There is an old saying: well-behaved women seldom make history.
The new movie, Suffragette is not only about women who made history, but changed history.
Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) is an every woman. A member of the lower classes, she has spent most of her life working in a laundry. She is also, like many women of her era, a wife and mother. In the beginning of the film, Maud is simply trying to get by. She is aware of the feminist movement, but has no interest in joining the movement.
Then she is drawn in by Violet Miller (Anne-Marie Duff) and Edith Ellyn (Helena Bonham-Carter). Inspired by Mrs. Pankhurst (Meryl Streep) and Emily Davison (Natalie Press), Maud is drawn to the movement, but is torn between her new-found beliefs and her responsibility to her husband and her son.
I found this film to be nothing short of amazing (and hopefully award-winning). Mulligan as Maud, is not a member of the upper classes who decides to join the movement to fill up her empty day. She is a working wife and mother who by the end of the film, understands that despite the costs, feminism was absolutely necessary. Combining fictional characters with real women and historical events, this film is a reminder of how far we have come, but also how far we need to go.
I absolutely recommend this film, especially if you are female. It will make you grateful and angry at the same time.
Suffragette is presently in theaters.
Suffragette opens Friday. This movie has been on my must see list for months. Here is why it should be on every moviegoers’ must see list.
- To appreciate the present, you must understand the past: For women under a certain age, the idea of going to school, getting a job and being independent (read i.e. single) before settling down and having a family is completely normal. We think nothing of extending our education as far as it can go or climbing the corporate ladder while maintaining the traditional life of marriage and motherhood. This idea is a relatively new one. It was an unspoken tradition that women’s education up until a few decades ago was minimal or non-existent. If a woman had the want or the financial need to work, the opportunities were limited, the working conditions were deplorable and the paycheck, compared to their male colleagues was pitiful.
- Women voting and having an active voice in their government is still a relatively new idea. American women have only been able to vote for 95 years. Other countries granted women the right to vote only a few decades ago.
- Women are still a minority in Hollywood: Many of the decision makers are men. Many of the directors and producers are men. A majority of the speaking roles are written for male characters. This movie has a female centric plot, a female centric cast and production team made up of women. I hope and pray that this movie succeeds and proves once and for all the women’s voices in Hollywood are just as loud and capable as men.
- It reminds us why we still need feminism. Many of the issues that our fore-mothers were fighting for are still being fought for today.
Whether or not the movie is successful is to be seen. I hope and pray that it is.
The trailer for the new movie Suffragette has been released. While it will not be arriving in American movie theaters for quite a few months, I have a feeling that this movie will inspire a whole new generation of women to right for their rights.