Difference Between Suffragists and Suffragettes

Suffragists vs Suffragettes

Suffragette and suffragist are two words that are derived from the same word suffrage that means the right to vote. In the western world, particularly the UK and the US, women were denied the right to vote till the end of the 19th century that led to protests and demonstrations. Both suffragists and suffragettes took part in these movements until women were given their due right of suffrage.

Suffragist is a term that the members of the women’s groups working for right to suffrage used for themselves. These were not just women but all those who supported the cause of the women and advocated in favor of women to be given voting rights. In contrast, suffragette is a term used for the women members of the groups fighting for voting rights for women. Thus, it was a feminine form of the generic term suffragist.

The differences between suffragists and suffragettes do not end there as it was seen that suffragists were peaceful in their ways, whereas suffragettes were sometimes aggressive and violent in their action and approach. Suffragettes were of the view that they had to go to extremes to make those who were in power to hear their voices. This is why suffragettes indulged in arson, window smashing, protests, and demonstrations. These women chained themselves from railings in public places to draw the attention of the people. They also burnt mail boxes to arouse the interest and attention of the people. On the other hand, suffragists believed in the policy of protesting in a more peaceful and meaningful manner. They drafted letters and sent them to their representatives. Suffragists and suffragettes both worked towards universal women’s suffrage, but they were always at crossroads.

What is the difference between Suffragists and Suffragettes?

• Suffragist is a generic term that includes not just women but also men who supported the cause of women’s suffrage.

• Suffragette is a term used to refer to women members of the groups that were violent and aggressive and indulged in acts of violence to draw attention of people to their cause.

• Suffragists behaved in a peaceful manner and sent letters to their elected representatives to raise voice in their support.