Suffragettes: Women, Politics, and Violence

Physical violence is often assumed to be a properly—or even exclusively—masculine domain. Yet, women have at times played very active roles in exercising physical violence.

In the early twentieth century, some Suffragette activists carried out violent attacks in England as part of a broader political campaign for the right to vote.  Female militants targeted politicians, churches, and railway stations in attacks that were referred to as “Suffragette Outrages.”

A contemporary cartoon commented on the Suffragette attacks:


Some attacks went further than this, employing arson and bombing attacks against buildings and politicians.

The “Suffragette Outrages” are a reminder that violence should not be thought of as merely masculine. Historians are increasingly exploring records of various periods of the past for further evidence of female political activism and militant activity.

History Today recently published an article on the “Suffragette Outrages.” The BBC considers whether or not Suffragettes could be considered terrorists.


This entry was posted in Civil Conflict, Cultural History, European History, Gender and Warfare, History of Violence, Human Rights, Political Culture, Women and Gender History. Bookmark the permalink.

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