Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The ideal Christmas present : the Vote blotter, December 23rd 1909

in the December 23rd 1909 edition of the Vote there is an advert for the ideal Christmas gift
the vote blotter  which is described as 'moderate in price' and 'inspiring in design'. This  sums up my sense of the movement as a whole. Even in this pre-Christmas bumper special of the focus is upon struggle as the editor begins with a column in which she writes

'To arms with thoughts of our tortured prisoners of war! This refers to the conditions suffered by women suffragettes in prison at this time, many of whom were suffering forced feeding

It then follows with the critique of chivalry and the notion of women as a protected sex- of fairy princesses by giving the example of a woman working as ‘scrubbers’ who after a full day’s work must do household chores until 2pm in the morning. WFL editors often focussed upon the rights of working women and they call in this instance for better pay and conditions to enable women to work in better conditions.
Indeed the author writes.
'there are no male votes clamouring for the scrubbing and washing tasks of the physically weaker sex  (p.1)

Other articles are also extremely intellectual covering the moral basis of enfranchisement
profiles of situation in Holloway prison. And a satire on cabinet ministers suffering from 'suffragititis 'which is commonly exhibited in shows of cowardice!

Recommended xmas gifts apart from the blotter – include:
Page 5 a tailored silk shirt for 10/9, A useful xmas tea service with 40 pieces for 15/9

Derry and tomes Russian peasant bazaar with lace and embroideries representative of Russian ideas which shoppers might find ‘distinctively quaint and interesting'

for more entries see we are not going to give away woolly waistcoats.

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