Every now and again when I’m flicking through a fashion magazine and I come across a truly inspiring article, a quote or an image, I have to archive it. Recently, I’ve been digging around my inspo treasure trove in search of a little pick-me-up and motivation, and this Thursday I’m throwing it back to Carey Mulligan on the cover of Elle magazine: the feminism issue, November 2015 #ThrowbackThursday #TBT.
In this issue, Carey describes her experience of playing Maud in the impassioned and awe-inspiring film Suffragette. Maud is a working-class mother who joins the fight for the right for women to vote (c.1905-1915) but is made to endure police brutality, imprisonment, hunger strikes, force-feeding, job loss and social exclusion from her community as a result.
Similarly to her character, Carey continues to challenge the oppression and discriminatory practices against women that still exist today. By 1928, women over the age of 21 years old had achieved the same voting rights as men in the UK. However, 89 years later in 2017, women are still on the back foot when it comes to pay, earning a median rate of 81 pence to every £1 a man makes, women are underrepresented in senior positions within business and politics, and women are subject to harassment so frequently so as to give rise to the term #EverydaySexism.
I went to see Suffragette at the Everyman Theatre with close friends from secondary school. It brought back warm memories of an awful (well-intended but poorly executed) school production in which it was I who led the march around our school hall as we all told the tale and acted the role of Suffragettes. Joyfully passing on this anecdote to friends with whom I did not go to school, I was shocked to discover that they’d never been taught the history of women’s suffrage throughout their education. They did not know of such an iconic movement in not just women’s, but in British history.
Gender issues and equality remain hot topics today so my hope for this post is to raise awareness of the current and the past, to drive social change towards equality in the the future and perhaps, just as an aside, my post might even make it to somebody else’s inspiration archive.
*The original version of this article was first published on 04/02/16