Monday, October 16, 2006

I feel the need to start this one out like my dad so often started his discussions: "Just something I've been thinking about lately"

When I was in elementary school I vividly remember learning about Nellie McClung. For as long as I can remember, I've had an admiration for this lady and what she did for women's rights in Canada and even more specifically, in Manitoba - my home province. She has been given much of the credit for getting the right to vote for women. She also had a lot of spunk which frankly, probably has even more to do with why I admire her. She is infamous for putting the premier of Manitoba at that time, Rodmond Roblin, in his place both by tricking him into a tour of Winnipeg's sweat shops so that he could see how women were being treated and by putting on a play (where she played him) that poked fun at the dangers of giving men the vote.

But, I digress. This wasn't actually to be a post about Nellie. Not completely, anyway. For you see, there was a Mr. Nellie. And this is what captured my attention recently. I find myself wondering about him. About their life together. What kind of a man was he? Did he stand by her side as she worked her magic in Canadian politics? Did he sit, together with their 5 children, impatiently waiting for her at the dinner table while she was off arguing with some politician? Did he struggle with his identity? Did he sometimes just want her to quit or to shut-up at the very least?

We don't really know. Well, except that we know one thing that might give us a glimpse into his character: Nellie married him after boarding with his family when she started to teach. His mother? Also an active feminist. I'm hoping that meant he saw the work and admired it.

Just something I've been thinking about.


Blogger Raehan said...

I'll bet he was quietly wonderful. Nellie sounds like a smart woman. Smart women know how to pick em.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Michele said...

I love Nellie. She said "Never retreat, never explain, never apologize; just get the thing done and let them howl." I think that is just about one of the best quotes I've ever heard.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Wendy said...

I must say I find the whole thing kind of inspirational. Sure wasn't the popular role to play at the time - wife supported by husband. I say good for both of them.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Joyska said...

Hmmm. Behind every great woman is a supportive, QUIET man? ha ha..
got your card today! THANK YOU YOU MADE MY DAY!!!

7:14 PM  

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