AS the UK celebrated the 100-year anniversary of some women getting the vote last week, you may have thought that social media could finally unite around a positive thing – but, of course, you’d be wrong.

Soon, discontent became apparent. Many women, including little old me, became just a little peeved at the lack of recognition for working-class women in the suffrage struggle. Because while it is a milestone absolutely worth celebrating, it’s also one worth holding to historical accuracy. The story is one of important progress for women, but it is also a story of class discrimination, and that day 100 years ago was actually as important for working-class men as it was for women.

It was the day that all men over 21 became entitled to vote, but not all women. Votes for women were tied to property ownership and age, meaning young, working-class and poor women were given no place in our democracy. Until that point, the same discrimination had applied to working-class men. It would be 10 years later before all women became entitled to the same voting rights as all men.

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One tweeter, Ella, posted: “We had a guest lecturer in today, and the first slide of her presentation said ‘today marks 100 years SOME women were granted the vote’ and I fell a little bit in love with her because no one seems to want to acknowledge only white, high society women got the vote first.”

I posted a couple of tweets of my own touching on the subject, but took a step back when I saw some of the responses and realised I was being accidentally sucked into the Twitter wars of identity politics that are ripping equality causes apart.

And this is my beef with the whole thing. As a working-class woman from a line of incredible working-class men and women throughout my family, I feel a sense of duty to make sure that historical class inconvenience isn’t overlooked in the story. Too often, our voices have been silent. It shouldn’t be controversial in feminist circles to give a firm nudge from time to time and remind our sisters in higher classes that their social status comes with benefits we don’t get. It doesn’t need to be a confrontational conversation, it’s just one that needs to be had.

But I found myself growing strangely irritated by the way the overall theme of progress was being interrupted by, well, folk like me. There was an abrasive tone to some of it; some feminists in 2018 were exuding a sense of personal persecution over the day’s celebrations.

It’s ironic how those who really believe they are part of a collective movement fighting for equality for all can so often be completely consumed by their own needs and identity – and I accept the need to point the finger at myself from time to time. Most of us have been guilty of it.

It begins to take precedence over everything else. The current trend of identity politics is one of the most brutally self-absorbed, individualistic obsessions you’ll encounter, masquerading as a justifiable political cause. The march towards equality has been hijacked by what seems like a fashionable hipster offshoot. It’s a culture where participants thrive in the luxury of having hours to waste on social media lamenting their inequality with educated academic debate – apparently completely unaware of the glaring irony.

I can only imagine what the suffragettes would have said to today’s squabbling factions on Twitter arguing over language, and policing words and thoughts in a self-appointed crusade.

It’s too easy a trap to fall into on social media, and I didn’t want to be pulled into it yet again. The Representation Of The People Act 1918 was a huge step forward, even if it wasn’t for all women on that day. Eventually it was – excluding, of course, in Northern Ireland, where the civil rights movement against the shameful discriminatory tie between property and voting rights was the precursor to The Troubles decades later – but it wasn’t the end of the story and women’s struggles continue.

So yes, the anniversary of some women getting the vote is also an anniversary of some women not getting the vote. Which side of that coin people focus their energies on highlights the difference between savvy political understanding of effective campaigning and the grievance politics of identity.

Let’s allow progress to inspire us, not use it as a tool to beat one another with. The identity politics generation needs to grow up fast before it begins unravelling the foundations so many others sacrificed so much to make.