Man perfectly shuts down troll who mocked a feminist icon

Thursday 06 April 2017 11:30
Picture:(Carl Court/Getty Images)

Millicent Fawcett.

If you're unfamiliar with the name, she was an English feminist and political leader who was primarily known for her campaign of suffrage to secure the vote for women.

In 1875 she co-founded Newnham College, Cambridge, improving women's opportunities for higher education.

A memorial incription added to the monument of Henry Fawcett in Westminster Abbey in 1932 reads that she:

Won citizenship for women.

The Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein recently wrote a column about the erecting of a statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square - given that the 11 statues of historical political figures currently only commemorate men.

He wrote in his eloquent piece:

In Parliament Square we will also be erecting a monument that says to all who visit Britain and all who want to live here that we have decided that equality for women is one of the great British values, and the insistence upon it one of the things that — however imperfect we are at it — makes us British.

He is of course, correct.

However, some disagreed.

One commenter wrote:


An outrider on the road to women's suffrage and equality. Never heard of her and could care less about who stole her or her husband's purse in 1877. If history bypassed this lady there is probably a reason. Put her statue up, but most people will pass it by and say the same as me:


To which FInkelstein replied:

We all have gaps in our knowledge, of course, even on important things. And we all try and fill those gaps when the opportunity arises.

In your case, however, you are an outlier. I am most impressed. People often try and cover for their ignorance and to imply (even when untrue) that they are keen to learn. You, however, have the courage to boast of it in a national newspaper.


The campaign to erect a statue of Millicent Fawcett is led by Caroline Criado-Perez, a feminist writer who noticed and tweeted the reply:

She also had a few follow-up points:

A statue of Dame Millicent Fawcett is to be erected in Parliament Square next year to commemorate the 100 years since women gained the vote in the UK.

Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, Sam Smethers, said:

We are delighted that Millicent Fawcett, the woman who led the constitutional campaign for votes for women, will finally be honoured.

A statue of her in Parliament Square will be a fitting tribute. Her contribution was great but she has been overlooked and unrecognised until now. By honouring her we also honour the wider suffrage movement. The Fawcett Society will be using the centenary next year to tell that story in all its diversity.

None of this would have happened without the campaign that Caroline Criado-Perez launched last year for a suffrage statue in Parliament Square.  That campaign won widespread support from J.K. Rowling to the Mayor of London. This statue is also a tribute to her and a testament to what one woman can achieve on behalf of all women.

More: This man has a simple test to prove if you are a feminist