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Women in Politics

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Nellie McClung, ms., personal papers.

I like outspoken people, unpleasant though they may be. One of them came to me, and told me I was going to be defeated and why.

This is a man's town, she said. We don't want women messing around in public affairs. I have no confidence in women, won't even trust a woman to make my clothes, if I can get a man to do it.

I threw modesty to the winds, and asked her, if she could point to any man who had done any better than I had in public life. She said no—but then it wasn't natural. She said if I had stayed at home and conducted a salon and gathered around me the chosen spirits of the city, I could have done much more for my country.

I asked her, what she thought women had been created for, and she had the answer ready.

To bear children she said, and make homes. She said a woman should help her menfolk, instead of branching out into activities for herself.

Ladies Aids, I ventured and she agreed. Just that, she said, home-keeping hearts are happiest.

It has become increasingly apparent that the loyalty that existed among women when we were working for the vote has gone. Then, women could not be induced to slander each other. Now they can, easily—and the reason is not hard to see. In the struggle for the vote, all women stood to gain—and all therefore had an equal stake in the effort.

Reprinted by permission of Women's Press.

 
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