Has something negative and unfair ever happened to you that got you thinking and inspired you to do something about it?
Our next hero did just that Nellie McClung, born Nellie Letitia Mooney (20 October 1873 – 1 September 1951), was a Canadian feminist, politician, author, and social activist.
AS A KID: they say Nellie was kind of bossy, but she had a hilarious sense of humour and could always get a laugh out of those around her. She started school when she was 10 and pursued her goal of becoming a teacher.
FIRED: After teaching for a while, Nellie fell in love and got married. The very next day she got a letter from the school board that said, “Dear Mrs. McClung, congratulations on your happy news…You’re fired!”
Was that fair? Nellie knew it wasn’t fair that she had to quit teaching because she was married and even more wrong that there wasn’t anything she could do about it.
INSPIRED: Then she thought – maybe I can’t make my VOICE be heard, but I can certainly make my WORDS reach a lot of people. She knew she had to stand up for the rights of women and children so she started writing to newspapers, wrote books and gave speeches.
INSPIRING: She was a part of the social and moral reform movements in Western Canada in the early 1900s. In 1927, McClung and four other women: Henrietta Muir Edwards, Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney and Irene Parlby, who together came to be known as “The Famous Five” (also called “The Valiant Five”), launched the “Persons Case,” contending that women could be “qualified persons” eligible to sit in the Senate. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that current law did not recognize them as such. However, the case was won upon appeal to the Judicial Committee of the British Privy Council—the court of last resort for Canada at that time.
Do you think there still need to be changes made in our society on behalf of women today? What are they? What can you do about it?