November 1st, Feast of All Saints
During the week I went to see the movie Suffragette. The story is of a young mother, Maud, who becomes involved in the activities of the women’s organisation campaigning for the right of women to vote. Emmeline Pankhurst was the great leader of the movement in the UK. Through her influence Maud walked with other women to look for justice. She, along with other women, as portrayed in the movie was mocked, imprisoned, was put out of her home by her husband who then gave their son up for adoption. According to her husband she humiliated him by being part of the campaign. All of this caused her great pain and she mourned greatly the loss of her son and suffered tremendous physical pain by the prison system and was mocked and ignored by others in her workplace and street. The treatment the women received was quite ‘barbaric’. In reading the Gospel this week, Matthew 5:1-12 we reflect on the Beatitudes.
“Blessed are they…..” The right for women to vote in Switzerland did not happen until 1971! It has yet to happen in Saudi Arabia, “Blessed are they…..”
I think of all those women who hunger and thirst still in today’s world for what is right in their pursuit for justice. They mourn the loss of dignity, the pain inflicted on their children, the denial of equality. They are persecuted for being ‘woman’, they are poor for not having the same access, entitlements, a home, peace, to walk freely. These are women who seek justice and who hunger and thirst after it. Blessed are they…..
Edel Murphy O.P