November 27, 1911, To the Editor of The Yorkshire Telegraph, “Businesslike Suffragettes”
A happy, if uncharacteristic, note of approbation is the theme of this letter to the Yorkshire Telegraph which had publicly proclaimed the “business capacity” of Suffragettes. As the letter develops it reveals Davison’s frustration with the cultural stereotypes of women as illogica and hysterical—an adjective that Davison particularly deprecates for the ancient sexist prejudice it conveys.
31 Coram Street, W.C.
Nov. 24, 1911
Sir, –The paragraph in your issue of November 23rd, headed ‘Business-like Suffragettes,’ testifies to the business capacity of Suffragettes. Now this is an especially valuable testimony, for one of the favourite allegations of anti-Suffragists is that women may not have a vote because women have no capacity for business. Put to the test, this is proved to be as great a fallacy as are any of the other fictions of ‘lordly males’ as to the want of logic, or the hysteria, or the incapacity of women. They entirely ignore the fact that if women have sometimes deserved these accusations it has been entirely due to men themselves, who have placed in the minds of women, whom they have kept in subjection, and whose morale has been consequently sapped, the powerful suggestions that these are their proper attributes.
But now that women are breaking their bonds and learning to think and act for themselves these fallacies are being steadily disproved, as in your own fair and impartial testimony—Yours, etc.,
EMILY WILDING DAVISON