Suffragettes Questions Essay

1) Source A suggests that the reasons given by the suffragettes for demanding votes for women are very clear. The poster shows responsible, successful and educated women without the vote. While irresponsible, reckless and inattentive men don’t seem to be able to get rid of the vote. The suffragettes are trying to get across that if they were given the vote, they’d make more use of it than a lot of the men that have the vote are.

Some of the titles that are given to the pictures of women on the poster include: ‘MAYOR’ – this job forces women to have high political knowledge and hands women with great responsibility, ‘NURSE’ – this profession requires great calmness and responsibility again, and ‘DOCTOR’ – same as a nurse, but with greater knowledge needed of medicine and other doctor-related subjects. A mayor is a very powerful and political person and the hidden message in this title is that if a person of such high political status can’t vote, then it’s just ridiculous. )

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Source B does support the evidence of source C about the suffragette campaign. This is because, the extract from a Lloyd George speech in source B talks about suffragettes using violent tactics to try and gain the vote, ‘campaigning for the vote is to try and intimidate or blackmail a man into giving them’ (the vote). The poster in source C also emits the same sort of evidence, with a picture of a suffragette campaigner shown as an angry and violent woman.

Both sources show evidence to say that their campaign wasn’t going so well. Source B says that using aggressive and forceful strategies won’t gain them the vote, which men ‘would gladly give otherwise’. Source C shows a picture of a suffragist woman next to the suffragette woman telling her that she’s their cause’s ‘worst enemy’. This means that through the suffragists’ and Lloyd George’s point of view, they’re making it worse for themselves.

One way the sources don’t support each other is that the person speaking in source B – Lloyd George – doesn’t seem to want to give in to violence. Whereas, the person behind the poster just seems to believe that suffragettes are just not helping the cause of the suffragists and that they would rather do better without them. This is because they make women look irrational and emotional – a sign of weakness. This is also the very reason some men thought women shouldn’t have the vote in the first place.

Lloyd George is speaking to the opposition during the debate on the bill to grant female suffrage, which means that he may think differently in private but for now, he is just fighting an argument and has to agree with whatever his chosen side has to argue for. I think both sources are exaggerated in the way that they are presented. The nature of source C is a cartoon, which in itself is exaggerated already, as the make-up of cartoons is exaggeration. Source B is a speech that is made in public, which are also often exaggerated to get a point across.

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