Building on studies that recover suffrage as an important political, historical, and cultural phenomenon, this article considers the political implications of the British suffragettes' redefinition of the right to vote as the right to revolt. Such a definition means that the suffragettes' contribution to political modernity is not limited to the enfranchisement of women, although this was an enormous victory. Equally significant is the suffragettes' discourse of revolution, which, as Hannah Arendt argues, reveals the inextricable connection between freedom, the emergence of female political and artistic subjectivities, and the creation of new forms of political life. This study focuses primarily on the militant stage of the British suffrage campaign (1903–1914) because it was the experience and justification of female militancy that propelled suffragettes to redefine the right to vote as a more fundamental women's right to revolt.
Ewa Plonowska Ziarek; Right to Vote or Right to Revolt? Arendt and the British Suffrage Militancy. differences 1 December 2008; 19 (3): 1–27. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10407391-2008-008
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