Shoulder to Shoulder: The Burial of BBC’s Feminist Drama

Headmaster Rituals or Barbarisms Began at Home?

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With the release of the eagerly anticipated film Suffragette due this autumn, I have been exploring the presence of the Suffrage movement in popular culture. I was not taught about the history of the movement at school. Indeed my only exposure to the history of the Suffragettes came in the form of Glynis John’s marvellous role as Mrs. Banks in the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins. I struggled to recall any other portrayals of the movement that I had seen, and a quick perusal of IMDB demonstrated why. Including the forthcoming portrayal by Meryl Streep, I was astonished to find that Emmeline Pankhurst has only been depicted by six actors on screen, two of them being comedic cameos (Psychobitches, played by a male actor, & Up The Women (2013)). Even more astonishing to me was that a prime 1974 BBC drama, Shoulder to Shoulder, which charted…

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