It’s one thing to be entertained, another to be educated, and something entirely different to have your world perspective altered.
Suffragette hit such a sharp and painful note with me, my heart lurched and tears immediately sprang to my eyes.
In a society where so many young women spend their time competing with one another, forming their sense of self worth on social media and counting their personal value in likes, Suffragette is more than an historical film, it’s a wake up call.
The sense of utter powerlessness, of servitude and anger felt by women in a world dominated and controlled by men, is one that we have but a very small understanding of.
Across the most of the Western world, women have held the right to vote for less than 100 years.
Here in Australia, as white (Anglo) women, we’ve had the right to vote since 1902. Sadly this didn’t extend to our indigenous population till as recently as 1962.
Worldwide, these rights we hold as fundamental, are still not the norm. With many women (too many) still facing a future that does not include education, where they can be sold into marriage as children and their bodies used as instruments of retribution, how is it that more of us don’t make our voices heard?
There is a lack of awareness I see around me of our rights as women, and how those we now take for granted, were won.
How fragile is our position when even here in Australia we still don’t receive equal pay for equal work or even hold complete rights over our own bodies in 2015?
The Suffragette shatters any sense of complacency or entitlement you may have felt.
“All my life I’ve done what men have told me. Well I can’t have that anymore”
Opening in early 20th-century England, the story of the suffragette movement is told with the kind of raw humanity that let’s you feel the personal torture of it’s central characters.
Maud Watts (played by Carey Mulligan) is young, poor and voiceless; living with her young family in Edwardian England. Becoming swept up in the suffrage movement, we are confronted with the reality life as a second-class citizen, marginalised and forced to turn to violence as the only means of being heard.
Under the wing of a group of women fighting for equality and the right to vote, Watts and her compatriots become increasingly radicalised in their struggle. Risking their families and their lives, these tenacious women put everything on the line to fight the brutal State.
In 2015, when as a group our voices have never been so prolific or broadcast to a wider audience, there is a shameful lack of conversation, of information and of action.
Suffragette is not just an entertaining piece of cinema; it is a vital work of political and personal awakening.