One of the biggest talking points of the Grazia Salon Election Debate was about what the Suffragettes went through to get us the vote, and why we're potentially wasting that opportunity by opting out of voting at this election. Anita Anand's book Sophia followed one such suffragette and firebrand feminist, Sophia Duleep Singh, and gave her insight on what they did in laying themselves down for the cause of women's right to vote.
'They were sexually assaulted by police on the streets,' Anita told us at the event - in one particularly rousing segment of the debate. 'There were mandates by the Home Secretary for police officers to put their knees between their legs, to grope them about the breasts, to throw them down, to call them whores and sluts and bitches. All because they were asking for voice.' She continued - asking us to all act in their name, 'that is not very long ago. I think we have amnesia at our peril. I think we have a duty to remember them and I think we can change things be exercising that right that they bled for. If you don’t have a voice you are invisible and no one will notice you.'
Chair of the event, Grazia political editor Gaby Hinsliff countered 'They fought for the right to vote, they didn’t fight for the duty to vote. There is surely a duty on politicians as well to provide something worth voting for?’ So will you be using your vote that they fought so hard for? Or does that right not come with a responsibility to vote?
New film Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep is so timely in this, an election year, and is tied into the #votingmatters campaign. Seeing those fights on the streets of our country just a couple of generations before us gives us fresh imperative to stand up for the politics we believe in. Check out the trailer below.
**Buy Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary here **Not sure how to do the admin? Check out RegistHER to Vote for more details... Suffragette is in cinemas from 30 October.