireland gain the Right to vote in General Elections

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    Politics.ie Member Catalpast's Avatar
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    Default 6 February 1918 - 100 years ago today -Women in Britain and Ireland gain the Right to vote in General Elections

    6 February 1918 - 100 years ago today -Women in Britain and Ireland gain the Right to vote in General Elections

    6 February 1918 - Women in Britain and Ireland gained the right to vote in General Elections for the first time on this day. The Representation of the People Act 1918 was passed into Law by the British Parliament. It gave women over the age of 30 the right to vote and all men over the age of 21. The law said that women over the age of 30 who occupied a house (or were married to someone who did) could now vote.

    This meant 8.5 million women now had their say over who was in Parliament - about 2 in every 5 women in the UK. It also said that all men over the age of 21 could vote - regardless of whether or not they owned property - and men in the armed forces could vote from the age of 19. The number of men who could now vote went from 8 million to 21 million. This was a legislative Revolution as it meant that any future Parliament would have a very different profile than the current or previous ones.

    The campaign to extend the Franchise to women had been a long and arduous one over many years with women protesting and been sent to prison and even dying to achieve electoral equality with menfolk at the polls. The Suffragettes were led by Emmeline Pankhurst who from 1905 led a militant campaign to change the law. In Ireland too women campaigned holding meetings, smashing windows and generally making a nuisance of themselves to draw attention to their cause. But the various groups here found no sympathy from either John Redmond the Nationalist Leader or Sir Edward Carson the Irish Unionist Leader.

    Nevertheless when the ‘Khaki Election’ of December 1918 came round the only woman to win a seat as a Member of Parliament was the Irish Revolutionary Countess Markievicz who amongst other things was a vocal supporter of the Suffragette Movement. However as an Irish Republican she refused to take her seat in the Westminster Parliament and pledged her allegiance to Dáil Éireann in Dublin instead. Britain had to wait until 1919 for its for its first female MP - one Lady Astor - who was born and raised in the USA.

    Curious to note that while women in the United Kingdom had to wait until 1928 for the franchise to be fully extended to all women over the age of 21 in the Irish Free State this discrimination between the sexes was abolished in 1922 putting the Irish State well ahead of the British one in a woman’s Right to Vote.
    Last edited by Catalpast; 7th February 2018 at 08:53 AM.
    If you can convince a People to engage in the mass elimination of their own offspring - you can probably get them to do anything...http://irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

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    Politics.ie Member Éireann_Ascendant's Avatar
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    From the Glasgow's Women's Library:



    The text on this postcard reads: ‘I saw one similar to the card few days ago, very comfy I should say, especially in windy weather. I learnt the bike last week & find riding useful & enjoyable.’ The bicycle played an important role in the fight for women’s suffrage with American civil rights leader, Susan B Anthony, writing in 1896: "I think [the bicycle] has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world.”

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    While I support a woman’s right to vote, I don’t think it really changed anything.

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    Politics.ie Member storybud1's Avatar
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    Can trannies vote twice ?

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    Politics.ie Member Mitsui2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catalpast View Post
    6 February 1918 - 100 years ago today -Women in Britain and Ireland gain the Right to vote in General Elections

    6 February 1918 - Women in Britain and Ireland gained the right to vote in General Elections for the first time on this day. The Representation of the People Act 1918 was passed into Law by the British Parliament. It gave women over the age of 30 the right to vote and all men over the age of 21. The law said that women over the age of 30 who occupied a house (or were married to someone who did) could now vote.

    This meant 8.5 million women now had their say over who was in Parliament - about 2 in every 5 women in the UK. It also said that all men over the age of 21 could vote - regardless of whether or not they owned property - and men in the armed forces could vote from the age of 19. The number of men who could now vote went from 8 million to 21 million. This was a legislative Revolution as it meant that any future Parliament would have a very different profile than the current or previous ones.

    The campaign to extend the Franchise to women had been a long and arduous one over many years with women protesting and been sent to prison and even dying to achieve electoral equality with menfolk at the polls. The Suffragettes were led by Emmeline Pankhurst who from 1905 led a militant campaign to change the law. In Ireland too women campaigned holding meetings, smashing windows and generally making a nuisance of themselves to draw attention to their cause. But the various groups here found no sympathy from either John Redmond the Nationalist Leader or Sir Edward Carson the Irish Unionist Leader.

    Nevertheless when the ‘Khaki Election’ of December 1918 came round the only woman to win a seat as a Member of Parliament was the Irish Revolutionary Countess Markievicz who amongst other things was a vocal supporter of the Suffragette Movement. However as an Irish Republican she refused to take her seat in the Westminster Parliament and pledged her allegiance to Dáil Éireann in Dublin instead. Britain had to wait until 1919 for its for its first female MP - one Lady Astor - who was born and raised in the USA.

    Curious to note that while women in the United Kingdom had to wait until 1928 for the franchise to be fully extended to all women over the age of 21 in the Irish Free State this discrimination between the sees was abolished in 1922 putting the Irish State well ahead of the British one in a woman’s Right to Vote.
    And you'd still deny them the right to control their own bodies, you old paternalist mini-imperialist you!



    On the positive side, half-heard a thing on Radio 4 today where - for the first time in my listening experience - it was actually stressed that Con Markiewitz rather than Nancy Astor was the first elected female MP. They're usually far too sensitive to mention that, confining themselves to saying that Astor was the first elected female MP "to take her seat.".
    Last edited by Mitsui2; 7th February 2018 at 03:28 AM.

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    Politics.ie Member Mitsui2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by storybud1 View Post
    Can trannies vote twice ?
    As with yourself bud, depends whether they're mono or stereo.

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    Politics.ie Member former wesleyan's Avatar
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    Early Twitter.




    "What Michael Collins accepted in '22,De Valera accepted in'27 and Gerry Adams accepted in '98.Sooner or later they all come around to accepting the Treaty"

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    Politics.ie Member Mitsui2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by former wesleyan View Post
    Early Twitter.




    or storybud's first recorded contribution to social media?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catalpast View Post
    6 February 1918 - 100 years ago today -Women in Britain and Ireland gain the Right to vote in General Elections

    6 February 1918 - Women in Britain and Ireland gained the right to vote in General Elections for the first time on this day. The Representation of the People Act 1918 was passed into Law by the British Parliament. It gave women over the age of 30 the right to vote and all men over the age of 21. The law said that women over the age of 30 who occupied a house (or were married to someone who did) could now vote.

    This meant 8.5 million women now had their say over who was in Parliament - about 2 in every 5 women in the UK. It also said that all men over the age of 21 could vote - regardless of whether or not they owned property - and men in the armed forces could vote from the age of 19. The number of men who could now vote went from 8 million to 21 million. This was a legislative Revolution as it meant that any future Parliament would have a very different profile than the current or previous ones.

    The campaign to extend the Franchise to women had been a long and arduous one over many years with women protesting and been sent to prison and even dying to achieve electoral equality with menfolk at the polls. The Suffragettes were led by Emmeline Pankhurst who from 1905 led a militant campaign to change the law. In Ireland too women campaigned holding meetings, smashing windows and generally making a nuisance of themselves to draw attention to their cause. But the various groups here found no sympathy from either John Redmond the Nationalist Leader or Sir Edward Carson the Irish Unionist Leader.

    Nevertheless when the ‘Khaki Election’ of December 1918 came round the only woman to win a seat as a Member of Parliament was the Irish Revolutionary Countess Markievicz who amongst other things was a vocal supporter of the Suffragette Movement. However as an Irish Republican she refused to take her seat in the Westminster Parliament and pledged her allegiance to Dáil Éireann in Dublin instead. Britain had to wait until 1919 for its for its first female MP - one Lady Astor - who was born and raised in the USA.

    Curious to note that while women in the United Kingdom had to wait until 1928 for the franchise to be fully extended to all women over the age of 21 in the Irish Free State this discrimination between the sees was abolished in 1922 putting the Irish State well ahead of the British one in a woman’s Right to Vote.
    While I understand the massive importance of enfranchsing both genders and accept that even this partial move in that direction was significant I am constantly annoyed by the popular medias discussion of this topic both in fiction and in debate/ journalism whereby a contemporary lense is placed on events and the gender franchise given 99.9% focus with limited discussion of how both the activists involved and the subsequent expansion of the franchise was part of a wider movement to move, eventually, to 1 person , 1 vote.
    Again , I get it in regard to significance, but any time this is discussed or written about there should be some effort to explain to folks that the majority of men during , for example, the suffragettes period of peak activity did not have the vote either - something which i think contextualizes the extent to which franchise limitations were part of wider social control rather than entirely a function of gender bias ( with the notion being that the lower classes might raise the red flag( they did in a way ) and women might vote based on things other than empire and the balance of trade ( leave that for other to analyse).)

    Interested also in understanding the extent to which the partial extension of the franchise to female voters was timed with the expansion of the male franchise in order to mitigate the impact of the latter, if only temporarily. With the "right sort" of female voter balancing in some constituencies the "wrong sort" of male voter.

    Final comment - it is also an oft missed point when discussing the Kakhi ./ "Sinn Fein" elections in ireland....this was the first time that anything approaching what we today might recognize as a quorum of the population had the opportunity to express their points of view and IMO even with 1916 & the rise of advanced nationalism the patriarchal Irish party was on the road to a decline to some extent. Even without the threat of being outflanked by other nationalists or, particularly in urban areas, candidates to the left they would also have been beaten by the monster they created of "parish pump" politics, their grandees would have got in through constituency managers and cap doffing name recognition but the days of "fine men" using an IP seat to ensconce themselves in london far form the pissing rain in Longford or west kerry were over once the plebs had the vote.

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    Politics.ie Member Dame_Enda's Avatar
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    I think men and women - with some exceptions - bring different perspectives to politics. I think there would be less war in the world with more female leaders. On the other hand I also think that the empathetic, maternal traits of many females means a greater interest in child-related policies like healthcare and feminine health related issues like breast cancer. I know the Left would eat me alive for "stereotyping", but some stereotypes like this one have some basis in fact.

    For example if you examine the reign of Queen Victoria - yes the majority of the British empire was formed under her reign. At the same time by that stage the monarch played a very symbolic, minor role (particularly since the 1832 Great Reform Act which abolished the pocket boroughs which members of the royal family had used to put placemen in the House of Commons). The leaders responsible for the expansion were male. Queen Elizabeth I, a ruler in practice as well as theory, had to reign alongside Parliament to some extent. While known in Ireland as a persecutor of Catholicism, she only took that approach after the Papal Bull "Regnen in Excelsis" (Reigning on High), which called on Catholics to kill her, saying "whosoever takes her out of this world not only does not sin, but earns merit in the Afterlife"). In those days Catholics in England were viewed like Islamists in the West today. Her Church settlement reflected a maternal concept of the people as her children, and trying to resolve a family quarrell, by making the Church of England keep visual elements of Catholicism like optional stained glass windows, vestments for the clergy, and being called "Supreme Governor of the Church of England", rather than "Head of the Church of England".

    Some women also opposed female suffrage to the end. Queen Victoria was opposed to it. Rebecca Lattimer, the first female US Senator (and ex slaveowner in Georgia) was in favour, but in other respects she was certainly not progressive, calling for racial mass murder. So it would be wrong to term all supporters of female suffrage as coming from the Left, and to assume a continuum whereby we have the Left alone to thank for female suffrage. For example only 78 MPs voted for female suffrage in the UK in the late 1800s (I think in the 1880s). All major parties in the assemblies of the French Revolution period opposed female suffrage, despite Olympe de Gouge's support for it (she was later executed during the Terror). But de Gouge was also a royalist.
    Last edited by Dame_Enda; 7th February 2018 at 07:49 AM.
    Save the 27th.

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