E. Belfort Bax

The Suffrage Outrages

(30 March 1912)

E. Belfort Bax, The Suffrage Outrages, Justice, 30th March 1912, p.5. (letter)
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Dear Comrade, – The attempt of Mr. Leonard Hall to justify the criminally mad antics of the suffragettes by identifying their cause with that of the proletariat struggling for emancipation, though a very old trick of controversy, ought to rouse the indignation of every logically-minded Socialist. The complete disparity between the case of a class fighting for its economic independence that of a sex clamouring for domination has been often pointed out. One would think, indeed, that the fallacy of the parallel attempted to be drawn ad nauseam between sex and class ought to be obvious to any person, of ordinary intelligence.

As you justly imply in your note to the article in question, the mean advantage taken of their sex-privileges by, these women in committing outrages for which the heaviest penalties would be exacted from men ought only to inspire contempt in any sanely-thinking person. Mr. Hall characterises the authorities as “poltroons.” Well, to judge from the way they allow the administration of the law, the guardians of whose dignity they are supposed to be, to be made a farce of, out of pusillanimous deference to the feminist sentimentalism of modern public opinion, the epithet would seem to be justified. Those who have read the facts stated in the letter published recently in the Daily Telegraph. Headed: A Holiday in Holloway, describing the freedom and fun allowed the female window-smashers in gaol, will appreciate what I say. It requires apparently more pluck in our days to put into practice sex-equality and treat women as men would be treated than it does to face a battery, and this pluck the present Government certainly seems to lack.

Women in the present day are not effectively called upon to obey the same laws as men, and are not subjected to any penalties worth the name for the breach of those laws. This is apparently all right and as it should be. What is wrong is, that while retaining all the special privileges of one sex they should not be handed over all the rights of the other! At least, so says the theory of “Equality between the Sexes” – new version! And in the enthusiastic adoption of this theory the Socialist and bourgeois feminist join hands.


E. Belfort Bax


Last updated on 15.10.2004