Today we take for granted that women have the vote. They can also sit in government and become a nation's leader, if the electorate deems it so. There is still fine tuning to be done, but in theory gender is no longer a barrier to full social inclusion and responsibility.
This was not so in 1912. In fact, it was due to the efforts of the campaigners then that a series of events were set in motion, which led to universal suffrage now.
Allowing women to vote in elections was not only a radical idea, but a downright divisive one. It was akin to, say, the abortion or gay marriage debates occurring in the USA in 2012.
It wasn't a simple matter of 'yes' or 'no'. The very notion of it turned some people's stomachs. It seemed ungodly and against the natural order of things! Don't assume either that this was the reaction solely of men. The majority of women were also appalled at the idea that they should be anything but the 'weaker sex'.
For those in support, there were three categories:
The Suffragists sought to enact change through the men in power. They stated their cases in quiet interviews, with calm reasoning and diplomatic persuasion. They didn't get very far.
The Suffragettes would probably be called anarchists or terrorists today, as those are the media buzz-words to sideline any loud protest group. They used shock tactics, like chaining themselves to railings, breaking into the House of Commons or going on hunger strike. They included Emily Wilding Davison, who was killed in the course of protest.
Then there were people who agreed with the idea of women being able to vote, but who were repulsed by the aforementioned groups actually campaigning for it. These armchair intellectuals reasoned that the cause was right, but the reality was unseemly.
This was a time of rigid social order and very set rules on how one should behave in public. Many would rather die than be responsible for a breach of etiquette.
As the Titanic started to sink, the majority of those on board got their chance to actually do this. 1513 people perished in the disaster. Of that number, 89% were men.