Would the suffragettes have said #MeToo?

What would Emmeline Pankhurst or Millicent Fawcett have said to the film star Uma Thurman?

Thurman has claimed that the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape by multiple women, made unwanted, degrading and “unpleasant” sexual advances towards her at the Savoy hotel and in Paris. Mr Weinstein says he made an “awkward pass” at her but there was no physical contact.

Today marks the anniversary of the law giving women the first (limited) rights to vote in a general election, following the great female suffrage campaign in the 19th and early 20th centuries led by Fawcett and the Pankhursts. It takes place amid the uproar over serial accusations of sexual misconduct against men in public life, ranging from rape to groping or flirting.

Are today’s feminists fighting in the same cause as their suffragist forebears? Or has the patriarchal boot turned into a vengeful stiletto?

To read my whole Times column (£) please click here.

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