Christabel Pankhurst and the Smethwick Election: right-wing feminism, the Great War and the ideology of consumption

Academic Article


  • This article examines the roots of Christabel Pankhurst's Women's Party in the Women's Social and Political Union's adoption of right-wing feminism during the Great War. It explores the blending of radical-right and imperialist ideology with a feminist agenda that combined a demand for women's rights with an anti-Bolshevik economic policy based on the power of female consumers. This blending of feminism and nationalism won Christabel the ‘coupon’ endorsement of the Lloyd George coalition and became the ideological platform for her parliamentary campaign in the Smethwick election. Although Christabel lost the election by 775 votes, it is contended that the Women's Party platform offers clues to the attraction of right-wing ideology to some notable figures in the women's movement.
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • June 2014
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 330
  • End Page

  • 346
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 3