October 4, 1912, The Newcastle Daily Chronicle
The same day the letter above appeared in The Morpeth Herald, the letter below
appeared in The Newcastle Daily Chronicle. The two letters represent the two sides
of Davison’s journalistic personality, quick to adapt its tone and rhetoric to match its
opponent: the first more urbane and reasoned, the second, written in response to what
she describes as an ignorant and ill-informed prejudice, is full of strong modifiers as
well as some sarcasm, moving quickly from point to point, ending with the touch of a
rapier, a reference not only to the militancy of the women’s cause, but also to Davison’s
own strong prose.
Sir,–The letter in your issue to-day (and last night) signed “Danallis” shows the
most extraordinary conception of the value of the individual, worthy only of ante-
Reform days, when the workingman of town and country was looked upon as a
selfish and dangerous scum of the earth, because he was so presumptuous as to
think he had a right to work and a right to live! It is true that nowadays he has not
quite established either claim, but nobody at any rate dares to term him “scum”!
Such is the value of the vote!
Your brilliant correspondent evidently consults neither statistics nor
blatant facts in asserting that the single working woman “lives only for herself.”
He apparently blinds himself to the common knowledge that nowadays the
breadwinner for father, mother, brothers and sisters is only too often the single
woman, whom he beatifically curses. He further ignores the fact that, even if
not so encumbered, the single woman has to support herself because her male
relatives set her a far more blatant example of selfishness in that they tell her to
pay up, sweat and shut up, which curiously enough, she is no longer willing to do!
Hence when she expresses her opinion of their conduct in no measured terms by
weapons even more trenchant than her tongue, it is no wonder if “Danallis” and
his like smart and fume a little. There is no such roarer as your Braggadoccio [braggart]
when he is tenderly tickled with the point of the rapier! –Yours, etc.
EMILY WILDING DAVISON
Longhorsley, Oct. 3