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Nellie McClung Takes on Leacock

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Speaking of Women

Anti-Suffrage Reasoning

Women on Homesteads

Distinction of Spheres

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Nellie McClung

That women are physically inferior to men is a strange reason for placing them under a further handicap, and we are surprised to find it advanced in all seriousness as an argument against woman suffrage. The exercising of the ballot does not require physical strength or endurance. . . .

No man has the right to citizenship on his weight, height, or lifting power; he exercises this right because he is a human being, with hands to work, brain to think, and a life to live.

                                                        —Nellie McClung

A few months after Maclean's magazine published Stephen Leacock's article, "The Woman Question," they published Nellie McClung's answer to it, "Speaking of Women."

In her essay, McClung carefully refutes Leacock's portrayal of the feminist as "the Awful Woman with the Spectacles" who agitates women who are content with their lot in life, and works them up into an unruly mob, screaming for freedom, and the vote. Instead, she takes a calm, reasoned approach to the issue of women's rights and the soon-to-be-achieved women's vote.
 

 
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