Monday, September 11, 1911, To the Editor of The Standard. “Women on Juries”
This letter shows how, in the absence of facts, Davison is always ready with a logical
explanation for a perceived failure of women’s sense of responsibility. The reason she gives is
not a trivial one. Many suffragettes discovered in prison that facilities adequate to women’s
needs were not routinely provided. She is delicate in her assertion, but nonetheless touches
on a major hindrance to women as public citizens, the lack of adequate toilet facilities in
Sir, in your issue of Saturday, you give an account of the difficulties which appear to be
arising in Washington State, owing to the fact that women will not serve on juries, a civic
responsibility which comes upon them as a result of their enfranchisement. One is tempted
to point out, however, that there are probably special circumstances, which have forced
the women who were put down for duty to protest and to reject the duty. One seems to
be that they had not proper accommodation provided for them in their deliberations. It is
quite evident that where juries may have to discuss a case for some hours, where there is
a mixed jury, special arrangements may be necessary. Such facts as these must be made
clear before the charge is hurled against the women of Washington of wanting full civic
privileges without full civic responsibilities.
There is another thought to be put forward—that owing to the far better
consideration given to women in the United States women do not feel the same need for a
fairer chance before the law as is felt by English women, who would fain serve on juries.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
EMILY WILDING DAVISON
31, Coram-Street, W.C.