This month sees the 100th Anniversary of the passing of the Representation of the People Act in 1918. This act allowed some women over the age of 30 and all men over 21 the right to vote. This act paved the way for the Equal Franchise act 10 years later, giving women the same voting writes as men here in the UK. Women like myself would not have the freedom and rights we have today if it wasn’t for the suffragettes who endured prison, abuse, force feeding and in some cases, gave their life to the cause. One of their key campaign slogans, Deeds not Words refers to their taking action and not just talking the talk.
This got me thinking, what does this mean to myself and millions of women in the 21st century? What have these brave individuals given women like myself and how far have we come?
On my own journey as a Medium, Psychic and healer, I have received ridicule of my feminine gifts. Luckily I dont let this stop me! Creativity, nurturing, healing gifts can still be misunderstood by society. Thankfully a massive shift is underway and women are reclaiming their personal power, pushing the boundaries of the patriarchal society we have been subject to for so many years.
Recent campaigns of “Me Too and I have” are causing a momentous shift in our right to say no and stand up against inappropriate sexual advances and behavior. Women are speaking out against inappropriate old fashioned behavior. Poor treatment of women subject to rape and other violent crimes is forcing the authorities to review their practices.
Recent media scrutiny has highlighted the pay gap between women and men, bringing more awareness and change. In the UK, there is change, we are more fortunate. If we cast our eyes overseas however, there are women still without the vote. Women still without legal redress following domestic violence.
Personally, deeds not words means speaking up when I experience or see any forms of mistreatment and abuse, or when someone steps on my toes. It means being aware of boundaries which keep me safe and expressing these, as uncomfortable as this maybe at times for myself and others. It also means holding the space for others to do the same, allowing myself and others to make mistakes but honoring ourselves nonetheless.
It means speaking up on behalf of myself and others when I see inequality for women or any other person being subjugated. The right to speak my truth as a woman no matter what my age or background. To respect others regardless of age, gender or background and treat them with the same dignity that I would ask for myself. It means standing proud with a loving compassionate strength for myself and others, looking the world in the eye and owning my truth; showing up and acting with integrity.
So it would seem that the women of my grandparents age have given us a great deal. Without the foundation of their work, we would not have these freedoms in our lives or the voices to speak out to make further changes to help our fellow women and men. Lets keep going…