British Suffragettes Resist Taxes, Census

The Vote

An editorial in the issue of The Vote, , reflected on the census boycott that the Women’s Freedom League had conducted, and included these remarks:

It must not be supposed that, by regarding the protest as successful, we imagine that a Votes for Women Bill will be hurried through Parliament. We know that is not immediately likely, but we also know that we have opened an avenue of protest which, if followed logically and consistently, cannot fail to win us victory within a reasonable time. A criterion which is sometimes used in judging of an individual action is to imagine the action to be repeated by large numbers of people. How oeven have we heard the remark uttered in a reproachful voice, “What if everyone were to do that!” as sufficient condemnation of certain actions. Applying the criterion to this boycott and to tax resistance, we can imagine the tremendous effect produced on the politician if the population was returned as consisting of about twenty-four million males and no females! and if the twenty-five million pounds sterling now paid by women in direct taxation were withdrawn by the policy of passive resistance. Were this to happen, women would be enfranchised this Session. We must aim at rousing in larger and larger numbers of women a sense of their responsibility in this matter, and to a wide application of passive resistance along various lines as opportunity offers.


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