Shopping for Equality – the Real Black Friday

Suffragette Ada Wright collapses through police violence on Black Friday

I wouldn’t leave the house today to go shopping if they were giving stuff away. Crowds make me nervous and crazy-people crowds are simply unbearable. For those who love to shop Black Friday (and Black Rest of the Crazypuffs Season) bless your hearts. For me, this is a welcome time to kick back, drink wine early, and read something interesting.

To wit: In idly perusing Google on the madness of Black Friday, I learned that Black Friday was not always associated with a chaotic dash for the latest bargain. Black Friday is linked to a number of historically significant events, most of which are dark and violent.

One example is the Black Friday of November 18, 1910, on which date a protest was waged by Suffragettes outside the British House of Commons of the Women’s Social and Political Union after the Conciliation Bill failed. It turns out that the fight for women’s right to vote in the U.K. was not won with tea and crumpets.

“… on Friday 18th November 1910) a suffragette deputation to the House of Commons met with a six hour onslaught of police brutality resulting in a the Suffragettes beginning a huge window smashing campaign in protest. The attack was so horrendous, the Suffragettes remembered the day it happened as ‘Black Friday’.”

This piece further illuminates the seriousness of this civil disobedience by noting that at least two women died as a result of their injuries that day and another woman, arrested a few days later, died from her injuries after being released from prison on Christmas Day 1910.

Life was extraordinarily difficult for women in the early 1900’s, with few rights and less representation. The stories of these pioneers give pause to be thankful for the many advances we have made, particularly as a result of the willingness of others to take a stand and make sacrifices to advance the rights of themselves and others.

Is life perfect now? Certainly not. But I am reminded to make an effort to appreciate all that makes life good.

Family, friends, good books, good wine, and no shopping on Black Friday – it’s all good!


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