Emmeline Pankhurst Quotes

Emmeline Pankhurst, a leader of the British women's suffrage movement, was known for her powerful and often controversial quotes. Here are her words, ordered thematically:

Emmeline Pankhurst quotes on the Importance of Women's Suffrage:

  • "We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half."
  • "As long as women consent to be unjustly governed, they will be; but directly women say: 'We withhold our consent,' we will not be governed any longer as long as government is unjust."
  • "What is the use of fighting for a vote if we have not got a country to vote in?"
  • "We are fighting for freedom, not for favors." (This quote emphasizes the suffragettes' demand for rights, not handouts.)
  • "Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And that is the question which governs us in this struggle." (This quote highlights the importance of moral conviction in the fight for suffrage.)

Emmeline Pankhurst quotes on the Necessity of Militant Action:

  • "The argument of the broken pane of glass is the most valuable argument in modern politics." (This quote highlights Pankhurst's belief that disruptive tactics could draw attention to the cause.)
  • "You have to make more noise than anybody else...you have to fill all the papers more than anybody else..." (This emphasizes the need for constant public pressure.)
  • "The moving spirit of militancy is deep and abiding reverence for human life." (This quote can be interpreted as justifying militancy as a desperate measure.)
  • "Be militant in your own way! Those of you who can break windows, break them. Those of you who can still further attack the secret idol of property...do so." (This is a call to direct action, even property damage.)
  • "I want to say to you who think women cannot succeed, we have brought the government of England to this position, that it has to face this alternative: either women are to be killed or women are to have the vote." (This quote demonstrates Pankhurst's willingness to challenge authority.)
@MrsLouiseWS Tweet (2023)

On Sex Inequality and Justice:

  • "Men make the moral code and they expect women to accept it. They have decided that it is entirely right and proper for men to fight for their liberties and their rights, but that it is not right and proper for women to fight for theirs."
  • "How different the reasoning is that men adopt when they are discussing the cases of men and those of women." (These quotes highlight Pankhurst's critique of double standards.)
  • "The militancy of men, through all the centuries, has drenched the world with blood... The militancy of women has harmed no human life..." (This compares men's violent revolutions with the suffragettes' tactics.)
  • "Justice and judgment lie often a world apart." (This quote reflects on the struggle for justice and the challenges in achieving it.)

On Persistence and Strategy:

  • "Deeds, not words, was to be our permanent motto." (This emphasizes the importance of action over rhetoric.)
  • "Trust in God: She will provide." (This reflects Pankhurst's faith in the ultimate success of the movement.)
  • "Governments have always tried to crush reform movements... Without regard to history...they go on trying..." (This criticizes the government's resistance to change.)
  • "We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers." (This emphasizes the suffragettes' goal of gaining political power.)

This collection provides a glimpse into Emmeline Pankhurst's passionate and unwavering commitment to women's suffrage. Her forceful rhetoric and strategic use of militancy tactics left a lasting impact on the fight for women's rights.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


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