What we can learn from the Suffragettes

When I set out to write this article, just for argument’s sake, I tried to remember what the reason against giving women the vote was. And for the life of me I couldn’t remember what those patriarchal dinosaurs were putting forth to justify their position.

Was it because they felt men needed to dominate in the political arena to compensate for their genetic inferiority? ( Men are vulnerable to a lot of extra diseases because they’re missing an extra leg on their “Y” chromosome that would normally carry the extra data required to prevent those said diseases. ) Was it that they felt jealous of women because they get stronger orgasms? ( Women have an average of 12-15 muscle contractions during an orgasm, as opposed to 9-10 for Men. ) Were they depressed because statistically women get to live longer then men, and felt they needed to compensate?

No, after looking into it, I found out that the people who were against giving women the right to vote, were mostly doing it because they were defending what they saw as “still-valid” traditions. And any movement promoting the modernization of our political system will probably encounter similar opposition. They’ll be told that our current political systems are “still-valid”, even though most of the time they were conceived in a technological era that predates the telegraph.

I think there are similarities between the fight for women to have the right to vote, and the fight for the modern electorate to be able to have a say in what they’re paying for.

I was reading about the Canadian Suffragette movement, and what they did which was pretty clever, which is that they decided to hold  “mock-parliament” sessions. They would re-enact parliamentarian procedures, but this time with women in charge. They had various parties debating whether simple creatures like men, should be allowed the responsibility  of being able to vote. Basically using humor to get their point across. I’m a big fan of that.

I’m also a big fan of their “mock-parliament” idea. Doing a modern-day, online “mock-parliament” could also be a lot of fun. It could be an easy way to illustrate how a digital democracy might work. All we really need is to purchase a web-domain name, run a forum/online chat type of operating platform, you then you just add a logo. As far as the technical aspects of setting up something like that I’m sure it wouldn’t be too much of a challenge.What would get harder though, would be to get a bunch of collaborators to agree on what the structure should be for the next-gen of gov systems. Should it be structured like an online forum with the head-of-state replaced by the equivalent of a forum moderator? Or perhaps tweaking the current system, with voters being able to vote on all government law projects and programs? Or, how about we turn it around, make it that only the electorate can propose law projects, and it’s the politicians who have to decide if it goes thru or not?

Which would be the best structure?

It’s hard to say.Obviously there’s a lot of potential avenues which could serve as an appropriate soil to erect a digital democracy, the question is, which one better suited for that type of project? I don’t have the answer yet, but I think that sometimes it’s a good idea to look at the past for inspiration…


6 responses to “What we can learn from the Suffragettes

  1. I’m glad you recognized “No, after looking into it, I found out that the people who were against giving women the right to vote, were mostly doing it because they were defending what they saw as “still-valid” traditions.”

    How much is your thought at variance with this thought of Jesus 2000 years ago?

    And he said to them, Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition.
    For Moses said, Honour your father and your mother; and, Whoso curses father or mother, let him die the death:
    But you say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever you might be profited by me; he shall be free.
    And you suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
    Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such like things you do.

  2. I think Jesus was probably a pro-women’s rights kinda dude. It’s too bad that the institution that claims to speak his behalf, the catholic church, is probably the furthest thing away from that position.

    If I remember correctly, the fact that the catholic church had a stranglehold on Quebec’s politics, is a major factor in Quebec being the last province in Canada to give women the vote. To our perpetual shame…

  3. karine deslauriers

    Interesting fact about women and politics well writen!!!!

  4. Well this was perverted and vague.

    • Hi! I’m so sorry for the late reply! As far as my article being vague, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I will try in the future, to perhaps, add more references to my articles. I’m still trying to find the right balance. Because as you can see from this reply, I’m also playing with the concept of not burying people in mountains of text.

      As far as being “perverted” though, I’m not sure I follow you. If you accused me of being shamelessly sensationalist with my use of scientific data on sex, I don’t think I’d be able to mount an appropriate defense. Decency laws, like personal tastes, are usually community based. And since I live in an artistic, Québecois neighbourhood 5 minutes from the biggest gay village in North America, well, there’s nothing indecent, or even perverse in my texts as far as me, or my peeps in the hood are concerned.

      So in a sense, I imagine you’re also expressing what the values in your community are. We just happen to live in different communities.

      Thanks a lot for contributing to the conversation, I appreciate your critical thinking. ^_^


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