I imagine a young Emmeline Pankhurst's Mum despaired over her tiny daughter's strong-willed determination at everything. I wonder if some days she wondered if she could handle another debate over the simplest of things. I wonder if there were days when she considered trying to get Emmeline to just being so opinionated.
I'm childfree-by-choice, but as my life fills with young female friends, I find myself thinking about what I want to pass on to them - in a wise-woman way. If I'd had a daughter when I was thirty, she would be eighteen now. So these are the things I'd like to say to her, and weirdly, lots of them are things my mother said to me...
As a young girl there's plenty about the world that I don't want her to know about yet (as my scrambling for the remote to switch away from inappropriate TV reveals). Equally though, there's some wisdom and guidance she should know now, over half-way (wait, what?) through her pre-teen childhood. So here it is.
So let's return to that young girl in the art gallery for I believe she can, symbolically speaking, help guide us through this tangled maze. Certainly, she provides us with our first important clue, about the many ways that adolescence itself turns so many confident outward- looking girls into anxious and uncertain young women.
My mother never really wore make up when I was a child. She didn't spend hours in the morning putting her face on, straightening her hair or painting her nails. She never French plaited my hair, dressed me up in frilly clothes that I had to 'keep clean', threw me a mini-makeover party or bought me sparkly princess shoes.