because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dame Ethel Mary Smyth

Aside from the fact that she was an accomplished classical composer who happened to like romancing women more than men, Dame Ethel Mary Smyth didn't really show her true colors as an in-your-face woman until she was fifty-two years old. That's when she joined the Women's Social and Political Union, giving up music for two years to demand that women be allowed to vote. And demand she did. By stepping up with 107 of her suffragette sisters to smash the windows out of some government buildings. The government -- needless to say -- was not amused and put them all in prison forthwith.

Smyth toughed it out through two months herself, but she didn't let it get her down. In fact, at one point, a visitor reported seeing a group of WSPU members singing in the prison yard as they marched around and around while Smyth conducted them gaily out her barred window with a toothbrush. In-your-face women roll with the punches.

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