General,  Inspirational women

Suffragettes with Lucy Worsley – television review

After a disappointing home education day, we watched Suffragettes confident it would be great as it was presented by Lucy Worsley who we have seen on telly before.. We love history and like myself, my 14 year old daughter is vocal on women’s issues. To his credit, my husband watched the programme with us.

My daughter was quick to declare that in her opinion no major changes in history have happened without at least a degree of violence. Before the programme started, I mooted the point that the Suffragettes could be described as terrorists.

This programme was gripping. We loved how the real words of the key players were used and how Lucy appeared to be amongst them during the action. I also loved a certain glint in her eye almost as if she were encouraging viewers to conspire with her in a cause.

There were of course the suffragists who wrote letters and so on to try to get the vote for women. As Lucy explained how Parliament which was of course male-dominated played silly games to ensure things were not even debated fairly, I can absolutely see how frustration would mount leading to more violent lobbying methods. Why did women want the vote anyway? Well, there is the concept of equality and fairness but there is also the issue that they must have felt women’s lot in life needed to change generally. That makes me empathise with them as clearly so much still needs to be done despite recent changes and a spotlight on the abuse of women for example. Not surprising and very sadly, there were reports of women protestors and sexual assault at the hands of police and others.

So often us feminists are told we are daft and the battles are won. Yet I find it fascinating how little the Suffragette movement was covered in the schools of myself or my daughter. I remember a fancy dress celebration of 100 years of history and only one teacher and my daughter dressed up as Suffragettes.

To my absolute shame, I did not know the Suffragette movement spread across social classes always associating it with rich women. I also thought it began in London and not Manchester. I had no idea so many areas of the UK had Suffragette action.

I also did not know about the build-up of tools of the trade as time went on including bombs and riots.

I loved how skilled and instinctive the Suffragettes were at using marketing methods to present their case from photography to stunts like chaining themselves to railings. In a way they reminded me of how women bloggers have used PR and marketing methods to have their say and to campaign on some pretty vital issues. These are the bloggers I like – the ones who tell it like it is and don’t just keep touting out picture perfect images adding to the mental distress of others.

How the state dealt with these women was appalling and hard to watch particularly the force feeding when they went on hunger strike. The sending in of law enforcement from other areas reminded me so much of seeing those types of buses during the Miners’ Strike in the Eighties. As ever where there are two different viewpoints, the State started getting their message across with their own PR efforts.

My daughter enjoyed the programme but was saddened by the methods employed to try to silence women. She was clearly of the view that Winston Churchill should not longer be viewed as a hero. Her comments included: “There was no need for the Suffragettes if the Government had listened. If asking nicely does not work, you have to resort to more extreme methods for the greater good”

It made me reflect on my work as a blogger and writer. Words, so many words. Perhaps they don’t have a real impact. Perhaps deeds would be better.

So the film made us feel, think and quite possibly change. That makes it a huge success.

The film was written and directed by Emma Frank so I will be looking out for her work again. In fact with the written words by Emma and the delivery of words by Lucy, perhaps I should conclude by saying both words and deeds can make a difference.

So let’s resolve to always ask nicely and then kick ass if and when required.

Forget Love Island and watch on iPlayer If you are outside the UK but want to catch BBC iPlayer programmes, you can do so with by first connecting to a BBC iPlayer VPN.










Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.


  • MMT

    Oh I am definitely going to watch this over the weekend – I am ashamed to say I know very little about the facts too.

    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

  • Claire Saul

    I was out for this but am definitely going to watch on catch up having read your post. Will sit my 15 year old daughter down with me too…..fab review, thanks for sharing on #Pocolo!

  • Carol Cameleon

    I’ve never hidden my feelings when it comes to the Suffragettes and I’m definitely going to watch this Kate. I saw the film and hadn’t realised just how few rights women had – the main role had her son taken from her with her having no say! Shocking. Thanks for linking to #HighlightsofHappy

  • Liberty Henwick

    Lol, I loved your moral of the story! It is interesting what you said there about her opinion of Winston Churchill, there’s always two sides to every story aren’t there! Thanks for linking up this very interesting and informative post on #blogcrush

  • Jaki

    I hadn’t seen this programme advertised, but then I don’t watch a huge amount of TV that isn’t the regular stuff. Your daughter sounds like she has a very wise head on young shoulders! Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales.

  • Sarah

    I wish I had watched this, after this review I might catch up as I had no idea about lots of the history, especially where it started and how it was social classes. Thanks for sharing, I will catch up on this at the weekend x #thursdayteam

  • Louise Pink Pear Bear

    I am absolutely loving home ed and getting to see and discover things through my daughter’s eyes. I’m learning so much myself. This program sounds brilliant, one to remember for when she’s a little older. Thanks for linking up with me at the #BigPinkLink this week!

  • Natalie

    Was sad to have missed this but glad it’s on I Player so thanks for the heads up! Must be lovely to be able to have these interesting conversations with your daughter

  • Chloe @ Indigo Wilderness

    I haven’t watched this but I will now. Since the 100 year anniversary I’ve had an education about this and I am sad that, like you, little was covered in school.

    Thanks for linking up with #BestBootForward

  • Nic@nipitinthebud

    As someone who takes in information better when I hear/see it films like this are really enjoyable and educational. I like films that stay with me and keep nudging at my consciousness for days after.

  • Random Musings

    I don’t even think the Suffragetttes where mentioned at all in my school! I definitely don’t know as much about the movement as I feel like I should. This sounds like a really interesting documentary and I like how it sounds like it told both sides of the story rather than glossing over the way the women were treated. I love that it’s got your daughter thinking about how change occurs too

  • Su {Ethan & Evelyn}

    I haven’t seen this, but I’ve heard a lot of great things about Suffragettes. I really wished I have seen it now. Churchill has been seen doing a lot of goods but he definitely failed on that. That may be one of the reasons he lost the election after the war. An interesting take. Thank you for this Kate. x

  • Laura

    I would be looking for anything to escape Love Island, but this does sound very interesting. Your daughter is right. Why is he viewed as a hero when he couldn’t listen to something so important. x

  • Vicky

    I will catch up with this, I didn’t see it. My son would love it too he’s obsessed with anything like this and I think it’s important he understands what and who the suffragettes were thanks for sharing it x #bestbootforward

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