Soundtrack to a movement: Suffragettes x Sisters Are Doin It for Themselves

Throughout history, protest songs have inspired and celebrated social change. ONE’s agit8 project harnesses the power of protest songs to inspire a new generation to join the protest of our lifetime: extreme poverty.  

Listen to Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin’s ‘Sisters Are Doin It for Themselves’ mashed up with a quick history of the Suffragette movement.

Now, there was a time before the Suffragettes when they predominantly men used to say that behind every great British man there had to be a great ideally British woman who would be seen, but not heard

But, in these times of change 1850-1928 you know that it’s no longer true that men can deny women the right to vote So we’re comin’ out of the kitchen ’cause contrary to prevailing views of the time, women can make rational decisions too there’s something we forgot to say to you we can elect a government. And you need to think rationally to cook. Ask Delia

We say, Sisters are doin’ it for themselves no luck at first: the 2nd Reform Act of 1867, to secure votes for women was defeated standin’ on their own two feet some like National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies favoured slow, peaceful action and ringin’ on their own bells the breakaway Women’s Social and Political Union undertook more militant actions

We say using pamphlets, protests, speeches, newspapers, hunger strikes and lobbying. Sisters Emmeline Pankhurst. Emily Davison. are doin’ it for themselves literally, when the men went to fight World War I — they went to work

Now, this is a song to celebrate though not played too loudly, no direct action during the war the conscious liberation of the female state they concentrated on the war effort, which kept the movement on the political agenda Mothers, daughters, and their daughters too, woh yeah initially just the mothers: the 1918 Representation of the People Act, only extended the vote to women over 30 woman to woman, we’re singing with you, ooh, ooh the Equal Franchise Act of 1928 lowered the legal voting age for women to 21 — the same as men

The “inferior sex” thought to be naturally weaker, governed best by men has got a new exterior Margaret Thatcher’s hair We say suffragists: the collective voice of resistance protest Sisters are doin’ it for themselves And you have the Suffragettes to thank for that.

“Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves “— Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin.  Written by Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart. Published by Universal Music Publishing MGB Limited

 

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