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Feminism?! In 1912?!

Not only that but feminist plays. In France, it is only fair to point out:

The Times, 23 December 1912 p8

The Times, 23 December 1912 p8

In La Femme Seule he discusses the position of a well-educated young girl who is forced by financial ruin and the lukewarmness of her betrothed to earn her own living.

Threrese, the heroine… finds employment as a manageress of women workers in her uncle’s factory. Here it is the economic selfishness of man that drives her from her work. The men in the factory object to female competition and strike.

Not that that doesn’t present itself with an opportunity for some cross-Channel point scoring:

The play served to show how slow France has been to respond to the feminist movement.

In comparison to England, that is.  Which I find surprising.  I know there has been a revolution when it comes to women in the workforce over the last 40 years, but a century ago? But if it was the case that women were entering the workforce and they were paying the newly-introduced income tax could that explain the demand for female suffrage?

By the way, the latest suffragist tactic is to pour acid into pillar boxes.

Correction 15/1/13 Income tax (in the UK) was not introduced just before 1912. It was introduced (on a permanent basis) by Peel in 1842.

14 comments to Feminism?! In 1912?!

  • Sceptical Antagonist

    By the way, the latest suffragist tactic is to pour acid into pillar boxes

    Care to elucidate?

  • Suffragettes have been engaging in various acts of civil disobedience as part of their campaign for votes for women. Last year, for instance, it was smashing shop windows.

  • Laird

    I must be missing something here. Don’t women already have the vote? Even in France? So what are they smashing shop windows about?

  • Laird, I think Patrick is speaking to us from 100 years ago – that’s why we can hear him, but cannot see him.

  • Whangadude

    Care to share where on the Interwebs we can get the news from 100 years ago to the day?

  • I am very lucky in that I can get access through my local library. The database itself is run by Gale Group. I believe they run a direct subscriber package but if I remember correctly it costs a fortune.

    I apologise for the confusion I seem to have caused. I thought the word “1912”, the old-fashioned type face on the graphic and my reference to events “a century ago” would be sufficient.

    Wrong, Crozier. Wrong.

  • Paul Marks

    The British position was confused – as normal.

    Unlike France someone (if they wished) could leave all their money and property to their daughters (“cutting off” their sons).

    Also in England and Wales – women who paid the rates (the local property tax) had the vote for local Poor Law Guardians from 1834 and for local councils from 1835.

    Yet, even in 1912, they did not have the vote for Parliament.

    However, this is partly bacause the leftist element in the “votes for women” movement hated the idea of just women who paid tax having the vote for Parliament – as they believed this would benefit the Conservative party.

    On the unions – and the strike-threat-system (as W.H. Hutt called it).

    There negative effects on gender (and racial) matters go back a long way.

    Even in the, late, Middle Ages it was the GUILDS that pushed women out of so many occupations.

    Many women were forced to become servants (or even prosititutes) because so many other trades were effectively closed to them.

    The idea that the unions are the friends of women is a modern myth.

  • Achillea

    An American raises her hand.

    What’s a pillar box?

  • It’s where Brits post their mail. This is an example.

  • Alex McKee

    I am enjoying your series of history posts immensely, Patrick, wondering if you be moving on to 1913 in due course? (I had assumed you’d make the move at the New Year but perhaps your TARDIS is out of order.)

  • Paul Marks

    1913 is fair enough as far as Britain is concerned (after all my father was born in that year).

    However, it is a vile year as far as the United States is concerned.

  • Laird

    Indeed it was, Paul. We’re “celebrating” the centennial of the Federal Reserve and the income tax this year. Plus the (first) inauguration of Woodrow Wilson. Truly a joyous year!

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thanks, you two. I WAS enjoying a nice hot supper (it’s a little chilly Near Chicago just now). But now I’m thinking of throwing the rest of it at the cat And it’s Estimated-Tax Day, and I just got back from sending a GREAT deal more $ than I can afford to the spendthrift creatures in D.C.

    I think I’ll have a nice cup of hemlock tea to soothe my nerves. :>)

  • Paul Marks

    There is some irony here Laird.

    “Teddy” Roosevelt said a lot of bad things – but he was all-over-the-place in his thinking (he was not really a total state person – one could never know where his butterfly mind would go).

    Woodrow “The State” Wilson was a total state person – as is clear not just from his own works (and what he tried to do), but also from the work of his “other self” Colonel House – “Philip Dru: Adminstrator”.

    The irony is that Woodrow Wilson was a racist (he pushed “Birth of a Nation”, the revival of the KKK in the 20th century was his doing) – and yet his work (the work of “fundementally transforming” American to slavery, sorry to the “New Freedom”) is being completed by a black man, Barack Obama.

    Woodrow Wilson would not even use the same toilet as Barack Obama (Wilson was the President who insisted that black and white Federal government employees use different toilets – no previous President had done this), yet his evil work is being completed by a black person.

    History is laughing.