Today happens to be 62nd anniversary of the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II to the British throne. Further back in time, on this date in 1918 – Britain granted women, aged 30 & over, the vote. A poster as part of the suffragette campaign highlighted how women could be a Mayor, Nurse, Mother, Doctor or Teacher, or Factory Hand (so contributing to society), but not have a vote, whilst men could be a convict, “lunatic”, proprietor of white slaves, unfit for service, or a drunkard (so not fully part of society as it was perceived in the early twentieth century). In later years, equality in the vote was achieved for all at aged 18. To me this is a reminder that there are many in history to whom we have to be thankful, who have ((however slowly) moved things forward so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do today.
Whilst we may appreciate these freedoms, we also need to think about how we help others: those less capable, or without the financial or educational privileges that many of us have had, or continue to have – to gain a voice, and a sense of that freedom, so that all can both receive and contribute fully to our communities. As Matthew 25:40 says‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.