Today I was in the ‘Self Help Africa’ bookshop in Botanic Avenue, when I came across two postcards which reflected the development of women in politics.
The first postcard Shows ‘Miss Kelly’ a champion Votes for Women seller’, on what was her pitch in Charing Cross.
This refers to the period when women were fighting for the right to have a vote during elections; suffragettes were members of a militant women’s organisation who in the early 20th century, under the banner “Votes for Women”.
The term referred in particular to members of the British Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), a women-only movement founded in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst, which engaged in direct action and civil disobedience.
My second find was a postcard showing a group of ladies who were part of the Irish Women Workers’ Union (1911-1984). The Irish Women Workers’ Union was founded at a public meeting held on September 5th 1911 in the old Antient Concert Hall on Great Brunswick (later the Academy cinema on what is now called Pearse Street ).
The IWWU at it’s peak represented 70,000 women including, bookbinders, contract cleaners, laundry, print and electronic workers. They were instrumental in obtaining the right for two weeks annual paid leave for all Irish workers in 1945, something which no organised male worker had previously demanded.
What peaked my interest was the situation of two completely different countries, having spawned women’s movements because women had little or no rights, and were considered to be inferior:
‘Masculine prejudice is the major target: man’s opinion of the fair sex is due to nothing more than mere custom, and the male chauvinist viewpoint (to use a modern term) has neither a logical nor a scientific leg to stand on ‘
Today we still have problems accepting women in positions of power and also in politics; in the last few years we have seen the rise of ‘Times UP’, in 2017 a group of women published a letter which said in part:-
“The struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces must end; time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly”…
Just as we have seen and continue to see the fight for LGBTQ rights throughout the world; something which the British Government has in past created the problem through it’s empire days, and even today it continues to on one hand says it is supportive, but on the other pays lip service to it when economics comes into pay (e.g. Middle Est, African Continent etc).
We have a long way to go in this world until we have equality for all, not matter what the gender, or where they live!
Over the last 40+ years that I have been involved in the LGBTQ community, I have been privileged to witness the acceptance of gay people into the general community – young and old, we now have more freedoms; however this has only come about through the continued pressure from individuals, groups through lobbying and through legal cases. We have in most parts of the UK an acceptance and understanding that being ‘gay’ is normal, that it does not require “treatment” to correct an illness! Again I said in most parts, there are however still some groups and individuals who wish us to disappear or receive corrective treatment – in most companies LGBTQ rights are now accepted; but we cannot sit back on our backsides; if we do not keep monitoring and interacting with government (both local and national) then the rights that we have fought so hard to achieve will be taken away again.
What are your thoughts on this article; I would really like to hear what you think. Comment now or email us.
Source: Old and young see LGBT rights in contrast
Items for further reading:
Now I know that quoting Wikipedia is so blase, however in this case I feel the definition is worth looking at: Wikipedia defines “Traditional Values” as “those beliefs, moral codes, and mores that are passed down from generation to generation within a culture, subculture or community.”
However on investigation, Wikipedia cannot define where those beliefs, moral codes etc come from. There is no defining text, and what is also interesting is that this cultural phenomena is wildly held as fact, when even within family to family said ideas can be wildly different.
A colleague of mine, put his thoughts as:
Clearly this moron hasn’t heard of New Orleans – though as it is French / Irish / Italian Catholic maybe he is going to allow it to secede from the secession.
A right-wing author has a plan for people who aren’t happy about shifting attitudes about LGBT rights.
British Comics For Boys (and girls)
This Cartoon Museum (British cartoon & comic art from the 18th century to the present day), has the potential to be a great resource, not just for cartoons, but for British comics of this era, and importantly as a resource to show our history.
Unfortunately the museum is hidden away in a back street, in rented premises, and it receives no financial support from government both national or local.
The exhibition at the time of my visit in November 2016, was on that great British institution ‘Punch’. Unfortunately I would guess due to staffing limitations, the exhibition has not been noted, other than a banner on the Homepage on their website at the time of writing this article. To do the showing justice you would have need to spend a few hours, both at looking at the drawings and also in attempting to reflect back on the history at that time.
Also there was little at the time I visited that you might want to buy to remember the Punch exhibition.
I am of an era when my weekly stable of comics were the Rover & Wizard, The victor, The Hornet, The Hotspur – not for me the American Marvel(s), I preferred homegrown characters like:
Wilson the Wonder Athlete
Wolf of Kabul
Alf Tupper – The Rough of the track
I Flew with Braddock
And for me the thing I really loved, was that in general the Rover &Wizard was mainly words, with just one introductory picture (or at least that is how I remember it).
So of course I asked if they had any of these comics in museum’s collection, and unfortunately was told no. Though they are a museum dedicated to British cartoons and comics, they have not been in a position to obtain any for their collection.
OK I can accept that getting items like these may be difficult, but at the very least you would have thought they would have links to suitable websites to spark interest and show that the museum cared. Instead all I have found is one short paragraph mention of these comics (The British Comic: 1884 –)
The Cartoon Museum is located at 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1 2HH
Always check to see if they are open, usually Tue-Sun, by ringing on 020 7580 8155
…It’s against the law for an employer to discriminate against you because of your sexual orientation. You’re also protected against harassment or bullying at work…
…There are support services, information and advice available across Northern Ireland for people newly diagnosed or living with HIV…
…Your human rights are protected by the law. If your employer is a public authority, they must follow the principles of the Human Rights Act…
…PRONI was pleased to host ‘Irish Volunteers Centenary Project’, a talk by Donal McAnallen about experiences in the Easter Rising…
…It is against the law for an employer to discriminate against you because of your religion or certain beliefs. Find out about your rights and what you can do if you’re worried about religion…
An important thing for all of us in the LGBT community of Northern Ireland is our history, but unfortunately a lot of it has been forgotten, or not written down, or in some cases is still hidden away in individuals homes. We would like to develop further our access to our history, by asking everyone to dig our their history and by contacting us we will work with the museums and PRONI to develop a central resource.
Please do contact us with details of what you have and we will then arrange with the correct repository. All information will remain confidential regarding your personal details, unless yu expressly give us permission to disclose them when lodging the items on your behalf.
Education seems to have forgotten a proportion of its population – namely working class boys and girls! Whether we like to admit it or not, one size does not fit all when it comes to education, and boys are a completely different fit to girls, they need different stimuli and different provisions. This does not mean that we need segregated schools before certain elements of the population starts, but it does mean that we need to be inclusive of boys needs which we are not currently in the educational strata. Books need to cater for boys, not just girls. Boys also need more room to run about and get rid of energy, and also classes need to reflect this. It will be interesting to see if government, the educational establishment, and to a large degree teachers can make the changes needed. We continue to talk about league tables, revamping education etc, but we seem to have difficulty in having a long term strategy, to allow it to develop with tinkering (government and inspectors) and to also allow teachers room and time to implement strategy without complaining even before it has had time for the ink to dry! Dave McFarlane, Community Journalist
Study finds poorer white children’s attainment has stayed stubbornly low despite improvements among other groups
For a number of years it has become clear that LGBT history is disappearing as our societies members have aged and their stories (which our our stories) disappear with their deaths or the onset of illnesses.
For Ireland this is compounded by the fact that so many of the LGBT community have had to leave the island to find work, relationships and just to be safe. Today these things have been reduced, but the economic crisis of the last few years, and the impending impact of Brexit may well see further departures.
The LGBT society in both parts of the island of Ireland need to start thinking urgently on how we should capture and then make available our history. This will ensure our past, and also help our future, and will provide a wonderful resource for teachers and other groups/individuals.
A mechanism that might be considered is working with the museums in Ireland who have depositories to see if we can get access combined into a timeline – obviously this will take time and resources, but I believe that a small group could achieve a lot in this regard.
The American National Park Service has produced a wonderful book in two parts about LGBT History in the USA – the publication LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History is available for download in PDF format – this is just another example of what can be done with the right active group and money.
Source: Telling All Americans’ Stories (U.S. National Park Service)
If you’ve never heard of Roger Casement, who was executed by the British for treason 100 years ago today, the reason is as simple as it is sad, he was homosexual. For that reason he was ignored when he was not being written out of our revolutionary history.
Jeffrey Dudgeon, MBE has written two wonderful insightful books into Casement,
However, as with all history, it is open to interpretation, and I know that different camps will have different feelings towards Casement, his impact on Irish history, and on Gay History.
The musical about him was one such attempt, and I hope that if it comes to a theatre near you, you will make an effort to see it and view it through the eyes of someone who is probably far older than he was, and also who has the benefit of a society that is beginning to be accepting of LGBT people.
History to everyone is important, but for those who have not been able to have their full identity because of family or societal pressures, or laws which punished their very existence, history can become a poison chalice. It is extremely comforting to know, that one country, which even though it still has its share of bigots and organisations which seek to continue this persecution, is moving forward and recognising the LGBT community and taking note of its history – in this case it is the National Park Service of America.
Positively, I have just heard that the Scottish Government is seeking to pardon all those LGBT people who have a criminal record due to draconian laws which punished you for being gay!
Unfortunately, due to government filibustering, England and Wales will have to wait for some time for Westminster to bring forward a possible legal instrument for doing the same job.
And for Northern Ireland, the political posturing of both the main parties, means that it is highly unlikely that any law will see the statue books within the next 5 years.
The laws were unjust within the UK, and because of them so much of our history has been lost, as people rightly seeked to protect themselves and their families; I hope that sometime soon we can stat to put together our own history and to have it incorporated into the mainstream history – it is jsut as valid, and when you consider people like Alan Turing and how he and others in other professions helped to win our freedoms, then we must strive to get equal.
Breaking news & opinion from the B.A.R.