Thursday, July 25, 2013

Today -100: July 25, 1913: Of massacres, plural voting, and the Piccadilly Flat


Bulgaria is complaining to every European power which will listen that Turkey violated the Treaty of London, which ended the First Balkan War, by attacking Bulgaria. It also complains of Turkish massacres. The Turks say they only invaded because of Bulgarian massacres.

The British House of Lords votes down the bill abolishing plural voting (one person being able to vote several times, based on owning property in multiple constituencies or having university degrees).

There’s a minor scandal going on in Britain. The police raided a brothel in Piccadilly (the door was answered by a woman in a sexy nurse costume), arrested the madame, Queenie Gerald, and then made very sure that her papers naming her clients, rumored to include numerous members of Parliament, disappeared. For her silence, Gerald got a suspiciously light sentence. Suffragists will make a meal of this case for many months to come (and Labour MP Keir Hardie will publish a pamphlet). In The Suffragette of this date, Christabel Pankhurst explains that prostitution is the fault of “the Anti-Suffrage theory of life.... Anti-Suffragists see in woman, sex and nothing more.” She mentions that the Piccadilly Flat saw all sorts of practices and, um, instruments (whips, she means whips). The magistrate who oversaw this case (and barred the public from his court) will show much less leniency to suffragettes that appear before him.

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