Tuesday, December 2, 2014

a different type of advent calendar - suffrage

This year for our advent special ALISS will focus on December issues of the Vote which was published by the Women's Freedom League from 1909-33. This is the advent of the new suffragists
The aim is, through examination of content and coverage from December issues,  to gain some insight into the concerns and interests of women suffrage campaigners during the early 20th century. This title was choosen as it is on open access via Google Newspapers.

Background.

The Women's Freedom League was formed in 1907 by former members of the Women's Social and Political Union who sought to create an activist organisation militating for change but without advocating violence.
The WFL favoured peaceful lawbreaking such as demonstration, disruption, and refusal to pay taxes and complete the census. They backed the continuation of the campaign for votes during the First World War. Archival papers are held at the Womens Library@LSE
The constitution can be viewed online via the British Library website. 

Its newspaper the Vote was first published in October 1909. It was a response to publications from other suffrage organisations,  notably the WSPU's Votes for Women. While it was intended to publicise the campaign It also had a wider concern for supporting women's rights in society in general

In the first edition Charlotte Despard wrote 
.".we hope and believe that through its pages the public will come to
understand what the Parliamentary Franchise means to us women. Now it
will be both a symbol of citizenship and the key to a door opening out on
such service to the community as we have never yet been allowed to render, " October 30th 1909

Further good sources on the history of the WFL include:


The Evolution of women’s political identities in the Womens Freedom League 1907-1930
 Claire Eustance. PhD thesis1993, University of York 



The women's suffrage movement : a reference guide, 1866-1928
Elizabeth Crawford. The author also has a website with a useful blog - Woman and her sphere

Monday, December 1, 2014

2nd December 1909: We are not going to give away patterns of woolly waistcoats for men ...




 In our first entry from the Vote and its coverage of women's suffrage

One very interesting column on how to increase circulation of the paper sets out its aims:
writing that 

"We are not going to give away patterns of woolly waistcoats for men  or hints on making ottomans out of egg-boxes’ (p.67)

The editor argues that the  ordinary women’s newspapers are based on false boundaries of what men think is women’s role – housekeeping, clothes, and cookery 

Instead the Vote  aims to offer stimulating writing on  a wider range of topics. Certainly in this issue the  largest article is coverage of the old Bailey trial of 2 suffragettes Mrs Chapin and Miss Neilans who were accused of tampering with a ballot box . In this  coverage the journalist strongly criticises the way in which the justice system works against  women and sentences them to 'torture' .For those with access to the Times digital archive report of the same case . There is a great contrast  between the passion of the Vote commentary and the unemotional language of the Times.Central Criminal Court, Nov. 24." Times [London, England] 25 Nov. 1909: 4. The Times Digital Archive.

However one problem the Vote faced was low circulation. In this issue the editor addresses  the conflict of needing to accept advertising in order to operate,  but states that we do need to buy these things and the suppliers are reputable!
Adverts appearing in this issue include  the Women’s Printing Society, Farrows Bank (advertising services for women) as well as  'how to grow in beauty using pomeroy skin food', p69 advice on removing the 'unsightly blemishes of facial hair' facial hair using the Pomeroy electrolysis


What Christmas activates were going on in the branches?
The issue describes the Pageant of women’s history at the Albert Hall which enacted the history of great women from history including saints, warriors and artists.

All this for one penny!
 

a different type of advent calendar - suffrage

This year for our advent special ALISS will focus on December issues of the Vote which was published by the Women's Freedom League from 1909-33. This is the advent of the new suffragists
The aim is, through examination of content and coverage from December issues,  to gain some insight into the concerns and interests of women suffrage campaigners during the early 20th century. This title was choosen as it is on open access via Google Newspapers.

Background.


The Women's Freedom League was formed in 1907 by former members of the Women's Social and Political Union who sought to create an activist organisation militating for change but without advocating violence.
The WFL favoured peaceful lawbreaking such as demonstration, disruption, and refusal to pay taxes and complete the census. They backed the continuation of the campaign for votes during the First World War. Archival papers are held at the Womens Library@LSE
The constitution can be viewed online via the British Library website. 

Its newspaper the Vote was first published in October 1909. It was a response to publications from other suffrage organisations,  notably the WSPU's Votes for Women. While it was intended to publicise the campaign It also had a wider concern for supporting women's rights in society in general

In the first edition Charlotte Despard wrote 
.".we hope and believe that through its pages the public will come to
understand what the Parliamentary Franchise means to us women. Now it
will be both a symbol of citizenship and the key to a door opening out on
such service to the community as we have never yet been allowed to render, " October 30th 1909

Further good sources on the history of the WFL include:

The Evolution of women’s political identities in the Womens Freedom League 1907-1930
 Claire Eustance. PhD thesis1993, University of York 



The women's suffrage movement : a reference guide, 1866-1928
Elizabeth Crawford. The author also has a website with a useful blog - Woman and her sphere

 




,