Emmeline Pankhurst Freedom Or Death Analysis

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In the speech "Freedom or Death" (1913), Emmeline Pankhurst expresses the need for resistance towards American and British Governments as a result of the state 's denial of women 's voting rights. She describes the suffragist movement 's efforts of civil disobedience as a result of gender inequality and the urgent need to fight for women 's rights as human rights. In the speech, she discusses the significance of the term ‘militant’, an attribute suffrage women were given based on their radical actions during this time. Suffrage women were described as militant due to their confrontational reactions and support for women’s rights which was sometimes perceived to be an unfavourable political cause. Many at this time, negatively applied the term ‘militant’ to the suffrages. But Pankhurst and her following cherished the…show more content…
Suffrages chose to take a more militant style approach to capture the attention of the government in a way that could not be ignored. They became a public nuisance in terms of publically demonstrating their frustration through actions rather than words. In “Freedom or Death,” Pankhurst speaks on behalf of the suffrage women, “we were called militant, and were quite willing to accept the name. We were determined to press this question of the enfranchisement of women to the point where we were no longer ignored by the politicians” (Pankhurst, 2). Though militant had a negative association, the suffragists prided their actions fighting for an honourable peace. In refusal to being unjustly governed, women pushed their physical and mental boundaries for this cause. As Pankhurst describes, “in our civil war people have suffered, but you cannot make omelets without breaking eggs, you cannot have a civil war without damage to something” (Pankhurst, 2). In other terms, the suffragists witnessed the success of violent actions within the civil war. Therefore, they followed in the same footsteps of men but importantly only causing damage when it was
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