Hellen Nellie McClung A Canadian Feminist Essay
Hellen Nellie McClung: A Canadian Feminist Essay, Research Paper
Hellen Nellie McClung: A Canadian Feminist
Helen & # 8220 ; Nellie & # 8221 ; Laetitia Mooney was born October 20, 1873 in a log cabin
on Garafraxa Road, two kilometres from Chatsworth, Ontario. She and her household
moved to Manitoba when she was six old ages old.
One of Nellie & # 8217 ; s best influences was her female parent. Her household & # 8217 ; s influence
was no uncertainty the ground she became an militant. Her female parent thought that every
kid had the right to an instruction, and her whole household encouraged her to
learn all she could. ( 9, Wright ) Nellie at age 10, went to school at
Northfield School. This is where her instruction started.
Nellie & # 8217 ; s dream was to be a instructor like her sister Hannah. Teaching was
one of the few occupations open to adult females. She started her & # 8216 ; ocean trip & # 8217 ; at age 15 by
go throughing the Second Class Teachers & # 8217 ; Examination. She went on to gain a higher
learning certification at Winnipeg Collegiate in 1893. She went on to learn at
Hazel Public School near Manitou, Manitoba.
We study Nellie McClung because she was an internationally celebrated
women’s rightist and societal militant. Her success as a platform talker was legendary.
Her earliest success was achieved as a author, and during her drawn-out calling she
authored four novels, two novelettes, three aggregations of short narratives, a two-
volume autobiography and assorted aggregations of addresss, articles and wartime
authorship, to a sum of 16 volumes. Two of her most celebrated books are:
Uncluttering In The West and The Stream Runs Fast. All this served as a & # 8220 ; pulpit & # 8221 ;
from which McClung could prophesy her Gospel of feminist activism and societal
transmutation. She was convinced that God & # 8217 ; s purpose for creative activity was a & # 8220 ; Fair
Deal & # 8221 ; for everyone ; and that Canada, peculiarly the prairie West, was a
perfect topographic point to get down to convey that about. Women & # 8217 ; s right to vote, moderation and
the ordination of adult females were anchors in the conflict & # 8211 ; engaged. In contrast to
modern-day stereotypes, with a humor and obliging wit that won over enemies
as it delighted her Alliess.
Nellie was a funny miss, she was ever inquiring inquiries. This was
non normally seen among misss in her clip. As a little kid she would desire to
participate in athleticss with the male childs, although she was ever told she wasn & # 8217 ; T
allowed. & # 8220 ; I was trusting at that place would be a race for misss under 10, or that misss
might come in with the male childs. But the whole inquiry of misss viing in races
was frowned on. Skirts would wing upward and legs would demo! And it was non
Nice for small misss, or large 1s either, to demo their legs. & # 8221 ; ( 2, Wright )
As many great philosophers do, Nellie would ever inquire: Why? It seemed
as though she ever had to acquire an reply. She loved to believe, dream about one
twenty-four hours seeing work forces and adult females as peers. Nellie was ever seeking to do everybody
equal. During her instruction yearss, she would form football ( every bit good as other
athleticss ) and allow the misss take part along side with the male childs.
Nellie was foremost introduced to the feminist motion by a adult female named
Annie McClung. It was Annie who foremost inspired Nellie to take a base for
adult females & # 8217 ; s rights. ( 16, Wright ) Annie & # 8217 ; s boy ( Wesley ) was besides the adult male who Nellie
married. She married at the age of 23 in a Presbyterian Church in Wawanesa,
Nellie shortly after her matrimony, devoted her life to assisting adult females
battle for a better universe. She saw excessively many adult females being mistreated by their
bibulous hubbies. She saw intoxicant as a major job, hubbies would acquire rummy
and so assail the adult females. Nellie though that if adult females obtained the right to
ballot, they could win in altering the spirits Torahs. Nellie was non entirely in
this position. In Britain and the United States, every bit good as in Canada, the demand
for adult females & # 8217 ; s right to vote was closely linked with the demand for prohibition. ( 24,
Benham ) One of the grounds why prohibition was linked to the battle for
adult females & # 8217 ; s rights in the early 1900s was that a married woman had about no legal control
so over how a hubby spent his wage. Tragically, some hubbies spent it on
spirits instead than on nutrient and vesture for their household. Nellie subsequently joined
the W.C.T.U. ( Women & # 8217 ; s Christian Temperance Union ) . The intent of the W.C.T.U.
was to contend the maltreatment of intoxicant.
Nellie & # 8217 ; s intelligence and humor helped her greatly throughout her long
political calling. Her favourite reading was a set of books by the great English
novelist, Charles Dickens. Nellie & # 8217 ; s brother Will had given her Dickens & # 8217 ; novels.
She admired Dickens as a author and she
dreamed of making for the people around
her what Dickens had done for his people. She wanted to open the eyes of
Canadians to the sad state of affairs of those among them who were being taken
advantage of and below the belt treated.
Most people thought that a adult female & # 8217 ; s topographic point was in the place and that a
adult female & # 8217 ; s function was to pull a hubby. But in matrimony a married woman had no legal
It was non merely Nellie that was contending for adult females & # 8217 ; s rights, many people
in other states were every bit good. One of the other major states was Britain,
which started the most of import organisation to contend for adult females & # 8217 ; s right to vote:
Women & # 8217 ; s Social and Political Union. It was formed in 1903 by Mrs. Emmeline
Pankhurst. The battle for adult females & # 8217 ; s right to vote became more hawkish after
1905. ( 37, Benham ) Some adult females were allowed in Britain to vote in 1918. Ten
old ages subsequently all female British citizens eventually received the same right to vote
as work forces. ( 40, Benham ) By the same twelvemonth American adult females had obtained equal vote
rights with work forces in 15 of the United Sates.
Nellie worked difficult to acquire the ballot for adult females. The Premier of Manitoba
disagreed with Nellie & # 8217 ; s positions. He stated that & # 8216 ; nice adult females & # 8217 ; did non desire the
ballot. In response to this she was quoted stating to the Prime Minister ( Rodmond Roblin )
& # 8220 ; By nice adult females & # 8230 ; you likely mean selfish adult females who have no more idea for
the underprivileged overworked adult females than a pussycat in a sunny window for the
hungering kitten in the street. Now in that sense I am non a nice adult female for I do
care. & # 8221 ; ( 50, Wright ) Finally on January 10, 1916 a measure to give the ballot to the
adult females of Manitoba was introduced into the provincial legislative assembly. Manitoba had
go the first state to ordain a measure for adult females & # 8217 ; s right to vote. ( 57, Wright )
This was mostly due to Nellie & # 8217 ; s attempts, every bit good as many requests. She was
non content with this major accomplishment but wanted to assist all the adult females of
Canada. Four old ages subsequently Nellie McClung captivated an audience in Montreal with
a well-argued and witty address. Finally, in 1918 the federal authorities gave
to most adult females of Quebec, the right to vote in federal elections. ( 58, Wright )
Another quotation mark of Nellie & # 8217 ; s was & # 8230 ; & # 8220 ; Another problem is that if work forces start to vote
they will vote excessively much. Politicss unsettles work forces, and unsettled work forces mean
unsettled measures & # 8211 ; broken furniture, broken vows, and & # 8211 ; divorce & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; ( 54, Wright )
After adult females obtained more rights, over clip, it paved the manner to the
credence of adult females in political occupations. Nellie McClung had been elected a
Broad member of the Alberta provincial legislative assembly in 1921. Unfortunately in
1926 she was defeated in an election.
In 1936 she became the lone adult female member appointed to the Board of
Governors of the CBC. Besides, in 1938 at the age of 65, she was the lone Canadian
adult female delegate to the League of Nations. Sir Robert Borden, Canadian prime
curate, recognized Nellie & # 8217 ; s parts to Canada when he appointed her the
merely adult female member of the Dominion War Council.
Nellie did many things as a women’s rightist, and in add-on to her impressive
sketch she besides raised five kids. All her life Nellie took a strong
involvement in the public assistance of human existences. This involvement was reflected in her
love of peace and fright of war.
As she entered old age, Nellie suffered a series of bosom onslaughts. She
unluckily passed off in 1951, at age 78. Right up until the terminal of her
life Nellie remained interested in adult females & # 8217 ; s rights. Shortly before her decease she
said confidently: & # 8220 ; I believe the twenty-four hours is coming when all bars will be allow down
and all chances thrown unfastened to women. & # 8221 ; ( 68, Wright )
Nellie McClung proved adult females were capable of being responsible, utile
members of society while still staying loving female parent and married womans at the same
clip. She is a reflecting illustration of the finding, strength and bravery which
our Canadian adult females possess. ( 29, McCarthy ) One adult female can do a difference!
McClung, Nellie In Times Like These University of Toronto Press, Toronto: 1972.
Warne, Randi R. Literature as Pulpit: the Christian societal activism of Nellie L.
McClung, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Toronto: 1993. ISBN 0-88920-235-4
Wright, Helen K. Nellie McClung and Women & # 8217 ; s Rights, The Book Society of Canada
Ltd. , 1980. ISBN 0-7725-5290-8
McCarthy, Tom Nellie McClung, The Girl Who Liked To Ask Questions,
Benham, Mary Lile The Canadians: Nellie McClung, Fitzhenry & A ; Whiteside Ltd. ,
Don Mills, Ontario, 1975. ISBN 0-88902-219-4