Purple, White and Green


Emmeline Pankhurst (née Emmeline Goulden, 1858-1928) was a campaigner for women’s rights, together with her husband Richard Marsden Pankhurst and their daughters Christabel, Sylvia and Adela. She went on a number of hunger strikes in her fight to enfranchise women. However, once she had won the vote for women, she became terribly disappointed, detached herself from the women’s movement and leaned peculiarly towards the right. A life-sized statue of her, standing with her hands outstreched as though addressing a meeting, can be seen in a corner of Victoria Tower Gardens, just along from the Houses of Parliament. She is buried at Brompton Cemetery, a site I make a point of visiting every time I travel to London. I scrub her grave and set down flowers on it, either roses for love, lilies for purity, lunaria for honesty or sunflowers for hope—something that her followers in the modern women’s movement at the Pankhurst Centre in Manchester would never consider doing even in their wildest dreams: they’re too busy not allowing men inside the premises. I swear I could have broken their windows in a fit of rage, but then, thinking it over, I would have got the wrong message through. Being a man, the most likely accusation would have been one of chauvinism. It would never have occurred to them that I am the one fighting for equal rights and they, the hypocrites marching towards segregation.

In the following exercise, Upper-Intermediate students learn the difference between a suffragist and a suffragette. The title of this post alludes to Mrs Pankhurst’s adopted colour scheme for the suffrage movement. You can see suffragettes portrayed in many films, from Kind Hearts and Coronets to Mary Poppins, The Great Race, and Ken Russell’s Savage Messiah, among others. You may also want to have a look at Emmeline Pankhurst’s grave by clicking on the address below.





10.07.07. Cloze Tests, Force-Feeding, Intermediate.


  1. albowiem, jak wiadomo – obarczanie odpowiedzialnością za Grzechy rodziców… replied:

    […] w uzupeł­nieniu: Emmeline Pan­khurst (née Emmeline Gou­l­den, 1858–1928). cał­kiem nie faszystka. January, 3, 2010 | makowski […]

  2. 2010 in review « Sukey Tawdry’s Kettle Hole replied:

    […] Purple, White and Green December 2008 3 […]

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