Archiver > NEW-ZEALAND > 2011-10 > 1318118900

From: Olwyn Whitehouse <>
Subject: [nz] Which woman is Jessie Mackay?
Date: Sat, 8 Oct 2011 19:08:20 -0500

In 1896 Miss Jessie Mackay recited an original poem entitled "The
battle march of the women" at a convention of certain enthusiastic
political ladies at Christchurch. Does anyone have that poem?

I cannot work out which person is Jessie? (the fifth woman
standing) (which woman?)
Another photo of her.

Timaru Herald, 25 September 1893, Page 3 THE WOMEN'S FRANCHISE.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMARU HERALD. Sir, — This week the women of New
Zealand learned that they had obtained the franchise, and now have a
right to vote equally with men. This is fair. If we are to live under
law and government, be punished for failing to keep the laws, and pay
the taxes, it is only a matter of common justice that we should have a
voice in choosing our representatives and law-makers, the men who
direct the country in which our sons and daughters may find prosperity
— or the reverse.
  But it is such a pity that just as we are feeling proud and happy
about it, we should find ourselves in danger of being mispresented -
as women - by some advanced young "leaders." In spite of what these
enthusiastic young people say, women know they are quite unfit to
fight "side by side" with men. The gospel of Work for Women, the is
the new cry. Not only as mothers, nurses, housekeepers, and helpmates,
but as lawyer doctors, engineers, surveyors, masons, police,
scavengers, lamplighters, gravediggers and jacks-of-all trades. Of
course it an advance into these interesting and earn positions it
follows naturally that we must don the bifurcated garments. When we at
a grubbing in trenches, or a scaling of ladder or even amputating
limbs, or pleading in court for baby-slayers or swindlers, the knicker
bockers will be the most suitable wear. Dignity would be sadly in the
way of our success. In advocating two-legged apparel for the
emancipated woman the advance is at least consistent. A woman in a
skirt on a bicycle is very funny, and petticoate footballers and
wrestlers are impossible people. (Even the women who have spent great
part of their lives in gymnasiums and on bicycles would make oh such
miserable athletes!)
   But, as fellow-workers with men should we be happier. Think of it,
women. Even so far woman is pressing into places formerly occupied by
man have made life harder for both men and woman! It has thrown
hundreds of men out of work, lowered their wages, and made marriage
almost an impossibility, and complicated the relation of the sexes to
an extraordinary extent. What then will it when they join the lists of
workers in all departments. Already, even in this country we hear of
nothing but competition. Too many men for every post. The other day in
Canterbury 76 men were applicants for a road board clerkship. Every
day machinery and mechanical improvements are making men's labour
superfluous. Out steamers employ less than half the men formerly
employed in sailing vessels. In the harvest field, the reaper and
binder hurrie the harvest to an end, making only a few weeks' work for
anybody. So with the higher departments of work. Indeed, if such a
thing occurred as women becoming co-labourers with their husbands and
brothers in all the world's work, it is difficult to realise the chaos
of complications which it would cause. Homes simply would be a thing
of the past, and people's lives would be a thousand times more full of
disenchantment than they are even now. The halo of hope would for ever
have disappeared from the palpitating and weary world.
   But I believe that though this woman's movement is doing much harm,
it arose out of a need, and it will be modified and dignified, and
freed from its extreme and unpractical advocates, as women themselves
become more thoughtful. This is the very reason why many of us, though
quite opposed to the woman's movement," believe in the enfranchisement
of women. It will compel them to think on matters of general interest
concerning the welfare of the state and the world, and in time widen
their views and make them more noble. But let them cling fast to their
womanhood, let them certainly choose the men who are to govern and
represent them, as they did their champions in other days of chivalry,
but they will make one vast mistake if they descend themselves into
the arena.
   We working women have views, though we are not "leaders," as to the
happiest state for women. The are directly opposed to the advanced
school. We have a dream. I suppose, though we are not Olive
Schreiners, we may have our humble dreams. It is that some happy day
we shall be delivered from the burden of having to work except in the
sacred circle of home. No linger toiling in offices, schools,
factories and shops, all the posts in these public places being filled
by men, well paid, and possessed of homes in which live contented and
intelligent women, and happy children. Thousands of simple country
homos scattered over the land, m which men and women live at peace,
free from care and anxiety, and the cankering curse of striving for
the fast diminishing prizes of the world, nay! even for the very
smallest prize, a common livelihood. It is only a dream but could it
be realised here, New Zealand would have solved the great pressing
problem of the day. I am, etc A WORKING WOMEN.

Kiwi in TX
The jersey is pretty important. Go All Blacks.

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