Miss Jane Bull: “Give me a bit of your Franchise cake, Johnnie.”
Master Johnnie Bull: “It wouldn’t be good for you.”
Miss Jane Bull: “How can you tell if you won’t let me try it? It doesn’t hurt those other little girls.”
Printed and Published by the Artists’ Suffrage League,
259, King’s Road, Chelsea.
The card includes a dialogue between Jane Bull and Johnnie Bull in which Jane asks to share some of the ‘franchise cake’ that Johnnie is eating. When Johnnie responds that it wouldn’t be good for her, Jane points out that it hasn’t hurt the girls; children from Finland, New Zealand, Australia and Norway sit in pairs sharing food.
In all of these countries women had equal voting rights (in 1905, 1893, 1902, 1907 respectively). The description of this card at Museum of London points out that Jane ‘towers over’ Johnnie, indicative of the growing suffrage movement. They also note that the message is a direct challenge to anti-suffrage supporters who believed that the social order would be disrupted if women were allowed to vote by pointing out that this has not been the case in the named countries.
The ‘Franchise cake’ postcard is also discussed in McDonald (1989) and in McQuiston (1997) and is online at the Women’s Library.
In a chapter entitled ‘Consuming images: women, hunger, and the vote’ Linda Schlossberg discusses this postcard and another (Everything for Him – Nothing at all for Her also published by the Artists’ Suffrage League) and argues that WSPU propaganda often represented the fight for suffrage as ‘a struggle […] over the distribution of food’ and the ’sexual politics of hunger’ (p.95).
These cards were all printed and published by the Artists’ Suffrage League, and has two sets of initials—CH & JM—representing C Hedley Charlton and unknown.
Ian McDonald (1989) Vindication: A postcard history of the woman’s movement. Deirdre McDonald Books.
Liz McQuiston (1997) Suffragettes to She-Devils: Women’s liberation and beyond. London: Phaidon.
Linda Schlossberg (2003) ‘Consuming images: women, hunger, and the vote’ in Tamar Heller & Patricia Moran, Editors, Scenes of the Apple: Food and the Female Body in Nineteenth- and Twentieth Century Women’s Writing, pp. 87-107.