Nellie Mcclung's Argument

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Nellie McClung’s personal commitment to women’s rights saw her use both radical and conservative methods to challenge social and political roles for women while accepting existing gender roles. McClung, an English-Canadian suffragist, dominated the discussion of women’s rights during the early twentieth century. Her achievement as a writer, her ability to speak, and her personality were a combination that led her to victories (Strong-Boag, 58). As a result, the temperance fighter is remembered in Canadian feminist history. (Devereux, 182). Nellie McClung not only endeavored to see the vote for women but also the betterment of women’s economic and social status. Although McClung’s viewpoints and methods were considered conservative, her views …show more content…
As mentioned in her article, Speaking of Women, she agreed that men and women have their own roles (McClung, 26). McClung vied that these womanly qualities were useful outside the house as well. Therefore, McClung used the maternal icon and sought to spread her power outside the home (Devereaux, 177). As a result, the woman would have the same purpose of using her feminine qualities but on a larger, and much more political scale (Devereux, 177). In other words, a mother’s love, and redemptive, understanding attributes should be applied to the political sphere. This particular attitude is different from women who ordered for complete rule of themselves (Bacchi, 581). Therefore, the term ‘maternal feminism’ is used to describe the belief that a woman’s role as mother gave her the right to contribute to the public sphere and more freedoms within the home (Bacchi, 581). As stated earlier, feminists during this time period were continually being denied, however, maternal feminism was exactly the argument they put forward in order to gain favour of the suffrage movement (Bacchi, 581). McClung had to reassure the political men that if women do gain more freedoms it was not at the loss of their families. Consequently, McClung recommended certain freedoms only to women whose children had left the home and had already fulfilled their maternal responsibility (Bacchi, 581). She explained that once children are out of the house the mother, a strong and active woman with more good years ahead of her, has a plethora of knowledge and wisdom useful in uplifting the world’ (Bacchi, 581). Therefore, McClung’s arguments strongly revolved around the existing roles of women. Yet, McClung used these ideas to fight against social issues surrounding women within the home. For instance, when McClung was in her early ears, pregnant and feeling nauseous, she was unable to attend a

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