Why did the suffragettes get force fed?

Believing they had found a powerful weapon with which to fight an obdurate Liberal government, other imprisoned suffragettes began hunger striking too. The government responded by forcibly feeding them, arguing that this “ordinary hospital treatment” was necessary to preserve the women’s lives.

Why did the suffragettes go on a hunger strike?

In both Great Britain and North America, the immediate motivation for suffragists to embark on hunger strikes was the demand to be considered a political prisoner. Dunlop and other suffragists sought public sympathy when they refused to eat, playing on popular ideas that white female bodies were vulnerable and passive.

Why did Alice Paul refuse to eat in jail?

In response to the hunger strike, prison doctors put Alice Paul in a psychiatric ward. They threatened to transfer her to an insane asylum. Still, she refused to eat. Afraid that she might die, doctors force fed her.

What did Alice Paul eat?

During her sentence in Virginia, Paul was placed in solitary confinement. Her diet of bread and water weakened her so much that she was taken to the prison hospital. But instead of eating more, Paul decided to use the strategy she’d learned in England eight years before: a hunger strike.

Is force-feeding a human rights violation?

“The Israeli Medical Association has said that force-feeding is tantamount to torture. United Nations human rights experts have called it a violation of internationally-protected human rights. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E.

Is force-feeding unethical?

never ethically acceptable… feeding accompanied by threats, coercion, force or use of physical restraints is a form of inhuman and degrading treatment” (Thomas). A doctor or nurse assisting in techniques such as force-feeding violates medical ethics and constitutes medical complicity in torture.

Were there any male suffragettes?

Some men actively played a part in militant suffragette activity. One man who played a leading role was Frederick Pethick-Lawrence, joint editor of the publication ‘Votes for Women’ with his wife Emmeline. Frederick Pethick-Lawrence was imprisoned, went on hunger-strike and was forcibly fed on many occasions.

What is force feeding suffragette prisoners?

Force-feeding: an abuse of women’s bodies. The forcible feeding of hunger striking suffragette prisoners between 1909 and 1914 was an abuse of women’s bodies. The prisoner was usually held down on a bed by female wardresses or tied to a chair which wardresses then tipped back.

How did the government respond to the a suffragettes?

The public largely frowned upon the act of force feeding, especially as many of the A Suffragettes were young women from middle class families. As a result of public disapproval, the government ended force feeding with the Cat and Mouse Act of 1913, which released prisoners once they were weakened by hunger.

What happened to suffragettes on hunger strike?

This was how imprisoned suffragette Mary Richardson described one of the many times she was forcibly fed in 1914, after going on hunger strike. Her fate was that of many members of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), founded by Emmeline Pankhurst in October 1903 to campaign for the parliamentary vote for women in Britain.

When did the WSPU force feed suffragettes?

When forcible feeding of suffragettes began in 1909 there was widespread condemnation, not only from the WSPU leaders, but also from prominent public figures, such as George Bernard Shaw and the Labour MP, Keir Hardie.