Stocked with a star-studded cast and a heartbreaking true story, Suffragette hit theaters on Oct. 23rd, and I was lucky enough to go to an advance screening. I admit I would’ve liked to see a little more Meryl Streep, but Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter delivered performances that left me in tears. Here are some quotes from the movie that left me feeling empowered and determined to do more.
1. “Deeds, not words.”
Meryl Streep’s character, Emmeline Pankhurst, delivers this line as she addresses a group of suffragettes in the street. Women had lived without a say in governmental affairs for too long. It had been talked about for years but, as Emmeline says, it is only when action is taken that people pay attention.
2. “Don’t bother arresting them. Let their husbands deal with them.”
The British police’s main tool at their dispense was their power to make the women feel shamed by their families. Many women were kicked out of their house and kept from seeing their children after their husbands discovered they were part of the suffragette movement. They were discriminated against and judged heavily for their beliefs by the community. This quote illustrates the inferiority complex that existed in Britain in the early 1900’s.
3. “We’re half of the population. You can’t ignore us.”
As Carey Mulligan’s character, Maud, sits in jail being questioned by the chief of police, she refuses to back down. As the chief insists he will stop this women’s revolution, she scoffs at him. The power of a woman can never be underestimated, and it was time for them to be recognized.
4. “Never give up. Never surrender.”
This motto of the movement served as a source of hope to all of the women in the movement. But to Emily Davison, this quote was much more. They were her dying words. In 1913, Davison stepped into the path of King George V’s horse, waving a flag supporting the suffragette movement. This action cost Davison her life, but brought more attention to the cause she sacrificed so much for. The women of the suffragette movement truly refused to give up and surrender.
5. “War is the only language men listen to.”
At the end of the movie a list of countries whose women citizens have the right to vote ran across the screen. There are too many countries not on that list. We must take a cue from the courageous women in this movie. Every women has a duty to stand up for their rights and the rights of women all over the world. The fight is not over.