In the words of Laura McLaren: A woman's place?
Laura McLaren, of Bodnant Garden, argued that all women must be allowed to take their rightful place as full citizens in political life, for the nation to prosper.
“At present, when a man hands his wife the housekeeping money, it remains his; when it is in her pocket, it is his; when she changes it in the shop, it is his; everything she buys with it is his. Ladies, the little bit of food on the end of your fork before you put it into your mouth belongs to your husband; and even when you have swallowed it, still it is his – for you are his.” - Truth (June 1910)
“I have heard a member of Parliament in the House of Commons declare, by a strange hallucination, that women had no physical force at all. And yet this member ordered a number of women to get out of bed at dawn while he was comfortably sleeping; he was called by the knock of a woman; his hot water was heated and brought to him by a woman; he dressed in a shirt that a women had made and that a woman had newly washed, and he put on a collar she had ironed; he dressed himself in clothes which she had brushed and which she had probably done much to make; he went down to eat the breakfast which she had prepared, and walked out to go to the House of Commons on steps which she had gone down on her knees to wash. From the cradle to the grave that man depended for his comforts on the physical force of women; they had nursed him in infancy...And yet he was blind to the fact that the greater part of all the dirty, disagreeable, monotonous and ill-paid work of the whole of this country is performed by the physical force of women, and proclaimed to an applauding House that women had no physical force at all.” - The Times (March 1908)“
"Now Sir, I desire to occupy no man’s seat. I can, if need be, carry my own garments. I am able to turn door-handles and I care not one jot who goes out first. But I do desire for women equal education, equal marriage laws, equal labour laws, and equal political rights. What women hate is not mankind, but man’s thoughtless injustice, his complacent satisfaction – when he offers women dross for gold and calls it chivalry." - The Academy (September 1908)
"Chivalry never prevented men robbing women of either liberty or property; it did nothing for the woman who sang the Song of a Shirt; it never assisted the witch who was burning at the stake; it never rescued the woman on the scaffold, nor did it moderate the savage violence of stocks and ducking-stools and floggings at the cart’s tail as punishments for women. Chivalry never repeated the old common law of England which allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick not thicker than his thumb." - Letter to Daily Mail (August 1908)
" It was not so much being shut out of the vote that hurt women; it was the fact that men should be so unjust to them. Men were by nature their friends and lovers and that they should turn upon them and say they were to be classed with idiots, criminals and lunatics hurt them more than anything."