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S. Crozier-De Rosa 2018 History and the militant woman The Militant Woman https://themilitantwoman.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/history-and-the-militant-woman/

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The Militant Woman


In Britain in 1909, militant suffragist Theresa Garnett publicly whipped politician Winston Churchill with a riding switch saying, ‘Take that, in the name of the insulted women of England’. In an inversion of gendered norms, the male Churchill was reported in the feminist paper, Votes for Women, as pale and afraid, and the female Garnett as forceful and courageous. She had undertaken ‘a piece of cool daring’. Churchill and his ‘cowardly’ government would not accept deputations of suffragists. They endorsed state violence against campaigning feminists. This man, Votes for Women declared, was a ‘statesman who has dishonoured British statesmanship by his dishonest conduct to the women of Great Britain’. ‘Moved’, another article declared, ‘by the spirit of pure chivalry, Miss Garnett took what she thought to be the best available means of avenging the insult done to womanhood by the Government to which Mr. Churchill belongs’. The writer added, ‘A woman has at last humiliated the man who has humiliated women for so long’.(Votes for Women, 19 November 1909, p. 116) Yet another article represented Garnett’s actions as ‘a knightly and chivalrous thing’. (Votes for Women, 26 November 1909, p. 138.)