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Socialist Feminism, 1911 Style.

The poem below was one of a series of poems for my mother, Amy Herbert, by David Isaacs, a family friend. It was written in 1911 (when she was six).That her doll would be a suffragette might be taken for granted. The reason her teddy-bear was known to be a socialist was that he had a red ribbon round his neck.

It shows that the relationship between feminism and other progressive political movements was an issue even at that time. If only the problems could be solved as easily as in the poem!

My Teddy-bearís a Socialist:
My dollís a Suffragette.
He waves a little dumpy fist
In arguments one canít resist;
But she cannot forget
That, though he is a Socialist,
She is a Suffragette.

At night, when I have gone to bed,
They talk about their views.
And once he begged, ďAh! Wear the red!Ē
But ďWomen must be free!Ē she said;
Though she could scarce refuse,
One night, when I had gone to bed,
To listen to his views.

My Teddy-bear, the Socialist,
My doll, the Suffragette,
Since one the other canít resist,
Have plighted troth and gravely kissed.
And, now their lips have met,
My dolly is a Socialist
And Tedís a Suffragette!

©
David Isaacs

 

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