The Suffragette

The Suffragette

I used to want to change the world.

I used to look around me at all that was broken and try to work out how I could fix it.

But then my world smashed apart and I found I no longer had a way to carry all the broken things around me. Or the headspace to care.

That is perhaps the biggest thing I lost on the 30th of October 2014.

I used to want to change the world.

Somewhere in my mum’s house, there is a painting of me, pregnant and naked, holding a purple sash to partly cover my modesty. It’s entitled “The Suffragette”. I feel it important to point out that she named it, not me. She wanted to encapsulate the way that I had grown up seeking to be the voice of the voiceless, to right wrongs and stamp out injustices.

Now, I was never going to hang it on my wall (it would make meeting to eyes of my dinner guests a little difficult). But I feel as if I’ve betrayed that portrait.

I have righted no wrongs in the last 7 years. 

I have stood up for no one other than myself and my child.

I think if there was a portrait now, it would be of a tired and bowed woman, clutching a duvet and a bottle of wine (malbec, obviously). Broken and bloody, and jaded. 

I grew up convinced that I was going to change the world. That I was going to do something amazing. That I was going to make things better.

But death shoved blinkers onto my head, and I find myself only able to concentrate on what is best for me and mine. 

Single parenthood

Financial stress


Raising a baby in a pandemic

An anxious child

I’m not going to change the world.

I can barely remember to change a lightbulb.

2 thoughts on “The Suffragette

  1. Now hold on there just a moment! Who said you had to change the global world? You changed a small boy’s broken world to being a happier one, that now contains a little sister, you changed another man’s world by agreeing to be his wife. Small changes, but changes nonetheless. A mighty oak from a little acorn grows, a stone makes many ripples, you may not live to see the changes you have brought about, I am sure that the broken things that you have mended are countless, even if you do not see them at this moment in time.


  2. Dear Suffragette, the painting remains loud and proud and still ENTIRELY accurate. Do not confuse the big, brash, enormous shouty things with the really important stuff. You teach your children and your friends on a daily basis that the world can be a fairer place. That we are all equal that little black dolls are as valuable as little white dolls, that the planet needs saving and it starts with stuffing crisp packets into plastic bottles and visiting the zero waste shop to grind your own peanut butter. You teach your followers that they too ‘can’. You show that the world and its opportunities are limitless and that forgiveness and love are the most important forces out there. You made us all vote and write wills and contemplate mortality.You are still the suffragette I painted and you have let no one down xxx


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