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A Plea for Extension of Women’s Influence (part 2)

. . . We are quite startled when we mothers are told we are not "parents" by law. The inconsistencies of the law and the law makers are certainly very amazing to the feminine mind. We are not to have the vote because our duties and responsibilities as parents are so arduous that casting one vote in four or five years would seriously interfere with them, and then we find the same law makers making a law that a mother is not a parent as long as the father is alive. No wonder it is hard for a woman to understand politics!

. . . A husband says to his wife: I will go and vote for you and me. You must not have anything to do with politics-there are men in politics and you would have to mix with them. The wife opens her eyes-men-are men such dreadful creatures? She thinks men are nice, she thought she had mixed with them all her life, in the home, in the street, in the market and shops, in society, at balls, at dinner parties, at church, at prayer meetings. But she is told she must not argue; she does not understand; women are so unreasonable-clearly the reason why she should not vote is that she would have to mix with men and the contact with these dreadful creatures would rob her of her charm, degrade her character and worst of all unsex her; so that she would no longer love her children nor her home. How brave her husband must be to go to that dreadful place, the "polling booth." He, of course, is not a man, what he is she does not know; she is unable to understand; she had always thought him to be a man, but she is quite sure he never would do any of those dreadful things to women. So she stays at home on voting day or goes to market in the morning, where she is pushed and jostled about by men carrying quarters of raw beef or sacks of potatoes, or dead pigs; or perhaps she may spend the morning at the bargain counter, the afternoon at a bridge party, and the evening reading a novel, so much more refined, elevating and womanly, than if she had gone with her husband to vote, and discussed with him the character of the man they were going to vote for. The husband goes alone and votes to send a man to make or keep a law that makes everything in the home he is supposed to represent belong to him, the children, the house, the furniture, and all his wife may claim is board and clothing suitable to her children. This is not an imaginary story-it is an absolute fact. Are we willing to be so represented? As a matter of fact there is no such a thing as representative voting at the ballot box; one man, one vote. It has been urged that giving the married women the vote would mean simply doubling the married men's vote against the one vote of the bachelor; and why not if it represents two people?

WCTU Convention Edmonton Journal 12 Oct. 1907: 9.

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Nellie McClung
Emily Murphy
Henrietta Muir Edwards
Council’s Ruling
God’s Greatest Gift
Women’s Influence (part 1)
Women’s Influence (part 2)
Women’s Influence (part 3)
Irene Parlby
Louise McKinney

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