Posts Tagged ‘Winston Churchill’

Keep Elizabeth Fry On Our Fivers

Today we are handing over proceedings to Caroline Criado-Perez of The Women’s Room who is running the campaign to keep Elizabeth Fry on our £5 notes. There are 3 days left to raise funds to mount a legal challenge to the Bank of England’s decision to replace Fry with Sir Winston Churchill so they desperately need you to donate HERE and sign the petition HERE.

“I think people’s sense of fairness has been caught by this campaign, because it really is a David and Goliath story and the Bank is really, very sadly, throwing their considerable might against having a woman on the banknotes.

They take this decision unilaterally, and seemingly according to the whims of the governor, who has the final say – before we put them on the spot, they intimated that Churchill was Mervyn King’s favourite politician, and that this decision was something of a parting gift to/from King. I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough.

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Banknotes have enormous cultural sway: they are present in every household, every person uses them – no-one can boycott banknotes or use a different product – we are stuck with them and the message they send. And the message they are to send come 2016 is that only white men have ever achieved anything worthy enough to be deserving of a position on our notes.

In a country where women still don’t have equal pay, where two women a week die from intimate partner violence, and where women are being all but scrubbed out of the national history curriculum, this matters. It reflects and perpetuates a culture where women have been routinely undermined and undervalued. It may be a small thing, but as amazing projects like Everyday Sexism prove, small things add up to a toxic culture where women are abused, undermined and made to feel unsafe on a regular basis.

My favourite contender for our banknotes would be Rosalind Franklin, simply because as well as being an incredible role model for women, who have too few women in science to look up to (mainly because they’ve all been forgotten), she is extraordinarily apt considering the conversation we’re having about women’s achievements being overlooked.

She was instrumental in discovering the DNA double helix, but instead she died pretty much unrecognised, with Watson and Crick taking all the glory and a Nobel Prize between them. It is a travesty that Franklin never achieved the recognition she deserved, and it is a travesty that this kind of female erasure is still going on in the 21st century.

As for what I need from the Bank, it’s really very simple. I don’t want to take them to court; it’s a waste of everyone’s time and money. All I want is for them to acknowledge that they did things wrong and to promise to put them right and use the Equality Act in future.

And there’s a very simple way out of this for them, because Darwin is an older note than Fry, so they could without much extra cost adapt the Churchill design to the £10, King still gets his last wish, and women don’t get deal yet another cultural slap in the face about how much their contributions matter.

Unfortunately, the Bank’s attitude is incredibly belligerent, even childish, so I doubt that they will take the dignified and adult route out of this. That being the case, I need to raise £13000 in order to be able to take them to court, where hopefully a judge will force them to abide by the law of the land.”

It should also be noted that if they don’t raise enough money to mount the legal challenge, or if they raise more than they need, that cash will go to charities including The Fawcett Society and Refuge which I think is fantastic.

Follow the campaign on Twitter @TheWomensRoomUK and at thewomensroom.org


Victorian Aristo Tattoo Crew

I’m reading an amazing book at the moment which I shall be writing about in more detail in the forthcoming ISSUE 13 of PAMFLET! That’s right, we are making a return to print this spring and we can’t wait.

But in the meantime, here’s a rather intriguing nugget of information that I came across in Fortune’s Daughters; The Extravagant Lives of the Jerome Sisters: Jennie Churchill, Clara Frewen and Leonie Leslie by Elisabeth Kehoe.

Jennie Jerome, or Lady Randolph Churchill – whatababe

Jennie Churchill aka Lady Randolph Churchill aka Winston’s mum was part of the Prince of Wales’ decadent, glamorous social circle. I was surprised to discover that the Prince and his crew were all deeply into tattooing! Kehoe explains:

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