Monday, May 01, 2006

A Little Local History

If you are interested in historical extracts from the local Thanet papers of 1906, then visit this site, Women in Kent. Men are welcome too!

The website offers an insight into women's lives and their concerns and covers a fascinating era in women's history: the period when the suffrage campaign became increasingly militant, against a background of stories of heroines, criminals, victims, achievers and losers.

In one example: “Mary Ann Todd, 38, of 5 Castle Road, Ramsgate, was charged with attempted suicide. This she had done because her husband "abused me so badly I had nothing to live for."

Contrasting the news from then and now,  the example below, shows a remarkable and depressing similarity to one report in the Thanet Gazette last month.

“George Young of 82 South Eastern Road was charged with cruelty to his wife. Among her injuries were a black eye, bruises and kickings. Her doctor testified that this was true. He had also tried to strangle her and had threatened her with a dagger. The housemaid and a neighbour testified to this. The husband promised to be good and the case was dismissed.”


Anonymous said...

At least women getter a fairer deal now, thank godness.

James Maskell said...

What a terrible story...both times. For the younger readers who didnt know, suicide used to be illegal according to law (the Church used to have a lot more influence than it has now). I guess in some ways it relates to the story about the Tescos incident earlier this week.

It was one of the things that rather caught me off guard about our history. If life was a free choice, why is it illegal to end it, even if its supposed to be a free choice? I know this goes into the debate about euthanasia and a debate about that's fine by me.

Anonymous said...

anon again!
Suicide, doesn't help anyone or anything! It just makes people sad, unless you were some monster who did harm to kids or animals.
Life is the most valuable asset a person has. It should not be abused by going to War or taking dangerous risks. These offenders have a 'death wish'. I used to be a bit 'gung ho' and chance things, but this has now stopped, and I sit back and watch as others take the reins. Last nights documentry about Criminals who drive around in UNtaxed UNinsured cars, without a driving licence made me realise more clearly of the risk of driving about myself, or even walking down the High Street.
Life is a sort of daily competition you have to keep winning, not losing!

James Maskell said...

Those suffering from debilitating diseases may not agree with you. What sort of live is there for someone say suffering from Motor Neurone Disease? Diane Pretty wanted her life to be ended by her husband because in her eyes she had no life, being paralysed from the neck down. What sort of life is that, to be reliant on everyone else, while you sit in a wheelchair, perhaps feeling a burden on everyone else? In that case, do you feel that she was right to be refused that choice?

Life isnt something everyone can win at. Thats the consequences of meritocracy. Some people naturally miss out. Inequality exists in this country as a by-product of our social system. So while I understand your point about living for the moment, I dont completely agree that you can keep winning.