1



Agnes Macphail

  • Canadian politician
  • Born March 24, 1890
  • Died February 13, 1954

Agnes Campbell Macphail (March 24, 1890 – February 13, 1954) was a Canadian politician who was the country's first female Member of Parliament. First elected to the House of Commons of Canada in 1921, she served as an MP until 1940. Moving to provincial politics, from 1943 to 1945 and again from 1948 to 1951 she was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario representing the Toronto riding of York East. Active throughout her life in progressive Canadian politics, Macphail worked for two separate parties and promoted her ideas through column-writing, activist organizing, and legislation.


Most of the women who have offered themselves for public office over the years have done so, I believe, more because of the 'dirt' than in spite of it.




I believe the preservation of the home in the future lies almost entirely in the hands of men.




I do not want to be the angel of any home: I want for myself what I want for other women, absolute equality. After that is secured, then men and women can take turns being angels.




Do not rely completely on any other human being, however dear. We meet all life's greatest tests alone.




Whatever is dirty, it is women's job to clean up, or drive some man to clean up, and that goes for everything from cellar to senate.




I want for myself what I want for other women, absolute equality.




If the preservation of the home means the enslavement of women, economically or morally, then we had better break it.




It is a fact that all women contribute more to marriage than men; for the most part they have to change their place of living, their method of work, a great many women today changing their occupation entirely on marriage; and they must even change their name.




If they are willing to give women economic freedom in that home, if they are willing to live by the standard they wish women to live by, then homes will be preserves.




I owed it to my father that I was elected to Parliament in the first place, but I owed it to my mother that I stuck it out once I got there.




When I first came to the House of Commons and walked out into the lobby, men sprang to their feet. I asked them to sit down since I'd come to walk around. I didn't want them doing me favours.




Never apologize. Never explain. Just get the thing done, and let them howl.



1