An evening at the American Embassy


There was a time when most of my invites were for those dull parties where household products and jewellery were sold. I now seem to have been elevated on to another list.

Totally out of the blue, I have this evening been invited to the American Embassy by the Ambassador and his wife, Robert and Maria Tuttle. I’m taking my mother Loula with me to share the fun.

We are going to commemorate International Women’s Day by watching the film Iron Jawed Angels, which describes the courage of American suffragettes.  Awe-inspiring, gritty stuff which I know I will really enjoy.

There will afterwards be a discussion with panelists Lesley Abdela, who actively promotes international women’s rights and I met last year at the Conservative Women’s Conference; Lucy Richman Baruch, whose mother was good friends with American suffragette Alice Paul who is featured in the film; historian Dr Harriet Jones; and Prof Anne Philips, Professor of Gender Theory.

I am so thrilled to have the chance to meet such interesting women, thrilled I can take my widowed mother too who lives in a small town and doesn’t get out much. She still has no idea what blogging is all about, no matter how many times I try and explain, but I’m sure that’s what I have to thank for this lovely invite.


  1. Chris, I am so glad you posted those links, it’s amazing how word gets round in blogosphere. Many thanks again for a lovely evening.

    I did particularly seeing Lesley Abdela again, I could listen to her talk about her work for hours, but even better, I would love to join her on one of her overseas trips to help promote democracy for women.

  2. Chris Dunnett

    Elle – I am glad that you were pleased to be invited to the Embassy and that you enjoyed the evening. It is also great that you have shared your thoughts with others through your blog. If any of your readers are interested there is a blurb on our Embassy website about the event at and more about women’s issues at

    Elle – Don’t worry, it’s not “Big Brother” monitoring your thoughts. Somebody who saw your blog entry happened to send me the link 3rd or 4th hand. It thought it was great so just thought I would respond.

    Chris Dunnett
    Assistant Cultural Attache
    U.S. Embassy London

  3. Unfortuantely, Prof Philips was unable to attend as her mother was taken to hospital. The film was very thought provoking, though spoilt by its glossed up Hollywood style.I thought the Senator’s wife was the bravest, she risked losing her children, she had to stand up to the anger of her husband who stopped her allowance. She was imprisoned and went on hunger strike, she was truly courageous, as were all the suffragettes. It made me feel proud to be a woman.

  4. Tom A, don’t be a wally. It’s tax

  5. Sounds an amazing evening, I hope it went well – and that your mum had a lovely time.

  6. What an excellent post Ellee! and very well done on taking your mum. I’m really thrilled at the way your world is opening up. It couldn’t happen to a better person.

  7. Hi Ellee – you go and have a wonderful time. I look forward to the day that female role models include more than just Victoria Beckham (well that’s the way it feels sometimes). Sounds great! Michelle

  8. electro-kevin

    An achievement on your part, Ellee – well done.
    Just don’t mention an end to women’s suffrage, they’d probably vote for it !

  9. Gosh! will I have to call you “ma’am” from now on? ;o)

  10. Hi Elle,
    hope you and your mum have a lovely evening.
    I guess that is a ‘private viewing’ at the US Embassy – so do you think the US is ready for a ‘woman’ President?
    The only thing i find bizarre is that in that series with whatshername playing the female US President, she spends an awful lot of time as Commander in Chief threatening China or whatever country with war.
    Do you think the US will ever have a President whether male or female who is not engaged in some war (cold or hot) and concentrates more on national issues and International diplomacy, and less on military intervention or trying to impose US interest and global US$ hegemony. After all just as sixty years ago the mighty British Empire had to bow to the economic (and military) supremacy of the US, the US will inevitably have to bow to the economic powerhouse that is China in the next 20 to 50 years, or will the US drag the world into WWIII in some pathetic ‘macho’ attempt to remain top dog.

  11. Nice one. Grab a doggy bag of Ferrero Rochers while you’re there, will you?

  12. If the kind of academic Alan describes doesn’t already exist, I’m happy to volunteer my services…
    Maybe you could mention that to Prof. Philips, Ellee?
    I’m happy to provide interactive seminars if it helps…

  13. You are so lucky to meet such interesting people, Ellee!

  14. Ian Lidster

    I look foward to hearing all about your time at the embassy. Sounds interesting. I envy you being much closer to the centre of things and places. When I was briefly in London in November I cursed the fact I had to depart so quickly after a very brief stay.


  15. Alan, I personally don’t see the point of a job title that nine-tenths of the population don’t understand. I’m sure the kind of academic you are suggesting already exists.

  16. Dear Ellee,

    My mind is somewhat boggled by the job title of “Professor of Gender Theory”.

    Were these the people who advised God, way back when ? Or …

    And are there equivalent posts in “Professor of Gender Practical”, which one would assume are far more fun ?

    Alan Douglas

  17. While you’re there, could you please congratulate the American Ambassador on his refusal to pay the congestion charge.

    Have a good evening.


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