Controversies in the History of British Feminism: The militant

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Marie Mulvey Roberts, Tamae Mizuta
Routledge/Thoemmes Press, 1995 - Feminism
Following on from Sources and Perspectives in the History of British Feminism , Controversies in the History of British Feminism is the third set of 6 volumes which looks at controversial aspects of the women's movement. Feminism has always been characterized by ideological dispute and conflict over strategy in the struggle for equality, and controversies have focused mainly on the means rather than the ends involved in the achievement of the movement's specific goals. On the issue of the fight for the vote the controversies were clearly visible. The conflicts within the women's suffrage movement eventually lead to the split between the suffragettes, who supported militancy, and those who opposed it. Not surprisingly, the historical record has been shaped by the political persuasions of a particular narrator. For example, the story of the Women's Social and Political Union told by Christabel Pankhurst in Unshackled in Volume 6 differs in points of emphasis from the version narrated by her sister, Sylvia Pankhurst in The Suffragette Movement . Christabel's militant feminism clashed with Sylvia's belief that equality would come about through social reform. More controversi still were those who were opposed entirely to women obtaining the vote. Many of these belonged to the Anti-Suffrage League. The inclusion of their writings in Volume 5 illustrated the extent of the opposition to the women's franchise.

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