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The Famous Five: Heroes for Today
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"It is Up to Us!"

Heritage Community Foundation, Albertasource.ca and The Famous Five Foundation


It is a cold day for us poor women now, in Canada. We have the vote. We can sit in Parliament, on juries, on boards or commissions, or anywhere else where there are seats; and when there aren't any seats, we can have seats put in; and where the seats are hard, we can cushion them. Every door is open; every bar is down; and now, though many things are wrong, we have no one to blame—and it is embarrassing!

It was so pleasant to be able to trace through our votelessness the cause of all social ills. We knew it was because we had no vote that a double standard of morals existed, unequal pay, unequal property rights. We traced it all back to our "political disability".

. . . Women have accomplished so much in the last few years that they have firmly established their humanity. They have become people. They are persons, not only 'in pains and penalties', but also 'in rights and privileges'.

The trench has been taken, but it has to be held, and that is sometimes the more difficult achievement. Sex prejudice is not dead. It is still hard for some to believe that those who are physically weaker may be equal in intelligence. But there will come, as a result of this new freedom for women, a great harvest of women writers. The long, long thoughts of many weary years will be set down as travellers who have climbed the hill rest upon the summit and discuss the devious and windy paths by which they have come. While they made the ascent, they naturally had not much to say. There will be books written from a new angle and a new method of reasoning, and surprising may be the conclusions reached. A new era is upon us in the world of literature!

Reprinted by permission of Women's Press.

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