\u27You Have Lost Your Opportunity\u27 British Quakers and the Militant Phase of the Women\u27s Suffrage Campaign: 1906-1914


Quakers are widely believed to have been in the forefront of 19th century social change, and in particular to have been in favour of women\u27s equality. Through consideration of individual and corporate public statements by British Friends during the period of militant campaigning for women to have the parliamentary vote, I show that this perception is inaccurate, largely mythic, and based on generalisation from the actions of a small number of individual Friends. I suggest that Friends\u27 reputation for having been corporately progressive on the question of women\u27s equality is undeserved, based on superficial consideration of the use of the term \u27equality\u27, and that the position of the London Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends was far more cautious and divided than is generally supposed

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