Vol.13 No. 1-2, 1992

PERFORMING POLITICS: PROPAGANDA, PARODY AND A WOMEN' PARLIAMENT

KYM BIRD

The initial phase of women's drama in Canada coincides with the first wave of 19th-century Canadian feminism and the Canadian women's reform movement. At the time, a variety of women wrote and staged plays that grew out of their commitment to the political, ideological and social context of the movement. The 'Mock Parliament,' a form of theatrical parody in which men's and women's roles are reversed, was collectively created by different groups of suffragists in Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. This article attempts to recuperate these works for a history of Canadian feminist theatre. It will argue that the 'dual' conservative and liberal ideology of the suffrage movement informs all aspects of the Mock Parliament. On the one hand, these plays critique the division of gender roles that material feminism wants to uphold; they are testimony to the strength of a woman's movement that knew how to work as equal players within traditionally structured political organizations. On the other hand, they betray the safe, moderate tactics of an upper and middle-class, white womanhood who wanted political representation but no structural social change. These opposing tensions are inherent in theatrical parody which is both imitative and critical.

Le théâtre écrit par les femmes au Canada coïncide, dans sa phase initiale, avec la première vague de féminisme au 19e siècle, et avec la naissance du Mouvement féminin de réforme politique. A cette époque, diverses femmes écrivirent et créèrent des pièces nées de leur engagement idéologique et social. L'une des formes théâtrales que choisit ce premier mouvement fut celle, parodique, du «Faux-Parlement», où furent renversés les rôles masculin et féminin traditionnels. Ces pièces furent l'oeuvre collective de différents groupes de suffragistes au Manitoba, en Ontario, en Alberta, en Colombie Britannique. Dans cet article l'auteure cherche à récupérer ces pièces, en vue d'une histoire du théâtre féministe au Canada. Elle y insiste surtout sur la dualité de Vidéoloqie, tant conservatrice que libérale, qui s'infiltre à travers tous aspects du Faux-Parlement. D'une part, ces pièces s'attaquent à la répartition des rôles masculin et féminin traditionnels que veulent maintenir les féministes « matérialistes »-en quoi ces pièces témoignent de la puissance d'un mouvement defemmes qui savaient travailler d'égalité au sein d'organismes poliques à structure traditionnelle. D'autre part, ce théâtre déploie les tactiques inoffensives et modérées typiques de la haute et moyenne bourgeoisie, tactiques d'une féminité « blanche » qui cherche sa représentation politique sans apporter de sérieux changements aux structures sociales de base. De telles tensions s'avèrent fondamentales à cette forme de parodie dramatisée qui se veut en même temps imitative et critique.

Imagine the palatial grounds of Toronto's Allen Gardens in winter 1896; a stylish crowd, men in top hats and tails, the women bustled, nimbly making their way along the footpaths to the city's grand Pavilion.1 The pagoda-like structure with its new Chinese architecture is an elegant sight. Inside, Toronto's fashionable elite, not too dishevelled from the freezing February weather, is agog at the suffrage banners that deck the halls announcing 'Votes For Women.' Of course there is the odd bellow of dissent from an indecorous man but generally the crowd is full of good cheer and rather smug in its own sharp sense of avant-garde politics. They have come to witness the highest profile event yet in the provincial suffrage campaign and there are enough of them to swell the house to capacity.

Tickets have been purchased, programmes distributed and people have just filed into their seats when the evening's entertainment of music and theatre begins. The ladies have secured The Verdi Quartette, some of the finest local talent and, after a stirring Overture called 'Vendetta,' the first speakers of the evening arrive: a deputation of men from the Men's Enfranchisement Association and Christian Temperance Union. They talk in sobering tones about the superior influence of Christian womanhood and its potential for fostering social improvement such as the country desperately needs.

'Why, a woman has a maternal desire to love the poor and nurture the sick. Just as she tidies the home and keeps it in neat array, so she would clean the cobwebs out of our common political home and mend the fraying social fabric. Therefore,' the resounding voice booms, 'let us be on the side of these angels of mercy, let us bring our women into the public fold and bestow upon them the same rights of citizenship we accord ourselves.2

Now comes the moment everyone has been waiting for, the evening sitting of the Mock Parliament. The curtain rises on a replica of the legislative assembly: fifty-two seats divided between two political parties, leather chairs, and small desks. It is assumed that women have ruled in the legislative halls from time immemorial; men have, from the early days, been hewers of wood and drawers of water. But, at last, they see plainly that in order to rise from their inferior position in society they must be enfranchised.

To accomplish this much-desired purpose, a deputation of men has summoned the courage to approach the Attorney-General, humbly praying that their down-trodden sex be granted this first right of a citizen. The Attorney-General, sorry though she will admit she is, must refuse their request. After much preamble, she assures the men that she heartily endorses their desire for enfranchisement but she does not wish to buoy them up with false hopes of its success. Even the members of her cabinet, advanced as they are on most questions, do not see eye to eye with her on this matter. The most she can promise is that their plea will receive the most serious consideration.3 Thus rejected, the men leave the hall, sorrowing.

Fifty-two of the strongest-minded women in Toronto file into the House. The sergeant-at-arms, with due ceremony, lays the royal mace upon the table. The Speaker is seated, and the business of the day commences: I beg to present a petition from a quarter of a million electors of Ontario asking that members of the legislature be prohibited from using a railways pass ... and consequently weakening their independence when dealing with railway corporations who ask for favours at the hands of the legislature. [The petitioners feel it] unjust that this mileage, which they are asked to pay, should be greater than is necessary in consequence of the large number of dead-head politicians travelling on the railways.

The Select Committee appointed to consider the proper costume to be worn by lady public school teachers reports that it had before it specimens of dress worn by lady teachers including knickerbockers, bloomers, divided skirts, short skirts and ordinary dresses-some of them beauties-and the evidence tends to show that each of the kinds of dress before mentioned may, on appropriate occasions, be worn with advantage.

I beg leave to move, seconded by the member for Peel, the first reading of a Bill entitled an act for the protection of dead voters. Next comes a bill entitled, 'An act to prevent men from wearing long stockings, knickerbockers and round-about coats when bicycling.' 'Should men,' contends the member from Bruce, 'be permitted to wear long stockings, they will soon wish to assume the other articles of woman's clothing, as, the divided skirt, the subtle influence of which would create a desire to fill women's positions in the world!'

Question period sees the members in their best form: the member for Nipissing opens: 'Is it the intention of the Government to so amend the Public Schools Act as to enable them to take steps to dismiss all married men engaged in the profession of teaching?'

'Madame Speaker,' insists the member for Brant: 'Does the Government intend to introduce a measure prohibiting men from invasion ... on any of the lighter employments, such as medicine, law, dress-making, millinery, which by their very nature belong exclusively to women?' Another member demands: 'Does the government intend introducing a measure to provide for the ringing of a curfew bell at 10 o'clock warning all men off the streets unless accompanied by their wives?'

The preliminary business out-of-the-way, the big debate follows: the second reading of an 'act to extend the franchise to men on the same conditions as to women.'

The Minister of Education shows perhaps the most thorough command of herself. She jokingly asks how, in view of scriptural teaching, it could be thought right for a man to leave the home to vote, when St. Paul says to women, 'If you would know anything, ask your husband at home? How can he be asked if he isn't there? Children,' she continues, 'are exhorted not to forsake the law of their mothers, which I take as conclusive that woman is the law-maker.'

The Minister for Crown Lands, in opposing the bill, contrasts social conditions under matriarchal and patriarchal rule, showing the immense superiority of the former and urging the members to run no risk of a recurrence of polygamy and the other horrors that disgraced patriarchal governments. Subsequently, the bill is defeated, the women close the session, and after much cathartic music and laughter the evening ends.

That's how it might have been and, indeed, some of how it was on that Tuesday evening in 1893 when members of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Association put on their version of the Mock Parliament.

The Mock Parliaments embody the dual ideology of liberal and reformminded feminism that informs the Canadian suffrage movement out of which they originate.4 They were developed as propaganda and proved to be a valuable and effective tactic in placing the issue of women's equality before the public and, ultimately, helping women win the vote. They seek to criticize the division of gender roles which relegate women to the domestic sphere. On the one hand, these performances were successful, large-scale events, deftly incorporated into well-organized campaign strategies. They are testimony to the political acumen and strength of women and a movement that knew how to organize and represent women as equals within a public forum. At the same time, the Mock Parliaments are hardly acts of militant political protest. They betray the safe, moderate tactics of an upper and middle-class, white womanhood that wanted representation within the existing system of parliamentary democracy.

In the plays this same tension exists. Their use of parody generates a dialectic between critique and imitation, between a reverence for and feminist revision of the parliamentary system. Within this parodic revision, as in the feminist movement itself, the struggle between conservative and liberal feminism dissolves in the common fight for equal suffrage.

The Canadian suffrage movement was informed by what first appear to be two contradictory ideological positions. One was liberal, issuing from the British philosophical tradition of Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Paine, and John Stuart Mill. According to Linda Kealey, the 'first generation of feminists appeared in the 1870s and 1880s and ... demanded the same rights and privileges for women as those accorded men' (A Not Unreasonable Claim 9). They recognized women's need for personal autonomy, an increased role in the public sphere and educational and occupational equality. The other ideological position developed somewhat later but ultimately had a stronger influence on the movement. Reform-minded feminism, often called domestic feminism, was essentially conservative and evolved out of the Canadian reform movements of the later nineteenth century. Proponents of this politic argued for a larger social role for women based on their innate maternal qualities. The application of these qualities in the public sphere, it was felt, would help to correct the ravages done by economic and social change and maintain middle-class values. Carol Bacchi contends that reform-minded feminists wanted to impress upon the social order generally a 'certain ... Protestant morality, sobriety and family order' (3).

Despite their apparently contradictory political positions, both liberal and reform-minded feminists shared common concerns about the limitations placed on women's social position. Both groups recognized women's lack of social power and both felt that their interests would have a better chance for success and swifter implementation if women were accorded the vote.

The Mock Parliaments, also called Women's Parliaments, constitute a subgenre of Canadian women's theatre: a variety of performance that was used as a political tool in helping women win the vote. The earliest productions anticipate by more than a decade similar plays in the United States, such as Sophie Louise Wepf Clark's Entertainment to Make Votes for Women (1910) and, in Britain, Alison Garland's The Better Half (1913).5 Not an unknown strategy in Canada, Mock Parliaments were used in the 1880s by the Montreal based 'Natural History Society' which once a week mounted a parlour play version to discuss political issues of the day.6 To this extent these performances fall within an enduring tradition of political entertainments in this country (Saddlemyer 55). As collectively created, grass-roots agitprop, the Mock Parliaments anticipate the socialist plays and Workers' Theatre of the late 1920s and 30s. But, as women's theatre that represents gender as the terrain of a political battle, they are most properly the precursors of secondwave feminist theatrical productions.

Performances of the Mock Parliaments span almost the complete length of the suffrage movement. There is evidence to support nine different plays and at least twelve different performances: four in Manitoba, six in Ontario, and two in British Columbia.7 The first Women's Parliament was staged at Winnipeg's Bijou Theatre on 9 February 1893 by the Women's Christian Temperance Union which was either directly or indirectly involved in most of the subsequent productions.8 The Toronto Mock Parliament on 18 February 1896 was a collaborative effort between the WCTU and the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Association.9 According to the Report of the Nineteenth Convention of the Ontario W.C.T.U., the Parliament 'was so much appreciated that at the request of a number of university lady students it was repeated' (114). That same year Grey County, north-west of Toronto, hosted another joint production of WCTU and the local 'lady teachers.'10 At the 1897 WCTU convention, Wentworth County reports having held a Mock Parliament. Two more are reported to have taken place in Cornwall and Gait during the year prior to the WCTU convention of 1901.11 'A Mock Parliament was performed by the Victoria Local Council in 1910' and the University of British Columbia Women's Club in Vancouver also mounted a production.12 This latter Parliament inspired the Walker Theatre play in Winnipeg on 28 January 1914, the best known of all the Parliaments (McClung, Stream Runs Fast 113). It was produced by the recently formed Winnipeg Political Equality League and starred Nelly McClung in the role of Premier (McClung, Stream Runs Fast 111-122; Cleverdon 59). McClung claims that this Parliament was staged a second time in Winnipeg and again in Brandon and 'had crowded houses on all occasions' (Stream Runs Fast 117).

These performances are familiar events to Canadian women historians who have long recognized the role they played in helping women win the franchise.13 This is not the case for scholars of Canadian theatre, however, who have over-looked the important contribution the Mock Parliaments have made to women's theatrical history. Why this is the case is a matter of some speculation. Certainly, the fact that the Mock Parliaments have received no critical attention is consistent with the general disregard of women's theatre and women's drama in this country, until the last few decades. It may result from the plays being so embedded in the history of suffrage. Their status as propaganda likely has discouraged scholars from recognizing them as legitimate acts of performance. But the most important reason why the Mock Parliaments continue to be ignored, however, is undoubtedly the lack of an extant play text. As with much theatrical activity of the nineteenth century, textual records of their performances are fragmentary. Primary source material exists for only three of them: the Bijou Theatre performance of 1893, the Pavilion event of 1896 and that at Walker Theatre in 1914. Nelly McClung has left a fictive and an autobiographical rendition of the Walker Theatre production but much of what we know of these Parliaments comes from newspaper reviews.14 Recently, however, my own investigation of the WCTU archives, held by the Ontario Public Archives, has uncovered a portion of an original script for the 1896 Mock Parliament performed in Toronto.15 This article, therefore, will focus upon the three performances cited above for which there are extant reviews and some critical discussion. It will also look in detail at the text of the 1896 Toronto production.

Anyone who is inspired to go to the Ontario Public Archives and examine the 1896 Mock Parliament will find that much of the extant text is comprised of small scraps of paper. I suspect these papers were rustled about by actors at their desks and may have been used as cue-cards. What is certain, however, is that they document the play's creation as a collective one: each fragment is penned by a different hand. What we know of the Walker Theatre production indicates that it, too, was collectively created. McClung recalls '[having] been out of the city for two weeks, and when I returned every detail had been worked out'; not her own speech as Premier, however, which she scripted the evening before the event (Stream Runs Fast 113).

The Mock Parliaments were staged in provinces which enjoyed the earliest political victories and are a rare example of sharing between provincial organizations in an otherwise geographically and ideologically disparate movement (Bacchi 35). The process of collectively re-writing these plays yields, in each instance, a slightly different performance. The 1893 version takes the least risks, involves the least parodic speech-making and foregrounds the suffrage debate, which attempts to represent both sides of the argument fully and fairly. The 1896 Parliament enters more completely into the rhetoric of reversal, posits a matriarchy and broadens the scope of its critique to include a variety of women's issues, especially those that belong to the new, educated, urban woman of the 1890s. The 1914 Walker Theatre production holds nothing back in the way of parody but, instead of a debate on suffrage, this Mock Parliament culminates in the rejection of the male delegation, similar to the one that opens the 1896 play, and in true commercial theatre fashion features a star performer, Nelly McClung. The satirical treatment of dower rights and the equal guardianship for parents of children in this Parliament, express the concerns of rural women (McClung, Stream Runs Fast 118-122; Purple Springs, 283).

The theatres which housed the Mock Parliaments were the largest in the country. The Bijou in Winnipeg was most famous for its major American touring attractions when it hosted the Mock Parliament in 1893 (Skene 323). It was later taken over, renovated and renamed Winnipeg Theatre by American-born theatre magnate C.P. Walker, who made it a major theatrical house on his Red River Valley Circuit (Skene 323, 588). The Edwardian designed Walker Theatre, which replaced the Winnipeg Theatre, was the largest touring house in the city when it was chosen as the venue for the 1914 Mock Parliament (Skene 588). In his discussion of this theatre Reg Skene, in what is a rare reference to the 1914 Mock Parliament, suggests that it was one of the most noteworthy events ever to fill the 1800-seat house. 16 Toronto, S Allen Gardens, rebuilt in 1878, also had a capacity for seating 1800 people when the Mock Parliament played there in 1896.17

The Mock Parliaments were organized to raise public support for suffrage and much-needed campaign funding for suffrage organizations; they were successful at doing both. Many of the performances received sympathetic press coverage and were significant enough to command the attendance of society audiences including parliamentarians. The Manitoba Daily Free Press reported that no fewer than twenty members of the legislative assembly were in the audience when the Bijou staged the first Mock Parliament. At the British Columbia production in 1910, both the Lieutenant-Governor and the Premier were among the crowd to witness 'the revolution that might be expected were women to take the place of men in the lawmaking chamber' (Cleverdon 89). '[T]wo members of the Manitoba Opposition . . . deserted the civic dinner' on the evening of the 1914 Walker Theatre production 'and secreted themselves among the audience' according to the Winnipeg Free Press (McClung, Stream Runs Fast 122). This latter Parliament drew a capacity crowd and netted enough money to finance the remainder of the provincial suffrage campaign.18 High profile activists in the suffrage community were featured in the play, and the venue, according to the Winnipeg Telegram, was used to campaign for new support:

During the evening an opportunity was presented the audience to sign a petition calling upon the government to extend the franchise to women and pamphlets dealing with the various aspects of woman suffrage were sold. (McClung, Stream Runs Fast 120)

Performances were also integrated into over-all campaign strategies. At least two were timed to coincide with the presentation of suffrage petitions. The success of the 1893 Parliament in attracting parliamentarians is in large part attributable to the preparatory work of Dr Amelia Yeomans. Through one Mr Burrows on 7 February, and again, in person, on 9 February, Yeomans presented a petition to the Manitoba legislature 'for an adjournment ... on Thursday Evening, to attend the Women's Mock Parliament.'19 Although the petition failed, the performance took place on the evening of the 9th and was succeeded shortly thereafter by the presentation of two more suffrage petitions. 20 The Political Equality League used the WCTU suffrage petition to the Manitoba legislature on 27 January as pre-performance publicity for the Walker Theatre Parliament of the following evening. As McClung relates the tale, the women were counting on Premier Roblin to refuse their supplications: 'What would be the fate of our play if Sir Rodmond were wise enough to give us a favorable reply?' (Stream Runs Fast 115). She was not disappointed, however, when the Premier, an 'orator of the old school . . . was at his foamy best . . . He was making the speech that I would make in the play in less than thirty-six hours ... O, the delight of that moment! He wasn't spoiling our play. He was making it!' (Stream Runs Fast 115). McClung proved herself a master of mimicry and improvised speechmaking when she took up the role of mock Premier and delivered what has now become an almost legendary parody of Roblin's pompous rhetoric and paternal sermonizing (Stream Runs Fast 111-122).21 The Toronto Mock Parliament, according to Cleverdon, was a joint undertaking of the DWEA and the WCTU to kick-start the flagging Ontario suffrage movement and gain publicity (27). Unfortunately, the play failed to prevent the almost ten-year period of inactivity that followed it. But it did inspire similar efforts on the part of local WCTU franchise departments who continued to stage Mock Parliaments as a way of keeping the issue alive.

Despite the immense risks that suffragists took in staging these plays there is truth to Carol Bacchi's assertion that the Mock Parliaments were part of the generally 'cautious and undemonstrative' tactics employed by Canadian suffragists.22 The reform-minded WCTU could have condoned little else (Bacchi 34). These performances were a genteel form of political critique, a strategy for the safe, sophisticated protest of a social elite to whom twenty-five cents was a pittance and women's claim to democracy worthy of consideration if somewhat radical.23 On a fundamental level they reproduced as much as challenged the morality of their audiences. The women who created and performed in these plays belonged to the same advantaged social elite as the men they mocked; they were women whose names could be found in directories of society ladies as well as doctors, lawyers, business women and journalists in an age when professional women of any kind were few. They were middle and upper-class, educated women of British and American origin, fighting for their right to representation, political influence and a degree of control over the way society was run.24 It would be naive, therefore, to imagine that these women had no experience of either politics or the stage. As social reformers, lecturers, politicians and campaign organizers they were some of the most distinguished women that the suffrage movement produced. Mrs A.J. McClung, mother-in-law of Nelly McClung, helped stage the first Mock Parliament in 1893 with the support of the pro-suffrage WCTU. She was assisted by Dr Amelia Yeomans, first woman physician of Manitoba (Cleverdon 50), and Miss E. Cora Hind, well known nationally and internationally as an agricultural expert and long-time journalist for the Manitoba Free Press.25 In 1896, Annie O. Rutherford, once editor of the WCTU Woman's Journal, was president of WCTU when she took up the role of speaker in the Toronto presentation.26 Beside her played Dr Emily Howard Stowe, the first woman physician in Canada, as well as the first female principal and elected school board trustee.27 This Parliament also included Stowe's daughter, Augusta Stowe-Gullen, Mary McDonnell, and Mrs A. Vance, all of whom contested seats on the Toronto School Board in 1892.28 Lillian Beynon Thomas, noted dramatist and editor of the Women's Page for the Grain Grower's Guide, is responsible for the idea of the Walker Theatre play in 1914, after hearing of its success in British Columbia (McClung, Stream Runs Fast 113). Nelly McClung, its star performer, is perhaps the most famous proponent of the first-wave reform movement and a veteran of the lecture circuit.

Advertisements of the Mock Parliament, published in local papers, billed them as entertainment rather than political theatre. The Evening Star and Globe announcements of 18 February 1896 spotlight the musical portion of the evening and the local musicians who will perform. It is hard to say what portion of time was allotted each entertainment but the Mock Parliament and the deputation of men speaking on suffrage come fourth and second in a programme of 14 musical pieces. The final nine pieces constitute a 'promenade' which seems to have been placed after the play to allow the audience the opportunity to gambol off some of the energy and emotion occasioned by the performance.29 The advertisement for the Walker Theatre Mock Parliament appears with other theatricals in the 'Amusements' section of the paper.30 Here, however, the politics of the performance are more obviously foregrounded. Prior billing is given to the patently suffrage play How The Vote Was Won, a highly successful one-act sketch by Christopher St. John and Cicely Hamilton, both members of the British Women Writers' Suffrage League (Hirshfield 3); a byline announces the Mock Parliament as a production of the Winnipeg Political Equality League 'in Which Over fifty Women, Prominent in Winnipeg Public, Literary and Social Circles will take part.

If the play advertisements understate the political import of the performances, newspaper reviews are sympathetic and enter freely into their political spirit: all view the productions as entertainment, educational and auguring of a changing mood toward women's suffrage.31 Most open by heralding the box office success of the plays ('a standing room only audience assembled at the Bijou,' 'A sold-out house at the Walker Theatre') and the favourable responses they solicited from their audiences. Portia's column, an early Evening Star women's page feature, is peppered with the 'howls of delight' which were generated among the audience. 'From the standpoint of an entertainment,' lauds the Manitoba Daily Free Press, [the 1893 Mock Parliament] ... was excellent and few burlesques ... have ever met with a heartier response.' This exuberant praise is reinforced by genuine support for the politics of the plays which causes one reviewer to comment, 'there is but little doubt that wiser and better men left the house than entered it.' The reviewer of the Winnipeg Telegram sounds like an unabashed disciple of suffrage, remarking 'if last night's production is any indication and the campaign in future meets with as much success, the cause of woman may not be so hopeless after all and the vote may not be so far away as one might be inclined to fear.'

Indeed, like the plays themselves, the reviews employ both liberal and reform-minded feminist arguments to defend the performances as liberating and empowering experiences for their female viewers. 'Every woman present,' claims Portia, 'seemed to feel that here was her opportunity to express herself, to impress her individuality upon the world.' A similar sentiment is conveyed by the Manitoba Daily Free Press which maintains that the Bijou Theatre production made 'the citizens feel that if necessary something could be done in the way of legislation'. . . . At the same time as they support women's individual liberty, reviews also praise their maternity-their 'kind, motherly look' (Manitoba Daily Free Press), their 'composure and elegance' (Winnipeg Free Press). Portia indicates that this praise is, at least in part, a strategy to undermine derogatory stereotypes that characterized suffragists as mannish he-women:

We freely confess that we looked in vain among the members of the Women's Parliament for the grotesquely gowned, loud-voiced, domineering, aggressive, disagreeable (and chimerical) individuals we hear described so often and specimens of whom, we were informed, would surely be plentiful among these women desiring to vote.

In her recent study of English Canadian fiction, the Canadian Postmodern, Linda Hutcheon claims that parody and irony '[are] major forms of both formal and ideological critique in feminist and Canadian fiction alike' (7). Both challenge dominant traditions and a 'cultural subject position' that is characterized by white, male, British and American values (5). These literary forms allow writers to speak to their culture, from within, but without being totally co-opted by that culture. The irony and distance implied by parody allow for separation at the same time that the doubled structure of both ... demands recognition of complicity (7).

Parody in the Mock Parliaments expresses both a reverence for and a rejection of the parliamentary system, a system women wanted to be a part of Their imitation of parliamentary procedure, in the name of equal suffrage, affirms an implicit faith in democracy and its principle of one person one vote. The parodic critique of this system comes in the form of a feminist challenge to its gender-biased constitution. The reversal of roles between men and women exposes the naturalized relation between men and power as an ideological one. It gives both liberal and reform-minded feminists a way of expressing their social and political disadvantage within the present parliamentary system and subjects the prejudice of that system to ridicule.

The Mock Parliament is a reverent imitation of the legislative assembly in session. All of its theatrical trappings-stage, props, actors, scripts, plot and action-have direct referents in this political forum. The strongly mimetic character of the Mock Parliaments confirms the authority of the original and this, in turn, confers credibility on the critique. Mimesis helps to insure that the critique will be read as a re-construction rather than a demolition of the institution. It is a reverent emulation of the parliament. It positions the women actors in largely self-reflexive roles, as versions of the politicians they hoped to become and aligns them with images of social respectability which mitigates, if it does not exonerate, their appearance on stage.32

In the 1896 Mock Parliament in Toronto the stage set is a version of the floor of the Provincial legislature.33 It is divided vertically into two sections, each represented by 26 desks and 26 parliamentarians. Between them is the Clerk's table, occupied by the Clerk and her assistant. The Speaker sits beyond the head of the table facing the audience and the Sergeant-At-Arms is 'down-stage' across from the Speaker, guarding the door.34 The modifications to the real historical parliament, while minor, are telling. 82 electoral seats have been collapsed into 52 which represent only the two larger parties, the Conservatives and the Liberals.35 The two small parties that won seats in the legislature at the time have been eliminated, indicating that Mock Parliaments reproduced the spirit of the division of power rather than the real historical one. It is impossible to determine which of the two large parties is in power, because on the issue of suffrage and social discrimination based on gender there is no substantive difference between them.

The central parodic feature of the Mock Parliament is the reversal of roles between men and women. On the most fundamental level, this reversal separates political power from men per se and alienates the audience from its usual androcentric perspective; it lays bare the naturalized relation between men and political power and calls attention to this relation as a socially constructed one. By implication, the reversal of roles challenges the exclusive authority of men to rule the state. By representing women as politicians, it questions the ideology of natural spheres.36

The scope of the reversal extends beyond the present into the past and reconstructs a history in which women have 'ruled in the legislative halls from time immemorial.' This reconstruction involves the recuperation of a mythic past for women, one which positions them as strong and their roles as politically important. The possibility that a historical matriarchy did exist was first posited by German philosopher J.J. Bachofen, whose influential text Das Mutterrecht constructed a theory of social development in which the first period of human history was matriarchal (Boas xi). In the play, however, the construction of a matriarchal herstory for women is a symbolic gesture. It imaginatively liberates women from their usual historical absence and political impotence; it implicitly questions androcentric renditions.

According to Mary Daly, reversal itself is one of the 'male methods of mystification by which patriarchy oppresses women' (Daly, Gyn/ecology 8). Nelly McClung had a powerful sense of the contradictions implicit in patriarchal reversals and made a lecture career out of exposing them..37 The reversal of roles in the Parliament involves a faithful mirror image: matriarchal rule reproduces the flaws inherent in patriarchy. The play rejects utopian theories of woman as morally superior because it argues for the equal representation of both sexes in government. As Frances E. Willard, founder of the WCTU, explains, reversal is used to expose chauvinism and political injustice in the service of a liberal critique:

We live at present in the men's world: we hope never to live in the women's world, though we think it would be fully as good as the men's: but one bisected globe is sufficient. What we want to see is the man and women's world. (The Evening Star)

The structure of the Mock Parliament is circular. It begins and ends with a discussion of suffrage. Its plot is also structured by the paradigm of reversal and focuses on issues of gender and suffrage. It is initiated with 'the Premier's' dismissal of a deputation of men pleading for the vote, moves quickly through an agenda of gender-related social issues and culminates in a failed debate on male enfranchisement. As the simple inversion of a female suffrage action, the outcome of the plot is predictable and mirrors the fate of contemporary suffrage actions. This is foreshadowed in the opening scene when we recognize the Premier's dismissal of the delegation as a parody of Sir Oliver Mowat, Premier of Ontario at the time, who was noted for his 'polite sympathy' and predictable rejection of suffrage pleas. 38

Thus, the circularity of the plot enacts the cycle of suffrage campaigns involving delegations, bills and petitions which, when they failed, caused that political cycle to begin again. If its fidelity to reversal forecasts the failure of suffrage, its circularity accurately predicts the continuation of the struggle and reinforces the necessity for that struggle and a belief in the democratic process.

The action of the play and the interaction between characters comply with the orders and rules of the House at the time.39 The content of the agenda is at once a satirical indictment of male politics, and a program of reform-minded and feminist concerns.

Railway scandals proliferated in the nineteenth century. Governments and their members were repeatedly accused of bribery, the misappropriation of public funds, and subsidizing their own personal gain by making disreputable deals with railway companies.40 The prevention of scandal and a conflict of interest between the Ontario government and the railways were at issue just two weeks before the Toronto Mock Parliament when the Globe of 31 January 1896, reported that Mr Mulock, member for North York, introduced a bill into the federal parliament to prevent members from accepting free railway passes in order to alleviate 'any suspicion in the public mind that the granting of ... passes to members of Parliament ... influenced their conduct in regard to railway companies.' According to the Globe article, several members of the house were concerned about the integrity of politicians who voted on railway legislation while receiving a financial subsidy. A version of this bill is translated into the 1896 play as a petition signed by one million Ontario electors demanding that

members of the legislature be prohibited by law from using a railway pass when travelling to and from Toronto ... [since] the acceptance of passes by members ... weaken[s] ... their independence when dealing with railway corporations asking for favours at the hands of the legislature.

The bill itself relies largely on exaggeration-petitioners have collared the support of the entire province-to call attention to the potential for male politicians to abuse their power and privilege.

Another commonplace form of political corruption in the nineteenth century was electoral fraud.41 Fraud in the form of the manipulation of ballots, 'treating,' bribery and the impersonation of voters plagued elections through-out the period.42 Although treating involved buying votes with alcohol, it is electoral fraud in the form of the impersonation of dead voters that appears in both the 1896 and 1915 plays.

In an ironic twist, dead voters, like the 'dead-head' parliamentarians subsidized by free rail passes, satirize the intellect of male politicians who often claimed that women should not be allowed to vote because of their innate mental deficiency. Primarily, however, the reference to dead voters is an attack on men's morality and the real historical practice of including the names of deceased voters on electoral lists. Therefore, in the text of the 1896 Parliament, a bill is introduced

to place on the staff of civic officials in the city of Toronto ... a duly qualified clairvoyant whose business it shall be to put herself in communication with deceased voters to ascertain whether more of them desire their names retained on the voters lists....

This issue recurs in Nelly McClung's fictive rendition of the Walker Theatre play when Pearlie Watson, in the role of Premier, contends that 'time and again . . . men came back and voted--even after they were dead.' This reference elicits a 'gasp' from the audience: 'for in the Premier's own riding, there were names on the voters' lists, taken, it was alleged, from the tombstones' (McClung, Purple Springs 285).

The prevention of fraud is at issue in the 1896 Toronto Mock Parliament when a satiric bill is introduced to 'compel political office seekers to be photographed by the Crook tube process'-an early form of x-ray that was being developed at the time.43 The idea that moral depravity could be detected with this newly developed scientific device also lampoons the ideology of social Darwinism, to which many suffragists subscribed, as well as biologically based theories of human behaviour.44

Similarly, the bill 'to define the qualifications for holding municipal office' and the 'measure to provide for the ringing of a curfew bell ... warning all men off the streets' apply the need for social control to the operations of government. The former bill evokes a proposal made by black, nineteenth-century American feminist Frances E. W. Harper who recommended that ,moral and educational tests' be devised for all individuals as a way of determining who should vote (Donovan 24). The latter bill to introduce a curfew advances the 'connection temperance women made between intemperance, crime and sexual immorality' (Mitchinson 155), and while no doubt is intended to be humorous, is not as far-fetched a tactic as it might now appear. In fact, this bill is a satiric rendering of a reform-minded Ontario Statute which allowed municipalities to

pass by-laws for the regulation of the time after which children shall not be in the streets after nightfall without proper guardianship. Such municipal Council shall in such cases cause a bell ... to be rung at or near the time appointed ... [usually nine o'clock] (Mitchinson 162).45

The question in the Mock Parliament which addresses itself to smoking -a farcical plea for 'an apparatus [with spittoon attached] ... which each and every smoker shall be compelled to use (under a penalty therein provided)'-is directly related to the WCTU crusade against tobacco consumption, and their more general prohibitionist platform.46 Like the issue of a curfew, underlying this question is the reform-minded belief in social control as a means by which to eradicate social and individual evils (Bacchi 82).

The remainder of the Mock Parliament deals with issues that more properly belong to a liberal feminist agenda, like those of women's dress reform.47 The bill restricting men from wearing long stockings, knickerbockers and round-a-bout coats when bicycling and the report of the Select Committee on the 'proper costume to be worn by Lady Public School teachers' are satiric treatments of the social restrictions placed on women's dress. The bill restricting men's clothing reverses the controversial issue of women's dress reform and especially the fashions associated with bicycle-riding. This new exercise 'fad' required short, tight-fitting clothing that became, like bicycle riding itself, a challenge to the physical and social restrictions placed on women (Light and Parr 228).48 The Select Committee's report can be read as a general attack on Toronto school board trustees who tried to impose a traditional, Christian concept of womanhood on their lady teachers. However, it seems also to be a specific attack on the infamous Trustee Bell who instigated a meeting to 'exchange impressions on the provocative fashions of the women teachers' by claiming that 'he did not know whether to call [a woman in bloomers] a lady or a prostitute' (Roberts, Honest Womanhood 32). The Mock Parliament report singles out the school board trustee for particular criticism when it is revealed that of the twenty-one witnesses called upon to examine the contentious garments-knickerbockers, bloomers, divided skirts, short skirts-all gave their evidence in a most careful thoughtful, calm and satisfactory manner, 'save the school board Trustee.49 The point of these bills in the Mock Parliament may have been to affront male privacy and suggest to men the personal invasion that women felt when their dress became a public and professional issue (Roberts, Honest Womanhood 32).

Bills and questions on wage reform and men's access to employment are also a parodic treatment of the sex-stereotyping that facilitated the exploitation of women workers. The bill 'debarring a husband from receiving a salary when his wife is in receipt of one,' and the 'act to dismiss all married men engaged in the profession of teaching' once again attacks the Toronto Public School Board, which openly policed the morality and private lives of its female members, paid them 'humiliating wages' and refused to hire any woman over thirty (Roberts, Honest Womanhood 31). Such legislation was outrageous only to the extent that it targeted men. The latter bill parodies a contemporary Toronto School Board ruling, implemented in 1895, that 'prohibit[ed the] employment of married women who had husbands to support them' (Roberts, 'Rocking the Cradle for the World' 31-32). By attempting to deny a man's right to an income, the mock legislation emphasizes the degradation of women's occupational vulnerability in the face of conservative forces which institutionalized sex discrimination and expelled women from the work-force upon marriage. It critiques the lack of a married woman's right to work and the commonly held belief that married women chose not to work (Kealey, 'Canadian Socialism and the Woman Question' 97).

There is an implicit reproof in these bills directed at the 'family wage' and its material relation to a women's proper sphere. Both issues, however, are more directly addressed by legislation which in the one case attempts to implement pay equity and in the other mocks the gender-determined eligibility for work. The former is 'a bill to remedy the injustice from which the weaker half of humanity suffer ... men performing the same work as women, and in an equally efficient manner, receive only one-half or one-third the wage paid to women.' This bill is a simple reversal of the feminist demand for women's wage reform and of the unhappy fact that women were, indeed, paid 'from one-third to one-half less wages than men' (Roberts, Honest Womanhood 8).50 It addresses the central nineteenth-century issue of the 'family wage' which justified a two-tiered pay scale based on the assumption that men should be paid more because they had to support a wife and children.51 The latter measure 'prohibits men from invasion of the ... lighter employments such as medicine, law, dressmaking, millinery, which by their very nature belong to women' and satirizes the widely held belief that men and women have a natural predisposition to particular kinds of employment. Its specific attack is directed against the notion of 'lighter employments,' an ideologically loaded term that masked the extremely laborious nature of much work done by women, justified their lesser pay and excluded them from a variety of jobs (Roberts, Honest Womanhood 8). The play foregrounds the ideological contradiction that women's work corresponds to 'feminine weakness' by including among the 'lighter employments' medicine and law, which require no inordinate physical ability but, nevertheless, have historically excluded women (Cook and Mitchinson, The Proper Sphere 170-1).

The politics of liberal feminism in the play suggest that women should have the right to participate as equals in society. Its critique is of social conditions-like the 'family wage' and access to employment-which discriminate against women and which must change in order for them to achieve social equality. It is also a critique of the ideology of the 'feminine' which disguises and perpetuates the injustice of this inequality and infringes upon a woman's individual liberty. The politics of social reform feminism in the Mock Parliament understand women's socio/political function as one of moral guardian. They favour state control-a curfew, scientific testing, and supervised accountability-as a means by which to police morality and eradicate political corruption.

The irony and satire of this first part of the performance depend for their humour upon an identification between the audience and the political issues presented by the play. By raising issues with which the audience is familiar the Mock Parliament reveals the absurdity of the dominant ideology and undermines its patriarchal bias; it exposes the self-serving narrow-mindedness and bigotry of male politicians and the sexual double standard. The parodic reversal of men and women accentuates the degradation of women's political disempowerment and exposes it as an affront to the basic rights of citizenship. The number of MP's who want draconian controls placed on male liberty may be funny but they also betray women's fear of how ruthless laws against them could become in the absence of parliamentary change. The high-spirited burnout, however, was no doubt primarily designed to establish a jocular, receptive mood among audience members for the pièce de résistance of the Mock Parliament, the suffrage debate, which was to follow.

Although it constitutes the lengthiest portion of the Mock Parliament, the suffrage debate is unfortunately the least well documented part of the 1896 performance. From the brief excerpts selected in Portia's review, though, it is clear that the debate operates very much like the preceding portion of the performance: it parodically reverses standard arguments repudiating women's political equality. Such is the case when the Minister of Education mocks those who invoke the authority of religion against women's rights, in particular the notoriously sexist teachings of St Paul: 'If you would know anything ask your husband at home.' What momentarily seems an affirmation of women's domestic place is humorously twisted as she retorts: 'How can you ask him if he is not there? Similarly, Paul's alleged decree that 'children ... not ... forsake the law of their mothers,' she takes 'to mean that women are the law-makers.'

The only extant text of any substantive length for a Mock Parliament suffrage debate is included in the review of the 1893 Manitoba performance. Although the parodic reversal of roles is abandoned for a straight debate on women's suffrage, in this Parliament the women use the debate as a way of representing the current spectrum of political opinion in favour of women's enfranchisement, ranging from the most conservative to the most radical. Dr Yeoman speaks the voice of pro-suffrage social reformers who argue that women's maternal function makes it necessary for them to have the vote. Mrs Dulson takes the more liberal stance that there should be no taxation without representation. Cora Hind defends women's right to vote in terms of social equality. Precisely because 'Maternity [is] not the first and only office of womanhood,' because some women are not married and 'the largest body of women' work, they must be given the right to political representation and the chance to effect change in the conditions of their employment.

Despite the straight delivery of opinions in the debate, dissenting views involve an irony that is consistent with the parodic frame of the play. Antisuffrage arguments, as much as those that are pro-suffrage, recount many of the contemporary objections to women's enfranchisement. Dead-pan underplaying and their context within a parliament of women make comments like 'women are not trained in politics' ring with an irony worthy of the opening critique.

Although all of the Mock Parliaments are structured around the inevitable failure of the suffrage bid, the action of the performances is about political struggle. In the end, they communicate a sense both of the headiness of power and the continuing injustice of women's disenfranchisement. Their faithful imitation of Parliamentary procedure discloses a reverence for the legislative and democratic process that, arguably, makes their critique palpable to a conservative audience. But the Mock Parliaments also challenge the parliamentary state apparatus by critiquing its gender bias and they do this by focusing on women. It is women who are made to feel empowered and it is their issues that are addressed. One hundred years later, the project of revaluing and recuperating these performances for a Canadian feminist theatre history enacts this same struggle in the cultural sphere. The Mock Parliaments pre-figure many of the characteristics we have come to associate with contemporary feminist theatre:they were collectively created, politically motivated, women-centred, gender-based, recuperative and critical of women's place under patriarchy. A closer scrutiny of these performances offers scholars and practitioners of Canadian feminist theatre some sense of their having a history and context.

NOTES

PERFORMING POLITICS: PROPAGANDA, PARODY AND A WOMEN' PARLIAMENT

KYM BIRD

1 My fictive rendition of the 1896 Mock Parliament, written and performed by the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Association (DWEA) and the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) at the Pavilion in Toronto, is based on the following sources: a review of the Parliament, 'Portia's Column: Women as Legislators in Their Mock Parliament' (Evening Star 20 Feb 1896), and the extant portion of the 1896 text, included in the WCTU Archives, held by the Ontario Public Archives in Toronto, MU 8288-9
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2 FRANCES WILLARD, founder of the WCTU, called women 'social housekeepers capable of using their domestic skills in cleaning up corrupt politics' (LINDA KEALEY, 'Canadian Socialism and the Woman Question' 91)
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3 It is recorded that 'Sir Oliver [Mowat] wished us every success [in securing enfranchisement] but promised nothing' (Report of the Nineteenth Convention of the Ontario W.C.T.U. 125, held by the Ontario Public Archives in Toronto, MU 8407-7)
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4 See LINDA KEALEY A Not Unreasonable Claim and CAROL LEE BACCHI Liberation Deferred?
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5 For a discussion of the former see BETTINA FRIEDL's Introduction to On To Victory: Propaganda Plays Of The Woman Suffrage Movement. A discussion of the latter is included in CLAIRE HIRSHFIELD, 'The Suffragist as Playwright in Edwardian England' (5)
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6 See 'Mock Parliament' Montreal Gazette (4 Nov 1885);'Mock Parliament' Montreal Gazette (11 Nov 1885); 'Mock Parliament' Montreal Gazette (25 Nov 1885)
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7 The Manitoba Daily Free Press claims that the women who staged the Bijou Theatre Parliament in Winnipeg were considering similar performances in Portage La Prairie and Brandon but it is questionable whether or not these plays ever took place. CLEVERDON mentions a Women's Parliament at the Women's Convention of the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) in March of 1915 (70). While she does not make it clear, the 'Women's Parliament' in this case actually refers to the UFA Women's Convention and not to the performance of a Mock Parliament. See 'Alberta Women's Parliament' in Grain Grower's Guide (27 Jan 1915) 14-15
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8 In Liberation Deferred? CAROL BACCHI incorrectly claims that the 1896 Mock Parliament is 'the first of its kind in Canada' (29). For a brief discussion of the 1893 Bijou Theatre Parliament in Winnipeg, see CLEVERDON, Woman Suffrage in Canada 50-51
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9 Both BACCHI (Liberation Deferred? 29) and CLEVERDON (Woman Suffrage Movement 27) attribute the 1896 play to the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Association. The WCTU, however, obviously played a large role in this production: many of the participants in the play were members of the WCTU and its Enfranchisement Committee is credited with the action. For references to this Parliament, see Report of the Nineteenth Convention of the Ontario W.C.T.U. (114) and Report of the Tenth Convention of the Dominion W.C.T.U. (81) both held by the Ontario Public Archives in Toronto, MU 8407-7 and MU 8398-6 respectively
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10 See Report of the Nineteenth Convention of the Ontario W.C.T.U. (113)
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11 As these local WCTUs have left no reports of their organizational activities, I have been unable to locate any specific information on these Parliaments. Reference is made to them, however, at the 1901 Ontario WCTU Convention when Miss CHARLOTTE E WIGGENS reports: 'I have planned two special franchise campaigns in Gait and Cornwall, in each held a mock parliament of women who discussed whether men ought to be allowed to vote. The satire of the arguments convinced many where a straight-forward argument would fail' Report of the Twenty-fourth Convention of the Ontario W.C.T.U. Ontario Public Archives in Toronto, MU 8407-11, p 119
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12 There are only brief references to the two British Columbia Parliaments. For the 1910 British Columbia Local Council Parliament, see CLEVERDON (Woman Suffrage Movement 89). The British Columbia University Women's Club Parliament is mentioned in McClung's The Stream Runs Fast (113)
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13 There are, however, noticeable absences and inconsistencies in this research. No historian mentions the latter two versions of the 1914 Parliament and Catherine Cleverdon seems to suggest that the financial success of the Walker Theatre Parliament on 28 January 1914 was alone responsible for funding the final two years of the Manitoba suffrage campaign (59). McClung states that it was a series of 3 productions, two in Winnipeg (the first of these at Walker Theatre) and one in Brandon, that together generate funding for the campaign (Stream Runs Fast 117). Also See also note 8 above
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14 'The Ladies' Innings' Manitoba Daily Free Press 10 Feb 1893; 'Portia's Column: Women as Legislators in Their Mock Parliament' Evening Star 20 Feb 1896; Women Suffragists Gambol At Walker Theatre' Winnipeg Telegram 29 Jan 1914; Women Score In Drama and Debate' Winnipeg Free Press 29 Jan 1914. Both reviews of the 1914 production as well as MCCLUNG's discussion of it are reproduced in Stream Runs Fast (118-122); For her fictive version, see Purple Springs (273-89). Unless otherwise specified, all subsequent references to newspaper reviews of the Mock Parliaments refer only to the four articles cited here
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15 'Mock Parliament' WCTU Archives, Ontario Public Archives, Toronto MU 8288, MU 8289
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16 See also REG SKENE 'Theatre and Community: The Development Toward a Professional Theatre in Winnipeg, 1897-1957' PhD Diss, University of Toronto 1983
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17 'New Pavilion For Toronto Canadian Architect and Builder (Feb 1905) 31
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18 According to NELLY McCLUNG, the Manitoba Political Equality League 'gave the play twice in Winnipeg and once in Brandon, and had crowded houses on all occasions. We made enough out of the play to finance our campaign in the province, and there is no doubt that it was a great factor in turning public sentiment in favor of the enfranchisement of women' (Stream Runs Fast 117). Also see note 13 above
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19 Manitoba Legislative Assembly Journals (Feb 1893) pp 20, 23
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20 Ibid
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21 ROBLIN's speech is printed in 'Woman's Sphere Is In The Home Says Premier To Women,' Winnipeg Telegram (28 Jan 1914, morning ed). McCLUNG's parody of this speech is partially preserved in Stream Runs Fast and Purple Springs but no complete copy of the text has been found. In a telephone conversation with me, RANDI WARNE, (University of Alberta, St Stephen's College), who wrote her doctoral thesis on McCLUNG, suggested that it is likely, given McCLUNG's training in an oral tradition, that the speech was never written down
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22 For a critical review of BACCHI's text see ERNEST FORBES 'The Ideas of Carol Bacchi and The Suffragists of Halifax: A Review Essay on Liberation Deferred? The Ideas of the English-Canadian Suffragists, 1877-1918' Atlantis 10.2 (Spring 1985) pp 119-12
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23 Tickets for the 1896 Toronto play were advertised at 25 and 50 cents (Evening Star 18 Feb 1896)
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24 'It was naturally the educated, reasonably well-paid, professional woman in late nineteenth-century Canada who provided leadership for the suffragist movement.... But there was another group of women who, though sometimes more traditional than their sisters in the world of work, provided both leaders and followers for the suffragists. These were married, middle-class women, frequently well educated but rarely professionals.' RAMSAY COOK Introduction to Woman Suffrage Movement xi
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25 According to CLEVERDON, 'at least ten members [of the Political Equality League who co-sponsored the Parliament] were journalists' (Woman Suffrage Movement 55-56)
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26 See CLEVERDON Woman Suffrage Movement (27). Other well-known temperance women who performed in the play include: HATTIE STEVENS, President of the Toronto WCTU in 1906; MRS A VANCE, Vice-President of the Toronto WCTU in 1905; LOTTIE WIGGINS, Superintendent of the Franchise Department for the Ontario WCTU 1898-1900; MRS FRED C WARD, Franchise Superintendent for the Ontario WCTU 1891; MRS F S SPENCE; and LETITIA YOUMANS, President and founder of the WCTU in Canada. See BACCHI Liberation Deferred? 30, 158
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27 RAY, Emily Stowe
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28 BACCHI Liberation Deferred? 29. Also included among the actors was MRS C P WALKER, theatre critic and wife of the theatre magnate and proprietor of Walker Theatre. For a list of the women who performed in the 1914 Walker Theatre production in Winnipeg, see Winnipeg Telegram reprinted in McCLUNG, Stream Runs Fast 118-120
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29 The programme for this Parliament seems to have doubled as a dance card. There are blank spaces at the back for the theatre-goer to pencil in four engagements
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30 Winnipeg Telegram 24 Jan 1914 and Winnipeg Telegram 26 Jan 1914
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31 This sympathy may have had to do with the sex of the reviewers. Portia was definitely a woman and her progressive views on women's issues appeared in many of her weekly Evening Star columns. According to NELLY McCLUNG, '[m]ost of the newspaper women of [Winnipeg] were with us, so it was easy for us to get publicity' (Stream Runs Fast 111)
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32 This sentiment is corroborated by the reviewer of the Walker Theatre Parliament (Winnipeg Telegram) who remarks: 'The women who portrayed the characters of politicians both in and out of office appeared to take quite naturally to their parts; in fact, it might be said that they actually revelled in their pretence of holding office and that secret ambition they all shared is undoubtedly accountable for the great success of the entire program' (McCLUNG, Stream Runs Fast 118)
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33 There is an outline of the stage-set for the 1896 Mock Parliament on the back of the original programme, held by the Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library, The Baldwin Room, Ephemera Collection. An incomplete reprint has been microfilmed by the Canadian Institute for Historical Micro-reproductions and is listed under 'Mock Parliament.' An incomplete programme for this Parliament can also be found in WCTU Archives, held by the Ontario Public Archives, in Toronto
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34 The 1914 Walker Theatre Parliament also included Pages, an Attorney-General and Usher of the Black Rod. See the Winnipeg Telegram, reproduced in McCLUNG, Stream Runs Fast 119-120
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35 Four parties were actually represented in the Ontario Provincial legislature of 1896. The Liberals had 49 seats; the Conservatives 27; the Patrons of Industry 14 and the P P A, 2. See Canadian Parliamentary Guide (Toronto: Info Globe, 1991)
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36 Second-wave feminist plays which employ this same strategy of reversal include MYRNA LAMB's But What Have You Done For Me Lately? and The Johnnie Show, written and performed by the Rhode Island Feminist Theatre
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37 'Nellie McClung: The Stream Runs Fast' writer RANDI WARNE,Ideas, CBC Edmonton 1,8 May 1991
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38 By the time of the 1896 Mock Parliament, the DWEA had approached Sir Oliver Mowat's provincial legislature on the issue of suffrage three times, no fewer than a dozen bills had been introduced (most of them by Liberal member John Waters) and scores of petitions had been written. See CLEVERDON Woman Suffrage Movement 23-27
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39 According to the Rules, Orders and Forms of Proceeding of the House of Commons of Canada (Ottawa: S E Dawson, 1896), motions, bills, etc, have to be presented in writing (24, 64). This corroborates my assumption that the many small scraps of paper that comprise the extant 1896 text may have been props in the actual performance
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40 PIERRE BERTON 'Pacific Railway Scandal' and GUSTAVUS MYERS 'The Distribution of Railway Subsidies'
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41 TERENCE H QUALTER The Election Process in Canada 149-169; NORMAN WARD 'Electoral Corruption and Controverted Elections' 74-86; 'Current Events' Canadian Encyclopedic Digest IV (1904--5) 307-315
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42 'The years 1875-8, inclusive, produced election petitions against the representatives of no less than sixty-five constituencies, or substantially more than one-third of the whole House' (Ward 76)
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43 In the Globe 10 Feb 1896, it is reported that 'a photograph may be taken of objects invisible to the naked eye; that things hidden behind opaque substances and even the skeleton of a living person are not beyond the reach of reproduction by the new process' (9). It is also possible that this bill conjured up associations with the Ontario prohibitionist Adam Crooks, a provincial politician responsible for the local option law which allowed counties to decide whether they would be dry or wet
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44 '. . . an important ingredient in the reform mix was a large dash of liberal social darwinism. "May the day soon dawn," AUGUSTA STOWE-GULLEN exclaimed in 1909, "when the artificial barriers which have evolved and fostered an antagonism and misunderstanding between the sexes be swept aside and the world, so full of needs, and replete with problems, demanding men and women strong to do and achieve, will be born unto them a finer type of manhood and womanhood united by a community of interest-their destiny, the evolution of mankind"' (RAMSAY COOK Introduction xviii-xix). See also BACCHI Liberation Deferred? 104-116
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45 In 1896 the WCTU established a Department of the Curfew Bell in order to promote and monitor the implementation of the Ontario Statute. The Report of the Nineteenth Convention of the Ontario W.C.T.U. contains the first report of the Department of the Curfew Bell (212). Subsequent convention reports give a sense of the widespread success of WCTU campaigns on this front
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46 At the Nineteenth Convention of the Ontario WCTU (1896), the members adopted the following resolutions: 'Whereas, the use of tobacco, particularly by the young, is an evil that seriously threatens the physical life of our country; Resolved, that special attention should be paid by our Unions to scientific works, giving full information regarding the dangers of its use; and, Further Resolved, that we earnestly advocate such an amendment of the laws of this province as would make the smoking of cigarettes by minors (some of whom are almost infants) practically impossible' (Report 156).

At the Twenty-second Convention of the Ontario WCTU (1899), anti-tobacco agitation included the counties of Algoma West, which reported having sent a resolution asking for an anti-cigarette Law; Grey Bruce, which indicated that anti-tobacco laws were already in place; and Wentworth, Kent and Middlesex, all of which had been appealing to members of parliament on the issue (Report 166-167).

By 1901 the WCTU boasted a series of anti-smoking literature including: 'The Power of the Tobacco Habit;' 'The Cigarette, Its Evils, Etc.;' 'The Cigarette and the Youth;' 'Literature for the Crusade Against Cigarettes;' 'An Anti-Cigarette Exercise, suitable for Parlour Meetings' (Report of the Twenty-fourth Convention of the Ontario W.C.T.U. 4)
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47 See PRENTICE Canadian Women 153. CAROL BACCHI sees dress reform as a part of race regeneration and the white middle-class need to create a more perfect offspring (Liberation Deferred? 66). Ile Mock Parliaments, however, seem to suggest that dress is one of the lines along which women were oppressed. This position is corroborated by Beth Light and Joy Parr who contend that there was a relationship between women's move into the professional world and their desire for 'more comfortable and mobile attire' (LIGHT and PARR, Canadian Women On The Move 228)
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48 See also LIGHT and PARR on 'New Women, New Issues and New Activities: 'The First Ladies' Bikes,' in their Canadian Women on The Move 227-228
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49 'The essential costume for women cyclists,' according to WAYNE ROBERTS, was 'pant-like "bloomers" [which] scandalized education trustees who charged that women teachers thus attired resembled prostitutes ... Augusta Stowe-Gullen [elected school board trustee] did not choose her props lightly when she ventured onto Toronto streets in this period, complete with cap, bloomers and bicycle' (ROBERTS, 'Rocking the Cradle for the World' 16)
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50 RAMSAY COOK, quoting MINNIE PHELPS, states: 'In the factories of our province [Ontario] ... there are 7,594 women, 247 girls between the ages of 12 and 14 years; 1,588 between the ages of 14 and 18 years. These women, working side by side of the male laborers, battling with the sample physical struggles, full of the same high aspirations, the value of the world's market of exchange being equal, find they receive from one-third to one-half less wages, doing the same work with as much skill as their brother workers' ('Introduction' Suffrage Movement In Canada x)
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51 For two sympathetic articles on this issue, see MISS MINNIE PHELPS, 'Women as Wage Earners,' in REV B F AUSTIN, Woman: Her Character, Culture and Calling (Brantford, 1890 51-5) and MISS E BINMORE, 'Financial Outlook of the Women Teachers of Montreal,' The Educational Record, (Quebec, Vol. XIII, no. 3 March 1893) 70-74. Both are collected in COOK and MITCHINSON, The Proper Sphere 182-86 and 186-89.
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WORKS CITED

BACCHI, Carol Lee. Liberation Deferred? : The Ideas of the English-Canadian Suffragists, 1877-1918. Toronto: Univ of Toronto Press 1983

BOAS, George. Preface, Myth, Religion, and Mother Right by J.J. Bachofen. New York: Princeton Univ Press 1967

BERTON, Pierre. 'The Pacific Railway Scandal,' in Political Corruption in Canada, eds Kenneth M. Gibbons and Donald C. Rowat. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart 1976

CARELESS, J.M.S. 'The Cultural Setting: Ontario Society to 1914,' in Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800-1914, ed Ann Saddlemyer. Toronto: Univ of Toronto Press 1990

CLARK Sophie Louise Wepf. Entertainment to Make Votes for Women. Washington: Burton 1910

CLEVERDON, Catherine L. The Woman Suffrage Movement in Canada. Toronto: Univ of Toronto Press 1974

COOK, Ramsay. Introduction, The Woman Suffrage Movement in Canada by Catherine Cleverdon. Toronto: Univ of Toronto Press 1974

COOK, Ramsay and Wendy MITCHINSON eds. The Proper Sphere: Woman's Place in Canadian Society. Toronto: Oxford Univ Press 1976

DALY, Mary. Beyond God the Father. Boston: Beacon Press 1973

DALY, Mary. Gyn/ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism. Boston: Beacon Press 1978

DONOVAN, Josephine. Feminist Theory: The Intellectual Traditions of American Feminism. New York: Ungar 1985

FRIEDL, Bettina ed. On to Victory: Propaganda Plays of the Woman Suffrage Movement. Boston: Northeastern Univ Press 1987

GARLAND, Alison. The Better Half. Liverpool: Daily Post 1913

HARPER, Frances E.W. 'Women's Political Future,' in Black Women in Nineteenth-Century American Life, eds Bert James Loewenberg and Ruth Bogin. University Park, Pa: Penn State Univ Press 1976

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HUTCHEON, Linda. The Canadian Postmodern: A Study of Contemporary English-Canadian Fiction. Toronto: Oxford Univ Press 1988

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