Suffragettes and the Scottish Press during the First World War

TitleSuffragettes and the Scottish Press during the First World War
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsPedersen, Sarah
JournalWomen's History Review
Pagination534 - 550
Date Published02/2017

This article analyses the coverage of the suffrage movement in Scottish newspapers during the First World War. Suspension of militant action and a re-focus on women's war work did not mean the complete disappearance of the suffrage campaign from newspapers. However, while militant and non-militant organisations received press coverage for their war work, there were also stories associating suffragettes with the peace effort-or even conspiracies against the state. Volunteers at the Scottish Women's Hospitals were approvingly described as 'suffragettes' but the appellation retained negative connotations when used about peace campaigners. Brave 'suffragette battalions' were reported to be arriving in France, but at the same time a politician painted the Germans as 'the suffragettes of Europe'. Whilst editors wrote enthusiastically of women's contribution to the war effort, jokes about suffragettes continued to provide light relief. Editorials made the connection between women's war work and achievement of the vote. However, not all readers were happy with this point of view, with some correspondents attacking what they saw as the suffrage organisations' opportunistic use of war work and abandonment of working women. [Taylor & Francis Online]

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