Women's Monumental Struggle

Winslow, Barbara and Baldree, Alison

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/03/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21364

Barbara Winslow and Alison Baldree respond to Sarah Gavron's controversial 2015 film Suffragette.



One of the strengths of the movie is that Suffragette is not the story of the "established" leaders, the Pankhursts, even though Streep has a star cameo. The movie takes place mainly in London's East End, a diverse, working-class immigrant community. Suffragette's protagonist, Maud Watts is a married mother who works in a laundry. All the women scrub. All the bosses are men.

She embodies the experiences most working women faced and face today - the double shift: low and unequal wages, long hours, backbreaking labor, sexual harassment and dangerous working conditions. She comes home to a tiny, dingy poorly lit, badly heated flat to shop, cook, clean and take care of a husband and son.

Maud, a very conventional working-class woman, is drawn into the WSPU's orbit after witnessing (and enjoying) window breaking in the more middle-class West End of London. She ends up testifying about the horrendous working conditions women face in the East End, joins demonstrations and attends meetings.
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