The art on this tote bag comes from a 1909 vintage poster advertising the ‘official’ suffragette paper, Votes for Women. Although a simple design at first glance, the poster belonged to a wider visual campaign produced by the Women’s Social and Political Union: one which combined colour, fashion, and radical politics. Despite the depiction of suffragettes by their critics as ‘unladylike monstrosities’, our heroine stands empowered and elegant, comfortable in both her femininity and politics. One hundred years on, thanks to suffrage movements across the world, women today can vote almost everywhere, but often their voices are still to be heard – and when they are heard they’re threatened to be shut down as nasty women, like Hillary Clinton was in the third presidential debate of the 2016 American presidential elections. Here’s to you, “unladylike monstrosities” and “nasty women.” You’re tote-ally incredible.
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