Motherhood and Suffrage in Early Twentieth-Century Canadian Women’s Journals
Maternal feminists of Canada's early women’s movements used their publications to define who should be a Canadian citizen and who deserved the vote. To this end, maternal feminists created an exclusionary concept of motherhood that reached from the domestic to the national sphere in order to justify their own enfranchisement and sense of belonging at the expense of marginalized groups—namely women who did not or could not bear sons, women who could not meet popular child-rearing standards, Indigenous women, and immigrants who were not perceived to be white. The exclusionary rhetoric and ideologies put forward by early twentieth-century Canadian women’s journals not only cut off marginalized groups from enfranchisement and national belonging but also further entrenched the social, racial, and gender divides that alienated these groups in the first place.
Anderson Perry, A. (1918). Woman, where are you going? (Being some thoughts on progress versus modern retrogressive tendencies). Woman’s Century, 6(9), 129.
Another convert to suffrage: Sir Wilfrid declares that he favours women’s enfranchisement, depending on local conditions. (1916). Woman’s Century, 4(5), 5.
Arnup, K. (2013). Education for motherhood: Creating modern mothers and model citizens. In R. Adamoski, D. Chunn & R. Menzies (Eds.), Contesting Canadian citizenship: Historical readings (pp. 247-272). University of Toronto Press.
Before baby comes. (1909, July 1). Prairie Farmer, 11.
Belgian women to the rescue. (1915). Woman’s Century, 2(10).
Bowker, K. (1918a). The woman and the nation. Woman’s Century, 6(3), 11.
Bowker, K. (1918b). The woman and the nation: The survival of the fittest work. Woman’s Century, 6(6), 30.
British army. (1915). Woman’s Century, 3(2), 18.
Campbell-MacIver, J. (1917). Consecration. Woman’s Century, 4(7), 9.
The Canadian housewife. (1916). Woman’s Century, 4(3).
Carter, S. (2020). Ours by every law of right and justice: Women and the vote in the prairie provinces. University of British Columbia Press.
Cohen, Y. (2017, November 8). Fédération nationale Saint-Jean-Baptiste. In The Canadian encyclopedia. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/federation-nationale-saint-jean-baptiste
The cradle and the nation. (1916). Woman’s Century, 3(7), 10.
The cradle and the nation: The children are our hope. (1916). Woman’s Century, 4(5), 20.
The cradle and the nation: Surely the latent forces of motherhood will emerge. (1916). Woman’s Century, 4(5), 20.
Devereux, C. (1999). New woman, new world: Maternal feminism and the new imperialism in the white settler colonies. Women’s Studies International Forum, 22(2), 175–184.
Dumont, M. (2007, May 28). The beginnings of Quebec feminism. Le Devoir. https://www.ledevoir.com/opinion/idees/145063/les-debuts-du-feminisme-quebecois
Economy of the Russians. (1915). Woman’s Century, 2(10).
Glassford, S. (2008). The greatest mother in the world: Carework and the discourse of mothering in the Canadian Red Cross Society during the First World War. Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, 10(1), 219–232. https://jarm.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/jarm/article/view/16350
Glassford, S. (2021). Volunteering in the First and Second World War. Wartime Canada. https://wartimecanada.ca/essay/volunteering/volunteering-first-and-second-world-war
Green, H. (2017). The rise of motherhood: Maternal feminism and health in the rural prairie provinces, 1900-1930. Past Imperfect, 20, 48–70. https://doi.org/10.21971/P7DW9D
Home economics. (1916). Woman’s Century, 4(3).
Huhndorf, S. M. & Suzack, C. (2010). Indigenous feminism: Theorizing the issues. In C. Suzack, S. M. Huhndorf, J. Perreault, & J. Barman (Eds.), Indigenous women and feminism: Politics, activism, culture (pp. 1–17). University of British Columbia Press.
The immigration problem. (1916). Woman’s Century, 4(5), 14.
Is it just? (1915). Woman’s Century, 2(10).
Kalbach, W. E., Trovato, F., James-Abra, E., & Baker, N. (2022). Population of Canada. In The Canadian encyclopedia. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/population
Kinahan, A-M. (2008). Transcendent citizenship: Suffrage, the National Council of Women of Canada, and the politics of organized womanhood. Journal of Canadian Studies, 42(3), 5–27. https://doi.org/10.3138/jcs.42.3.5
Lang, E. (1916). The woman’s movement: National equal franchise—A notable conference. Woman’s Century, 4(3), 20.
Lawrence, B. (2003). Gender, race, and the regulation of Native identity in Canada and the United States: An overview. Hypatia, 18(2), 3–32. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1527-2001.2003.tb00799.x
LeGates, M. (2001). Issues in first-wave feminism. In In heir time: A history of feminism in Western society. Routledge.
Maohar, A. M. (1916). The citizenship of women. Woman’s Century, 3(9), 9.
Maracle, L. (1996a). I am woman. In I am woman: A Native perspective on sociology and feminism. Press Gang Publishers.
Maracle, L. (1996b). The woman’s movement. In I am woman: A Native perspective on sociology and feminism. Press Gang Publishers.
McClung, N. (1915). In times like these. D. Appleton.
McLean Reynolds, B. (1916). Half hours in the book world. Woman’s Century, 3(7), 10.
Murphy, E. (1910). Janey Canuck in the West. Cassell and Company.
National council. (1916). Woman’s Century, 3(5), 5.
Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. (2015). Canadian woman's Christian temperance union fonds (F 885). Archives of Ontario. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/microfilm/temperance.aspx
Our imperial obligations. (1915). Woman’s Century, 3(4), 26.
Pickles, K. (2002). Female imperialism and national identity: The Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire. Manchester University Press.
Richardson, G. (1916). The motherhood of Nyria: A story of the Roman empire. Woman’s Century, 3(9), 17.
Roberts, B. A. (1996). A reconstructed world: A feminist biography of Gertrude Richardson. McGill-Queen's University Press.
Russian women. (1915). Woman’s Century, 2(10).
Statistics Canada. (2015). History of the census of Canada. Statistics Canada. https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/ref/about-apropos/history-histoire-eng.cfm
Strong-Boag, V. (2016). Early women’s movements in Canada: 1867–1960. In The Canadian encyclopedia. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/early-womens-movements-in-canada
Szreter, S. & Schürer, K. (2019). The hidden affliction: Sexually transmitted infections and infertility in history. University of Rochester Press.
Those ‘foreign women.’ (1915). Woman’s Century, 2(10).
Udel, L. J. (2001). Revision & resistance: The politics of Native women’s motherwork. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, 22(2), 43–62. https://doi.org/10.2307/3347054
Usefulness of Austrian women. (1915). Woman’s Century, 2(10).
Vickers, J. (2000). Feminisms and nationalisms in English Canada. Journal of Canadian Studies, 35(2), 128–148. https://doi.org/10.3138/jcs.35.2.128
W.C.T.U. and suffrage. (1915). Woman’s Century, 2(10).
We will give our boys. (1915). Woman’s Century, 2(11).
Willoughby Cummings, Mrs. (1917). The National Council of Women of Canada: Nation building. Woman’s Century, 5(1), 4.
The woman and the nation: Is motherhood a national duty? How the government might lend a hand. (1917). Woman’s Century, 5(6), 7.
Women in line. (1915). Woman’s Century, 2(10).
Copyright (c) 2022 Rachel De Graaf
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors contributing to the Artbutus Review agree to release their articles under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 Unported license. This licence allows anyone to share their work (copy, distribute, transmit) and to adapt it for non-commercial purposes provided that appropriate attribution is given, and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this license are made clear.
Authors retain copyright of their work and grant the journal right of first publication.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.