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Suffragette's letter from 1913 offering a solution to end protests is still giving the world chills

In a few simple lines, the activist sent out a strong message and it was the best representation of all fearless women who protested.

Suffragette's letter from 1913 offering a solution to end protests is still giving the world chills
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Cottonbro Studio; Letters of Note

History speaks a lot about brave women who stood up for equality and successfully brought changes to oppressive systems, especially the Suffragettes, who were significant contributors to shaping the history of women's right to vote. One such activist named Bertha Brewster, who fought for female suffrage (the right to vote in parliamentary elections), penned a powerful letter to an unknown receiver. Letters of Note, an online museum of extraordinary letters from the past, shared Brewster's letter and it's both inspiring and nerve-wracking at the same time.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Edmond Dantes
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Edmond Dantes

The women's suffrage movement in the UK started during the late 19th century and went on till 1928, per The Independent. Several societies were formed in various parts of the country and what marked a significant milestone was when Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Sylvia, Christabel and Adela founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903. With a prime motto of "Deeds, not Words," the suffragettes were protesting in full swing after their earlier demands of enabling voting rights for women were not paid heed to. Several protestors were imprisoned and as a result, the women activists fought back by going on extreme hunger strikes and the government resorted to brutal acts of force-feeding them.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Markus Spiske
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Markus Spiske

Amid such vigorous protests, on February 26, 1913, Brewster wrote a letter recommending the only possible solution to end the chaos and it is nothing short of audacious. While addressing the unknown individual respectfully as "Sir," Brewster wrote, "Everyone seems to agree upon the necessity of putting a stop to Suffragist outrages, but no one seems certain how to do so. There are two, and only two, ways in which this can be done. Both will be effectual." The activist's two options were: "1. Kill every woman in the United Kingdom" and "2. Give women the vote." The woman, frustrated by the lack of recognition from the government regarding their protests, indicated right away that they weren't going to stop either until the right was granted or until they died.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Brett Jordan
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Brett Jordan

This letter was the symbol of bravery that every suffragette had to wear as armor in their fight for equality and justice. Later, in 1913, the government tried to put a stop to the hunger strikes by releasing the prisoners until they regained health and re-arrested them. When the First World War began, suffrage activists' protests slowly dwindled as they contributed their efforts to the war. Their support brought in major changes in the parliamentary bills and by 1928, women above the age of 21 were granted suffrage equal to men.


Yet another instance of a suffragette's note from 1918 was shared by @historyinmemes on X. The note displayed at the Pontypridd Museum in Wales was a list of marriage advice for young women and it was both hilarious and passive-aggressive at the same time. The suffragette's first advice was not to marry at all, but if they had to, they must avoid "Beauty Men, Flirts and the Bounders, Tailor's Dummies and the Football Enthusiasts." She suggested they look for a "Strong, Tame Man, a Firelighter, Coal-getter, Window Cleaner and Yard Swiller." The snarky note pointed out the hassles of being married to a man and recommended that if women want their husbands to be happy, they must "Feed the Brute."

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