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The Suffragettes – From Hard Sell, To Hard Cell: a talk by Emma Rees

  • Hampshire Record Office Sussex Street Winchester, England, SO23 8TH United Kingdom (map)


In this talk, Emma Rees asks who the Representation of the People Act omitted, and why. She maps the road to 1918 and asks what the consequences of the Act were for the suffragette movement and for surely its most vocal campaigners: the Pankhurst family. She also reveals some at times surprising continuities between the suffragettes’ struggle and the political world today, as well as identifying some local suffragette heroes.

This talk has been organised by Wire Wool Events especially for Winchester Heritage Open Days.

On Wednesday 6th February 1918 the Representation of the People Act fundamentally changed the political landscape of the United Kingdom. For the first time, women were able to vote. But not all suffragettes welcomed the Act: in order to vote, a woman had to be over 30 years of age (men had to be just 21, or 19 if serving military personnel), and had to meet certain property qualifications. This talk looks into the omissions and consequences of the Act.

Emma Rees is professor of literature and gender studies at the University of Chester, UK, where she is Director of the Institute of Gender Studies. In 2013 her second book, The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History was published, and a revised, paperback edition came out in 2015. She has published widely in the field of gender and representation, was the inaugural Political Writer in Residence at Gladstone’s Library in Wales. Emma is currently working on her third book, tentatively called That is a Feminist Issue, looking at modern feminism’s fractures.

Please note the room where the talk is being held is only accessible via stairs or a lift. Since the lift cannot be used in an emergency, evacuation of less able visitors in an emergency is down the stairs via an evacuation chair. Hampshire Record Office ask that we notify them advance of the presence of anyone using a wheelchair or with access issues likely to require use of an evacuation chair in an emergency. Please select 'accessible ticket' if you feel this could be you.