These suffragette posters show the way we talk about feminism has barely changed in 100 years
We still call women ugly when they talk about equal rights
How many times have you heard the phrase “she looks like a feminist”? Because I’ve heard it a lot. It’s usually wheeled out as a tried-and-tested way of cutting women down whenever they voice their opinions IRL or online.
It’s a way of insinuating that by caring about equality women somehow render themselves ugly, fat, unloveable, stupid, unfeminine in someway. It was more evident than ever for women this year, especially those who supported Hillary Clinton, who posted their political opinions online and were lambasted personally for it. But it’s not a new phenomenon.
Earlier this week website Good posted a series of anti-suffragette posters which bore an eerie similarity to how we speak about women – and their political opinions – today. The similarities were staggering.
While it’s true that the way we talk about equality and feminism has vastly improved since women got the vote, the offensive tropes that exist in these postcards – the idea that feminists are somehow masculine, unhappy, mouthy, ugly – are still ones we come back to. You only have to look to the Trump supporters calling for women to lose the vote again on Twitter to see how scary that rhetoric can really be.
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