I was watching the excellent film Suffragette last night.
Emily Wilding Davison
You cannot help feel appalled at the backwardness and barbarism of the establishment of that time.
I was watching this and thinking ‘how could they?’, ‘how was this possible?’, ‘why?’ etc and obviously getting quite upset when suddenly it hit me, ‘here I am in the same situation now asking exactly those same questions about raptors’.
That gave me some hope, they did it, then so can we (although their goals on equality are still not fully realised).
Then I entered the next stage which I often do when looking at history; comparing different chunks of time, to get things in prospective.
Then I got worried. The first women got the vote 100 years ago. But we have had raptors protected by law for 64 years and so far nothing has changed.
That doesn’t seem that good. So I did a bit more reading to find out how long it took the Suffragettes to get the first votes and found out that ‘in 1865 John Stuart Mill was elected to Parliament on a platform that included votes for women’ (Wikipedia). So using that rough starting point, it took 43 years for the first women to get the vote.
Even with the law on out side, for 64 years we have seen no change at all in England. Raptor persecution is being totally ignored by Westminster. Things are moving slowly but surely, forward in Scotland.
New Zealand had full suffrage in 1893 which did not happen in the UK until 1928. I am having a hard time digesting this: when my mother was born women didn’t have the vote.
It is utterly shocking that Australian Aboriginals, both men and women only got the vote in 1962 even though Australian white women were one of the first to get suffrage! African Americans didn’t get the vote until 1965!
History will be our judge.
* A bow to Bowie.