安娜·马格里奇, A PhD student from the 新黄金城集团, investigates 100 years since the first female vote in Birmingham.

 

100年前, 1918年12月14日, 英国女性首次在大选中投票. 就在10个月前,《新黄金城集团》赋予了一些妇女(30岁以上的妇女)投票权, 谁 met a property qualification), the newly-exp和ed electorate cast their first ballots.

As part of my doctoral research, 我一直在调查伯明翰及其周边地区的女性对她们获得投票权的新能力有何反应. 在这次选举中, 该市和周边地区有三名女性作为议会候选人参选:玛芝莉·科比特·阿什比, Liberal c和idate for Birmingham Ladywood; Christabel Pankhurst, Women’s Party c和idate for Smethwick, 和玛丽麦克阿瑟, Labour c和idate for nearby Stourbridge, although none were successful. 有可能投票给这三个女人中的一个, 谁 were among the first to st和 nationwide, does seem to have excited some local women, but others remained distinctly unenthused.

Several Birmingham newspapers, including the Birmingham Mail, 1918年12月15日报道称,范妮·文斯夫人声称自己是伯明翰第一个参加投票的妇女:早上7点, she had been found outside her polling station, 等待它打开. But the Birmingham Mail also recorded that an unnamed ‘old lady’, 谁, when asked whether she had voted, 回应:“好, 我亲爱的, 我从来没有投过票,现在我这辈子也不会去投.’

 

1918 suffragette photograph

 这两种对选举前景的对立反应第一次清晰地反映了这次选举的全国趋势. 同时一些女性, 尤其是那些参与了选举权运动的人, 毫无疑问,对最终投票的前景感到高兴吗, nationwide turnout was very low, 仅为57%.

A gendered breakdown of the turnout statistics are not available, 因此,不可能知道有多少女性没有投票, or why they chose not to exercise their newfound powers. By studying local newspapers, 然而, 新黄金城集团有可能了解媒体是如何看待这些新的女性选民的, 和 what fears surrounded the prospect of a female electorate.

的 election results would not be known for another two weeks, as servicemen’s ballots would need to be sent from overseas. This did not stop speculation, 在伯明翰, 当地报纸派出记者到城市的各个地方报道妇女在投票站的行为.

的 Birmingham Mail reported that, 在居民区, such as Edgbaston 和 Moseley, the number of women going to the polls was relatively large; in fact, much larger than had been anticipated’. 然而, 在一些工人阶级地区(阿斯顿可能就是其中的一个例子),在投票的最初几个小时,女性选民的数量很低. 一位杰出的工作人员在巡视一个选区时宣称, he had not seen one woman voter. 在人口稠密的内切尔斯(Nechells,另一个工人阶级非常多的地区),投票开始的两个小时内只记录了六张选票.埃格巴斯顿和莫斯利当时是伯明翰最富有的地区, 还有住在那里的女人, 如果他们超过30岁, 极有可能符合1918年法案中的财产资格, 因此,这些地区的投票站里挤满了女性,这也许就不足为奇了. 与此形成鲜明对比的是, 贫困地区的女性可能不太可能符合这些财产条件,因此更有可能仍然被排除在特许经营权之外, meaning fewer women would be visible at the polls. 

然而,这一区别在当时似乎还没有被理解. 而不是, 媒体将工人阶级地区的数据较低归咎于工人阶级妇女的懒惰. In working-class Duddeston, the Birmingham Mail reported that, “有些女性拒绝投票,除非她们的丈夫陪同. 的y had literally to be pushed into the polling stations’. 的 Birmingham Gazette meanwhile reported that, “而在较富裕的地区,女性的调查结果比预期的好,也比预期的早。, 在拥挤的工人阶级地区,妇女或多或少显得漠不关心, 很多人拒绝, 尽管有人恳求我走一小段路去投票站。. 的 complicated rules surrounding women’s enfranchisement, 它对选民投票率的影响也被忽略了,取而代之的是一种将工薪阶层女性描绘成懒惰的简单叙事, 和, where they could be bothered to vote, 需要男性的指导——这也许更多地说明了当代对新扩大的选民的担忧,而不是对女性自己在投票中的经历的担忧.

 

1918 suffragettes photograph

 1918年的《新黄金城集团》赋予几乎所有男性投票权, along with about 8 million women 谁 met its requirements; in so doing, it essentially tripled the electorate.

人们对这种巨大扩张的影响感到担忧,这或许并不令人意外, 和 uncertainty over how the newly-enfranchised would vote. 尽管如此, it is striking that the newspapers, 至少在伯明翰是这样, focused their anxieties solely on the newly-enfranchised women, 和 not their far more numerous male counterparts.

的 历史上英国航空公司 新黄金城集团的研究人员调查了女性在历史上的地位以及随着时间发生的变化.

安娜·马格里奇(安娜·马格里奇)是新黄金城集团的博士生, 研究20世纪上半叶黑人乡村的女性是如何被政治化的. 她在推特上 @annamuggeridge 和 would love to hear more stories about women voters in 1918.

图片致谢

(Picture: ‘Corbett Ashby campaign poster’. Copyright caption: ‘Birmingham Daily Gazette, 3 December 1918, p. 5. 图片©Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD’)

(Picture: ‘Pankhurst campaigning’. 版权说明:“时代主题”,《新黄金城集团》,1918年12月11日,页. 320. Image © Illustrated London 新闻 Group. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD’.)

本博客所表达的所有观点均为本院院士个人观点,不代表本院院士个人观点, 新黄金城集团或其任何合作伙伴的政策或意见.