Shame has been heavily relied on as a political tool in the modern world and yet it is still a much under-historicised emotion. Using the examples of early twentieth-century Britain and Ireland, I examine how women opposed to the campaign for female suffrage used shame instrumentally in their writing. Exploring the versatility of this political device, I find that shame was used with the oppositional intentions of binding and excluding. Whereas British conservatives used it to protect an already well-established imagined community of good imperial women, Irish radicals drew on it to invite women to take part in the construction of a new nationalist sisterhood. This paper further problematizes claims that as an emotion that plays on a sense of the communal, shame has had no place in a highly individualistic modern world.