Thank you Meryl Streep

Some of you who read the RadicalHub might have come across a post I wrote about Virginia Woolf. A watered down version of her life story was retold in the movie The Hours. The Hours was a good feminist movie.

On the 30th of October I will be going to see  Suffragette and it didn’t surprise me to see that Meryl Streep was behind it because she played a large part in the production of The Hours

Some say that the Suffragettes actually called themselves the Suffragists and that the “ette” was added on by those hostile to the movement much the same as “ess” is added onto Steward. Language is important. Anyway these are the women we have to thank for female suffrage in Britain today.

As a radfem I am on the one hand glad to see a movie where the common condition of women is acknowledged and that women of all classes united for one cause.

I can’t remember now which feminist said that unfortunately the right to vote took so much out of us, and men fought back so hard, and we suffered so many losses and so much brutality that when we finally won the vote (or were given it) we had run out of steam. The feminist movement ran out of energy. We got the vote, but we had won the right to vote for men, or for men’s laws.

I am not disparaging what the women fought for, laws were changed by women. They raised the marriage age and enabled women to keep the property they owned upon marriage and a host of other laws were brought in and our lives are undoubtedly better.

But men gave us a concession and proclaimed that we were free and that we’d won. They have been able to use the fact that we had the right to vote as proof we were equal and what were we complaining about.

But when Emily Davison threw herself in front of the king’s horse she became an icon of how far women would go. We have to draw what strength we can from these women’s stories and never forget that the battle strategies they used did frighten men. Hence the concession

But men enjoy nothing more than a good fight. It excites them. So when we see catchphrases such as “in the days before women had a voice” we can’t help but notice that the implication is that today we do. If we had a voice we wouldn’t blog anonymously. We still have to drive our anger underground. We don’t know if we have more of a voice now, or less. But we know that we have a long way to go before we are anything close to freedom. And we know men would rather kill us all and be killed than let us be free. Women’s freedom spells alienation, poverty and early deaths for men. Whose energy  would they parasite from? Each others’ maybe. They could enslave each other  I guess.

But anyway, enjoy the trailers. There are two. The U.S. version moved me and is more artistic. The British trailer is more factual.  I’m not sure why there are two different ones  and why a generic trailer wouldn’t have done . There is an important scene in the British trailer which is not in the American trailer and that’s the one where “the personal is political” and a man is admonishing his wife for wanting more than to be his wife.


5 thoughts on “Thank you Meryl Streep

  1. What did you think of the film? I have not seen it yet. Looks as though they wrote out Christabel, she started and lead the revolution her mother took over when, after years of fighting and imprisonment, she took a break in France. She still made all the major strategic decisions while there though. Sylvia was much more focused on social reform in general and pretty much a man’s women; which is why they try and highlight her and disappear Christabel. They can’t bear to acknowledge that women like Christa exist.
    Meryl is apparently now reluctant to call herself a feminist: she said, while in the UK, that feminists are trying to separate women from the people they love. It’s not that men are killing two of their female partner’s a week that is causing some of the separations then. Just us feminists!

    • Hi Zeph, great to hear from you. Long time no see.
      I actually never got round to going to the cinema. My teenage cousin Skyped me asking if she could come and stay with me for Halloween so any plans I had that week were put on hold. She has been to stay with me 3 times since I arrived here in the UK, once staying for a whole.month in the summer. Getting to know my cousin ( who was child when I left for Japan) has been one of the amazing gifts I’ve experienced since leaving my husband and returning g to the UK.
      It’s a shame Meryl Streep said those things. Maybe she really means it. I’ll probably go and see the film anyway, just becAuse there are so few films out there I am interested in!

      • I like Meryl too. Why do I have the feeling that her husband might have whispered in her ear on this on?
        Sorry re your break up, Hope things are not too bad for you now. What is it like being back in the UK?
        Was thinking about the hub the other day; it’s a shame there was such a lot of stress on us all at the time, but over and over again on facebook and other social media I see it mentioned, sighted as pivotal even, in changing women’s lives. We did good!

    • Oh don’t feel sorry about the break up 🙂 I managed to get a good job and quite a big council house. I employed a nanny and this week marks the end of my 6 month probation period at this job. I would have liked to stay in Japan but didn’t fancy my chances there as a foreign single mother, to be honest.
      Working on the hub was an amazing experience:)

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