Simon Schama should hang his head in shame – a vile example of BBC anti-male propaganda

I’ve long been an admirer of the historian Simon Schama, but no more. I happened to catch an extract of just a few minutes’ duration from the latest episode of his BBC series The Face of Britain – a series on British portraiture, including photography.

The episode will be on iPlayer for the next 29 days. The piece I saw starts at 44:30, with Suffragettes being photographed for surveillance purposes as they strolled in the exercise yard of Holloway prison, or as they exited the prison. Schama says:

The images are themselves striking, and actually beautiful, I think, and unintentionally heroic. The suffering these women endured for the vote is written all over their gaunt face (sic).

The photograph used to illustrate the ‘gaunt face’ was, predictably, that of a thin woman. Then, at 44:54, we see footage of soldiers marching towards the war front in 1914, in the course of WW1, during which so many would be killed or injured. Schama:

In the summer of 1914 the Suffragettes suspended their campaign, and the heroism of women [my emphasis] was replaced by the patriotism of men [my emphasis].

Given how many men were killed or injured in WW1, and how few women, Simon Schama should hang his head in shame at making a gender comparison in that manner. Then – as a professional historian – he should educate himself on this period in British history, by reading William Collins’s piece Universal Suffrage in the UK and Herbert Purdy’s piece Did feminists really win the vote for women?

4 thoughts on “Simon Schama should hang his head in shame – a vile example of BBC anti-male propaganda

  1. This is a view that permeates right down to the kitchen sink. Am I still allowed to refer to a kitchen sink? Of the lady friends that I know and (in two or three cases) love fraternally or in an avuncular fashion, roughly half of them see the utter brutality of war and recognise that the men involved were largely powerless, forced into the whole debacle and as terrified as may be expected. The other half glibly – and gleefully – dismiss the dead millions upon millions as ‘men playing at men’s games’ and “just doing what men do, yeah?” The latter portion are quite beyond the reach of any amount of evidence, sense, logic or empathy, and I have no doubt whatsoever that they too would have been frantically plucking the arses of any unfortunate bird within safe range, seeking white feathers as their own ‘valuable contribution’ to the war effort.

  2. I agree. It was shameful. The Suffragette leaders, Emmeline Pankhurst and her two daughters Christabel and Sylvia were middle class elitists who sought the vote only on the same basis as those men who had it already, based on their ownership of property.They didn’t give a hoot about the fact that at least half the men who went to the trenches in 1914, to their deaths or maiming of their young, strong bodies, didn’t own property which meant they didn’t have a useable national vote either. These women were rabble rousers who cynically whipped up hysteria in the simple, working class women who followed them. They were utter hypocrites who finally had to give up their disgusting civil disobedience (and their heartless shaming of young men to enlist using white feathers) because their activities became so obscene in the light of the carnage in France that public opinion wouldn’t tolerate them any longer. Their edification, indeed their deification almost, is just another piece of propaganda by the feminists in pursuit of their endless manipulation of public opinion. It makes me heave, frankly, and its about time people woke up to their devious manipulations.

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