“The whole race is suffering from masculinity and man and woman are alike to blame for tolerating it.” – Nellie McClung (1915). Nellie was a Canadian feminist, politician and social activist. She wanted gender equality, in politics, the church, business and public opinion. Nellie McClung is significant in Canadian History because she was one of the most important leaders of Canada’s first wave of feminism. She is still remembered today for her role in the famous “Persons Case”. McClung changed history and fought for women’s suffrage and prohibition.
Years ago, women and young girls were not given the freedom and opportunities as they are today. Some were considered property of their husbands, fathers or male family members and did not take part in the work force or make their own income. The only role they were allowed in was raising a family. If a woman was trapped in an unhealthy marriage, she would be blamed as “failure” as a wife and if she left her husband, she would not get a fair share of her husband’s estate or child support. If her husband decided he wanted to keep the children, she had no legal right to stop him. Women had almost no control over anything. An unmarried woman stayed beneath the protection of her father or brother. They had little say, especially when it came to politics and Nellie frequently saw the utter helplessness of women. Women have come a long way throughout the years and worked hard to be noted as equal individuals. Women lacked the right to vote, they also lacked a voice, power and influence with the politicians; Nellie wanted to change this.
Throughout Nellie’s career, she played a leadership role. Nellie spent a big amount of time writing and speaking about women’s rights to vote and prohibition. Nellie McClung’s two priorities were temperance and the vote. Nellie was an author and teacher; she had published 16 different pieces of writing, including novels, fiction, essays, autobiographies and speeches....