Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Food Packaging, Then and Now. 100 years of consumerism.

The Consumer Age took off in the 1910 era with the New Advertising in the Women's Magazines, ads that were about lifestyle and mood and not about plain facts. Read Threshold Girl, about the 1910 era in Canada. The ad above is for Ivory Soap.


There are lots of silly articles on the Web. The other day I read one that claimed, 'not all processed food is bad for you.' Well, duh!


And, then, they gave an example: Pre-cut fruits and veggies. (Now, there's processed food full of chemicals and pre-prepared food, which they appear to be mixing up. The pre-prepared foods are a fast-growing market.)

Sure, pre-cut fruits and veggies aren't bad for your body, but they are terrible for your pocketbook.

The other day I visited the local IGA in an upscale suburb nearby that was selling a small plastic box of pre-cut pineapple for 4 dollars and fifty cents.

Indeed, an entire section of this glitzy store is devoted to such convenience foods for the harried upper middle class parent.

Except that there were about 10 chunks of the tropical fruit in the box.  That's about 45 cents a chunk!

And just a few feet away they were selling the pineapples, for 2.99..,So the markup is about 1000 percent. And you get more heavy-duty plastic than edible product... not good for the environment at all.

I know that cutting pineapple is a messy business (I get my hubby to do it in our house) but I wonder who has the money to waste on such things?

Some people, I guess.

I often rant here the amount of packaging in the modern grocery  store, how it has increased exponentially over the last two decades - since  recycling has been widely encouraged.  (And then they dare charge us for plastic bags.)

Seems counter-intuitive on one level, but it probably makes some sense, logically.

The more packaging on a product, the more mark-up for the store and the consumer feels no guilt, because he or she recycles and buys those skanky re-usable bags that end up full of flop sweat and dog hair and baby snot that is handled next time around by the bagboy/girl and transferred to MY food purchases, every avocado and artichoke of which now has to be covered in plastic film  for health reasons.
My grandmother made her baked beans in this pot. Baked beans were one of the first canned products widely advertised in magazines. Housewives (or maids) didn't mind being freed up from the task of making this dish. Today, I buy the beans dried and cook them. Even canned beans are costing too much these days. I made turtle beans yesterday and will add them to a pasta and steelhead salmon dish.

Anyway, yesterday, I discovered a bulletin by the Canadian Food Controllers  from 1918 complaining about the packaging trend, packaged cereals in particular.

The government was worried that packaged cereals were over-priced, over-advertised, and not as nutritious as plain old porridges and such. All very bad for the poor citizen.

No kidding!

They made a rule:  The price at which these products are sold to the consumer must not exceed a reasonable profit on bulk goods plus the cost of the container.

Food invoice from 1901 from the Nicholson Collection: Read all about the rising cost of living during WWI in Not Bonne Over Here on Kindle.

In the late 70's or early 80's, I recall reading an article by the Food Writer for the Montreal Gazette, where she insisted the price of cereals (5 dollars a box) must be made to come down. In those days, I believe, President Nixon had put in laws that seriously lowered the price of grains, but still the packaged cereals cost a small fortune.

Starting in the 1900-1910 era, packaged cereals, first conceived as healthier than heavy traditional breakfasts, became popular and soon they were the iconic consumer product of the 20th century: puff in a colourful box, packaged to appeal to kids  and advertised to families during (and in) all the popular television shows like the Beverly Hillbillies and the Monkees.

(Well, Coke is the TOP iconic consumer age product. I notice that Coke sponsored the recent Women's World Cup. "Coke is happiness" is the new slogan, except that that is the first slogan from 1900. In those days, Coke really was happiness in a bottle.. as they advertised, not just sugar and caffeine and caramel colouring. The original Coca Cola copy says "The bubbles suggest happiness.")

In the 60's, my father tried to feed us porridge (which tasted very good cooked overnight in a double broiler) but we kids cried for Coco Puffs, basically salt and sugar and chemicals and air.

I don't think we drank too much coke back then. I've never liked carbonated drinks.

Sorry, Christine Sinclair.

And watching Wimbledon , today, and admiring all those lithe super-fit young tennis players, I notice half the ads on TSN are all for junk food/fast food, when they are not Harpo propaganda. Well, Genie's Pinty's ads are an exception.

So it goes.

The irony today, or should I say the Catch-22, is that buying grains in 'bulk' at places like Bulk Barn costs a small fortune too. (Supply and demand: wealthier people buy the healthy grains.) They sell candy, too, and almost give it away. It now pays to eat crappy, except when you factor in medical bills.

Here's a bit of the article, published in the McGill Daily, of all places.







Monday, July 6, 2015

Flowers of the Field and Miss Merian


These are beautiful botany drawings by Dutch Maria Sybilla Merian from 1730. During the Scientific Enlightenment women were kept out of the new field of science in general  - with the exception of botany.

After all, looking at flowers was a genteel thing and one didn't need a formal education to document what they looked like, just an observant nature and some drawing ability. (And if women could embroider flowers, they could certainly draw them.) The importance of Merian's work, she went to Surinam to document 'new' species.


I've written a great deal on this blog about McGill Botanist, Carrie Derick, who happened to be a Canadian feminist pioneer and the first female full professor in Canada.

She was President of the Montreal Council of women from 1909-1912 (the era of my e-book Threshold Girl) and the President of the Montreal Suffrage Association, founded in 1913 and dissolved in 1919.

She continued to be education chair of the Canadian Council of Women - and she used her authority as a Botanist to promote eugenics.

There's a book of hers posted on archive.org... a collection of Botany articles published the Montreal Herald in 1900.

The Nicholsons of Richmond read the Herald, so it is very likely that Edith Nicholson 'met' Carrie Derick through her work long before she met her in the flesh at McGill in the 1920's.






By C.M.D!!!Did they not want to say this was written by a woman?? I think so. The preface says these drawings are from the pen 'of a well known botanist of high standing'...No wonder Derick got into feminist activism, as the case of 18th century  Merian reveals, Women Botanists were not such an unusual thing.



              Carrie Derick writes a note to suffragist Marie Gerin Lajoie on McGill Botany Paper

                                    This is a more scientific paper, autographed by Derick.


 a drawing from Flora Nicholson's 1911/12 Nature Diary for Macdonald Teachers College. I don't know if she ever met Derick (through her sister Edith) but in my e-book Threshold Girl I have her attend a meeting of the Montreal Council of women.

Flora refers to the dowdy Miss Derick as the woman who studies flowers but does not wear them on her hat.


More of Merian's work.


Selling Your Soul for the Vote




This graphic essay on video describes how the Montreal Suffrage Association distanced itself from the Militant Suffragettes.


Well, in August 1912, Premier Borden, Prime Minister of Canada, was in England and he allowed a group of militant suffragettes to see him.

They asked him if he would open the question of votes for women upon his return to Canada.

Borden said he hadn't had the time to study the suffrage question and besides, in Canada, this was the provinces' domain.

(Really?)

The three WSPU militants who talked to him, one of whom was Barbara Wylie, two of whom had been in jail and who bragged about it, said they were inclined to tell women who wanted to leave England NOT to emigrate to Canada.

Borden said he objected to threats and would never be swayed by militant actions.

"When the women of Canada want the vote they will get it," he said.

Then someone in Canada suggested that any militant suffragettes coming to Canada should be branded criminals..



So no wonder the Montreal Suffrage Association took over a year to get organized...and then when they did launch, they totally distanced themselves from the British militants.

Miss Wylie of the WSPU came to Canada in September 1912 and sounded very defiant when she spoke in Montreal as a guest of the Montreal Council of Women.

She claimed that it was OK to throw an axe at Asquith...If it had hit him "it would have knocked some sense into him."

My husband's great aunt Edith cut out a press clipping with said quote and likely attended the talk.

Apparently, members of the audience at her speech almost came to blows. (I put this in the stories Threshold Girl and Furies Cross the Mersey.) Furies Cross the Mersey has the most detailed blow-by-blow account. Read Furies here on the Cloud.

Wylie went out West to try to start a militant group in Saskatchewan, spent about a year and then went back to England.

From a Saskatoon newspaper

And in Montreal, Caroline Kenney, sister of militant suffragette Annie Kenney, came to live with her oldest sister in Montreal in November, 1912,  hoping to find employment as a teacher and worked with a rival Equal Suffrage League, an organization totally forgotten by history. My ebook Furies Cross the Mersey explains all.


So Canada had no suffragettes, no parades, no civil disobedience and no suffrage riots, but in 1917 they did have Conscription Riots...in Quebec and it is all tied in to the Montreal and the Canadian suffrage movement. In an ugly way.

And Canadian women got the vote, but they had to sell their souls...(some of them)

What Makes for a "Classic?"


Magazine-style cover of Polly of the Circus, Margaret Mayo, published 1908, the same year as Anne of Green Gables.

Mayo was a playwright and the Polly and the Circus play was very popular. The Nicholson women go to see it in 1912, at His Majesty's in Montreal. Flora Nicholson of Threshold Girl mentions it in a letter home from college.

The Montreal Gazette review said the lead actress, Edith Taliaferro (they write Taliagerro) was pert and pretty in the role. The audience liked the horses best though. I imagine the horses were two men in a bag style, not War Horse style!

Not so pert pic of Taliaferro, a Broadway Actress


What makes one story a classic, the other a flash in the pan? Both stories feature a spunky but homeless heroine who finds love and security at the end. (Like Pygmalion: 1912!)

As I said, Polly of the Circus was an extremely popular play. It was made into a 1917 movie, the movie that introduced the MGM Lion apparently. (So the play has been reduced to a trivia question.)

 And then there was a remake in 1932, starring Marion Davies and The Gable Guy. I can't find that movie anywhere. It never plays on Turner Classics.

In the story, Polly is a circus horse rider who falls and injures herself in a small town and spends time living with the local Minister, and they fall in love.

I found the Lux Radio play on YouTube, starring Loretta Young and Lionel Barrymore. In this version, the Reverend becomes the local doctor. ("Lux the soap all Hollywood uses." Lux Radio Theatre was directed by Cecile B. DeMille)

I used Google Ngrams to gauge the relative popularity over the Century of Polly of the Circus and the Iconic Anne of Green Gables.

ngram for Anne of Green Gables
Ngram for Polly and the Circus

Of course, Anne of Green Gables had a resurgence in the 1980's with the Coleen Dewhurst, Megan Fallows mini series and the fact Japanese women liked the story when Japan was doing very well. 

It doesn't hurt when an entire Province needs you for tourism purposes.

The Nicholson women, in the 1910 era, also went to see the Merry Widow Opera,  and Everywoman at the Princess Theatre and at His Majesty's on Guy Street. Everywoman was a morality play that warned against vanity but featured beautiful young women.

 If they went to the Nickel to see Motion Pictures, they didn't write about it until WWI at least when movies became totally respectable for the middle class.

Well, they went once to the very respectable Nickel in 1913 to see their fellow Richmondite Mack Sennett, who they likely didn't recognize, in Man in the Box.

1910, he Montreal nickelodeons were considered pretty lowbrow by the Presbyterians, somewhere the working class went. (That's why some movie houses, like the Nickel promoted itself as a respectable movie house. No riff raff allowed.)

Of course, motion pictures in the era were becoming more and more popular with all classes of people.

 The New York Dramatic Mirror said that theatres were losing customers to the nickelodeons.  Their 'cheap seats' were going unfilled.




From the Theatre Section New York Dramatic Mirror 1910

The present time presents its problems in business, but the greater problem relates to the time to come.

…Two influences that have unquestionably depressed the theatre business are the motion picture business and the automobile craze. The motion pictures have grown constantly in popularity with many classes of the public. The result is directly seen in the falling off of the patronage of the gallery and the cheaper priced theatres and it is even more obvious in the almost complete extinction of the public at the popular price theatres. Comedy, drama and diversion of various sorts seem to to be supplied sufficiently by the motion pictures to meet the requirements of a multitude of people. 


From the Movie, ah, Motion Picture Section

Boy, doesn't this sound familiar?


Also, what's this? Two small boys in New York are arrested for burglarizing another boy's toy bank containing 14 dollars, using a button hook for a jimmy, and not a word in the newspaper accounts about the boys going to demoralizing picture shows. Verily, the New York cub reporters are disgracefully neglecting their plain duty. How do they imagine those good souls, the motion picture knockers and universal regulators can keep up their crusade without ammunition from the newspapers? These cubs should be ashamed, they make New York look slow and stupid in comparison with Philadelphia, where a girl has just attempted suicide, having seen her young man walking with another man, and the cub reporters in that town did not forget to remark that the girl had just left a moving picture show. That's the way to do it.

What's in a Name?
Hurrah for the Essanay people. They have started a contest, with a prize of 100 dollars for the purpose of digging up a new name of one word for designating the motion picture show, something different from motion picture, moving picture or five or ten cent theatre, something distinctive, appropriate and easy of use. (It was only in a 1917 letter that Edith Nicholson mentioned going to the 'movies' with movies placed between quotations.) MORE ON THIS CLICK
The Birth of the Art Film
(What's in a name continued)
Josephine Clement, the resident manager of Keith's Bijou Theatre, Boston, states in a neat folder: "Although we show motion pictures we do not run a moving picture show which is another way of saying that the Bijou in Boston aims at a higher quality of entertainment than is afforded by the carelessly conducted five and ten cent houses. Examples like this and other Keith and Proctor picture shows in the East, as well as the many higher-class shows of the West are demonstrating the wisdom of intelligent and cultivated taste as applied to picture house management.


Bestsellers from the Illinois Edu site. Winston Churchill, then British Home Secretary, had a book out.  He was a big self-promoter. At this time he was getting into trouble jailing the suffragettes.




Windholme Churchham and Christina Bankhurst : Legends


This is a capture of a 'scene' from A Soul on Fire, by Frances Fenwick Williams, published in 1915.

It's a dinner table scene taking place in sophisticated English Montreal circles. Frances Fenwick Williams was Press Secretary of the Montreal Suffrage Association in 1915. So, she knew of what she spoke, perhaps exaggerating a tad :)

When I first read this paragraph, I assumed that FW was using the names Christina Bankhurst and Windholme Churchham for Pankhurst and Churchill out of fear of being sued or something.

How could anyone not know the name of Winston Churchill?

But this is 1915 and clearly Fenwick Williams is mocking the ignorance of people with a pronounced opinion on Woman Suffrage.

I imagine that in that era, Pankhurst's name was more recognizable by the Anglo Man and Woman on the Street in Montreal than Winston Churchill's. Pankhurst gave a speech in Montreal in December, 1911 at Windsor Hall. It is a pivotal moment in my story Furies Cross the Mersey, available on Kindle.

Much in the way most Montrealers today won't recognize the name Ed Milliband, even in the age of Internet. (I hope I spelled that correctly...:)

Now, Winston Churchill had spoken in Montreal, too, in 1901, also at Windsor Hall. He was lecturing about the Boer War and promoting himself to the world.

The reporters said 'Sir Randolph's son has a way with words' or something to that effect.

Cartoon mocking Borden's ban of suffragettes in 1912


In 1912, Prime Minister Borden of Canada visited London to discuss NAVY issues and was accosted by three British Suffragettes, including Miss Barbara Wylie, who demanded votes for Canadian women.

Soon, the suffragettes were banned from entering Canada, branded as undesirables. They came anyway. Read Furies Cross the Mersey.

It is likely this ban was invoked because Borden had invited Prime Minister Asquith and Churchill to Canada.

Churchill was afraid of the suffragettes, in large part because they were going to take away his champagne..

They didn't end up coming to Canada.. well, Churchill famously came later.


 Clipping saved by my husband's great Aunt Edie about the February 1913 Montreal Suffrage Exhibit that was all about happy families.

The First Women Tennis Players in Canada


The Royal Victoria Tennis team. McGill website.  Lawn tennis was the first group set up by women at McGill. Dr. Grace Ritchie England, in the first graduating class in 1888, mentioned it in her valedictory speech. She also demanded that women be allowed into McGill Med School, defying Principal Dawson.



Scene 2:   The Jenkins Home.  A lower duplex in lower Westmount.  It is a ten room flat with a long narrow hall leading to a well-equipped kitchen, with a tiny postage stamp of a maid’s quarters off the kitchen, and a back door leading out into a very large backyard where even today, in the dead of winter, assorted white-wear hangs stiffly from a clothesline.

Mathilda and Penelope are in the only parlour in the place, at the other end of the house, staring at the street through a picture window and watching the snowflakes fall.

Matilda: We are all alone, I am afraid. The flu knows no holidays. My father says this is the worst season in years. He is out making deliveries, my brother is filling prescriptions, and my mother is working the cash at the pharmacy.

Penelope: All dressed up and nowhere to go.  Shouldn’t it be the other way around with your brother making deliveries and your father filling prescriptions?

Mathilda: My father likes visiting his clients; he thinks they appreciate it. They are impressed with his new Dailmer automobile. They wouldn’t like it so much if they knew my mother often filled the prescriptions herself. She has been well taught by my father.

Penelope: I get it. So we are left to watch the snow fall. What should we do?

Mathilda: Well, would you like to see the pharmacy? It’s not a long walk.

“Sure,” says Penelope, reflexively.  To be very poor is to be very bored, is what she is really thinking.

And yet when she gets to the Jenkins pharmacy, after slip-sliding down the hill towards St. Henri arm-in-arm with Mathilda, she finds it a very pleasant and interesting place to be.

There’s a long polished counter with a silver soda fountain machine; shiny maple cabinets lining three of the walls with waist-high displays of tonics and medicines set out like curiosities in a museum: essence of pepsin for indigestion; spirits of turpentine for the kidney; and even some feminine toiletries, witch hazel, rose water and other products, and over top of these counters, many glass-fronted cupboards stacked with large, brown leather-bound volumes.

The store gleams from all angles.

“Here’s one for you,” Penelope says to Mathilda leaning over a display cabinet. “Dr. Barker's Malt Extract. Puts Flesh on Thin People.”

“Well, here's one for you,” replies Mathilda. “Dr. Hammond's Nerve and Brain Tablets.”

The aroma in the room is over all sweet, cherry-scented, with something else more bitter mixing in, a smell Penelope can’t identify. She stops in her tracks and takes a long, conspicuous sniff.

“Sulphur!” says Mathilda, guessing her dilemma.


Mathilda’s brother, James, is tall like his younger sister, with the same high cheek bones and hazel eyes, but on the browner side. He is busy behind the counter, looking important in a shiny white coat.  

Penelope has met him in passing only a few times and eaten only one meal in his presence, Christmas dinner, with fifteen people around the table and James on the opposite side of it to her, so she never got to talk to him, not once.

Was he avoiding her? She had been wondering.

On this occasion, James, who is alone in the store, hardly acknowledges the girls as they take a leisurely tour of the shop. In fact he brushes by Penelope rather rudely on an important mission to shelve a large box of tongue depressors.

Mathilda sees that her brother is being rude (or something else) and says in a loud stage voice “Rouge de theatre. I didn’t know we stocked this. Do you think Mrs. Pankhurst would approve?’

Penelope answers, “I suppose. Why not? She seems a very pretty and fashionable woman and also a friend of the lower classes.”

“Mrs. Pankhurst?”  Mathilda’s brother blurts out.

“Yes, we heard her speak in January. We went with the citizenship class at the College,” answers his sister.

“Subversive, I would say. So my little sister is keeping secrets from me.”

“I’m not keeping any secrets.”

Then Penelope asks, “What’s subversive about Mrs. Pankhurst? She is in the spirit of true democracy.”  It is meant as a direct attack.

“Setting fire to post boxes?  Breaking windows?” James bellows.

“The WSPU has been driven to such acts,” Penelope shouts back.

“They were put in jail for peaceful demonstrations so they might as well get put in jail for genuine offenses.”

Penelope can hardly believe she is saying these words because these are Mrs. Pankhurst’s words, from her December speech. She didn’t realize how well she had been listening.

But what a joy to get a rise out of that rude, indifferent boy.

“And now they are torturing them with Russian treatment,” she adds for good measure. “Force feeding them.”

James, his colour rising, speeds around the corner towards the two girls, still holding a jar of navy blue liver pills. He is roused.  “They should be tortured,” he says. “They are anarchists and criminals and socialists.”

“They are political prisoners, fighting for freedom,” Mathilda says. “That awful man Winston Churchill promised that they would be treated as such, but it was a lie.”

“Yes, political prisoners.”   Penelope can feel the blood rising to her cheeks, and not in all in bashfulness. “And he lied,” she repeats for emphasis.

It feels good to Penelope to argue so and James’ strong reaction, instead of making her cower, makes her feel very powerful.

Right then an old grey-haired couple ambles in and asks James for a bottle of the best tonic available for rheumatism.

The young pharmacist walks over to a cabinet and points them to Chamberlain’s Pain Balm.

Mathilda, just a bit befuddled, glances back and forth between the two hot-and-bothered young people in the room and then says to her fired-up friend, “Now don’t you have an excellent memory!  I thought you were asleep the whole time that evening, us sitting way in the back of Windsor Hall to hear Mrs. Pankhurst. You seemed so indifferent about it all afterwards.”

“There’s more to me than meets the eye, Mademoiselle Jenkins,” replies Penelope. “But I guess I do have a good memory.  It’s the only reason I pass at school, really. I don’t work very hard, or haven’t you noticed.”

The old couple ambles out still arm-in-arm, without buying the medicine.

James says to his sister “Poor dears. I don’t think they have the money. But I don’t think this medicine works either, so no loss to them.”

Penelope inspects Mathilda’s older brother closely, somewhat surprised to see that he is both compassionate and funny.  This bold stare makes him turn away  shyly. He glides back behind the counter and gets busy with his hands once again.

The girls prepare to leave. They wrap their scarves around their necks and point themselves toward the door.

On the way out, brushing against a display of fancy bow-ties, Mathilda tosses James, over her shoulder, a sly, subtle smile.  He pretends not to notice.


 Furies Cross the Mersey is available on Amazon.com Kindle. In a final chapter, the girls meet up with Caroline Kenney, a real British Suffragette who came to Canada in 1912 on the Virginian and then they get into big trouble...

Militant Miss Wylie in Montreal



Miss Barbara Wylie, militant suffragette, a character in my ebook Furies Cross the Mersey, came to Canada in 1912 to stir up trouble - and got nowhere.

Not for lack of trying.

She arrived in Montreal September 28th, having alerted the English newspapers - and this after Prime Minister Borden had banned any suffragettes from coming to Canada!

When asked by a reporter about a recent incident in England, where a suffragette had hurled an axe at their Prime Minister Asquith, she replied, "If it had hit him in the head it might have knocked some sense into him."

She got away with saying this as she was, ah, so very pretty and lady-like. Indeed, the Montreal reporters had almost missed her, expecting a true battle-ax to detrain and instead being met with a tall, slim, elegant young woman. Oh, my.

I know about this Miss Wylie, because Edith Nicholson of Threshold Girl left behind a news clipping from the Montreal Witness.


Here it is.



But the other Montreal papers also covered her visit extensively. The Montreal Standard devoted an editorial to Miss Wylie, an editorial to which she replied. Her reply was printed with a loud headline, too.

Miss Wylie spoke on November 4th, at the Montreal YMCA, hosted by the Montreal Council of Women prompting an editorial in the Standard. That speech is re-purposed in Furies Cross the Mersey.

As soon as Barbara Wylie arrived in Montreal she made herself conspicuous by sending a Letter to the Editor of the Gazette, in reply to an article dissing the militant suffragettes.

Here it is under the headline "Violence will continue until the ballot is secured, says Miss Wylie."

The militant suffragettes, like Miss Wylie, were often well-bred, well-dressed, well-spoken women, but women who dared behave like men and, historians suggest, this is what really appalled the establishment.

 In this letter to the Editor, Wylie states as much.

History has proven that many suffragettes, despite their sex and social standing, were tortured and beaten inside and out of jail - just to make an example of them.


"In the issue of today in the course of your leader, Women and Votes, you say that many people would doubt that the world would be better governed if women had votes, since women as well as men are prone to error and and do wrong.

Nothing, I think disproves this, since to err is human and not simply manly or womanly. But because some limp, must be all be lame?

Let the best men and the best women cooperate to help those poor lame dogs over their stiles.

Then I think you have forgotten a very large portion of the globe when you claim that the presence of women in the political arena is  an unknown quantity.

In Australia, in New Zealand, in six states in American, in Norway and Finland, the effect of their presence is most advantageously felt. There they use their influence directly and openly.

In countries where women's influence is of the underground kind, the influence is not so good.

Then you complain that the statements of suffragettes is erroneous and we complain when we are sent to jail for breaking windows.

We have never complained of being sent to prison. Our only complaint is when we are denied the treatment which is our due as political prisoners.

We carry on behind bars the same fight for political equality with men that we will never cease go wage until victory is ours.

A man, you go on to say, in the same circumstances, destroying property is punished and the police know how to handle him if he resists arrest.

We have resisted arrest, and the young men who, at a recent by-election in Wales, who broke windows wholesale all over town, had no occasion to do so, and the police excused their behavior as the result of the excitement of an election.

You say the law deals with male criminals more severely than it does with members of the opposite sex.

Recently, Mr. Thomas Mann was tried to inciting soldiers to mutiny. He was provided with a chair outside his dock during the trial.

He was sentenced to six month imprisonment but was released after a month.

Two syndicalists, also charged with sedition, were sentenced to six months hard labour, but were released after four weeks.
Miss Barbara Wylie from Votes For Women Magazine.


Mrs. Pankhurst, Mr and Mrs. Pethwick Lawrence and Mrs. Tuke charged with inciting violence, were not given chairs in the docket but were huddled into it although Mrs. Tuke was dangerously ill.

The jury recommended them to extreme leniency, owing to their purity of motive, but the judge sentenced them to nine months imprisonment.

They had to be released at the end of one month, owing to the government's inability to break their spirit, or force them to accept anything less than first class treatment for their comrades, as well as themselves.

When men resort to violence, you go on to say, in any cause, the forces of law and order are set to work to oppress them.

During a riot in Belfast a few weeks ago, revolvers were used, and 100 people injured. No arrests were made.

During the strike riots recently in Great Britain the soldiers fired volleys into the mob and some were killed, you say.

The soldiers fired one volley, I think, and Mr. McKenna refused to allow them out during the dock strikes.

And herein lies the difference between the treatment of men who are militants and the women who are fighting for the greatest cause of all, human liberty.

The men's grievances are redressed. Witness the minimum wage bill hustled through Parliament in four days during the miners' strike and the reforms in India after the men threw bombs in order to bring attention to their wrongs.

Whereas those of the women remain un-redressed, and although the women are punished with greater severity than the men, their just claim for equal suffrage remains unsatisfied.

Since politicians are inaccessible to reason and argument, as we have proved during the last 45 years, there remains to women the one weapon that has never failed to secure the extension of the franchise to men, that is violence.

Repugnant as it is to women's feeling to use violence, we will continue to do so until justice is done to us. "

Barbara Wylie,
Montreal, October, 1912.