If International Woman’s Day did anything it shed light on how far women have come and how far we still have to go, but either way, we still have a lot of feminists to thank who have fought for equality through endless movements along the way. One of the most notable feminist movements and groups in history was the suffragettes, who fought for women’s right to vote and gender equality across society.
Naturally, this set of fiery women had some strong views on all topics, not just voting, or work equality but about marriage as well. A post on marriage advice from 1918 suffrage history has been making the rounds on the internet and has gone viral – and when you read it it’s easy to see why.
The suffragette movement began in the late 19th and 20th centuries because men in the United Kingdom had the right to vote but not the women. From this inequality was born two groups, the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies and the Women’s Social and Political Union. The term suffragette comes from the word suffrage, which means the right to vote in political elections and was actually created by newspapers to mock these women.
There were both men and women who didn’t support the idea of women voting, but they campaigned on with peaceful protests, banners, and badges. In 1900 the Suffragists’ had gained enough momentum that several bills in support of women’s suffrage won support in Parliament but not enough to pass. Following this defeat, the movement evolved and would employ more extreme protest tactics from hunger strikes to stepping out in front of the King’s racehorse. Through their work women finally gained the right to vote in 1928.
Recently a 1918 pamphlet from a suffragette, on display at the Pontypridd Museum in Wales, went viral – for its sage advice for women who are thinking of getting married
Her advice starts off strong, maybe too strong, with the simple statement “do not marry at all.” Of course, as promised she follows up her number one rule with actual advice for those who want to marry the mostly “lazy, selfish, thoughtless, lying, drunken, clumsy, heavy-footed, rough, unmanly brutes.” Much like dogs sister suffragette says that if you want to keep your man happy just “feed the brute.”
1918, the year the pamphlet was published was a breakthrough year for womens’ suffrage. A bill was passed in Parliament that granted some women the right to vote as long as they were over the age of 30, and owned property or were married to someone who owned property.