A Statue at Versailles, I think.The closest I came to being in law school was in 1975ish, when I was working part time in the McGill Bookstore. It was the beginning of the year when there was a huge rush of clients, a hectic job, but I liked hectic jobs.
I was in the Theatre Arts Branch of English, a real hippy girl with my peasant skirts and leotards and long long hair and in winter my fifteenth-hand muskrat coat. I was in charge of the cash for the law students and the store supervisor warned me that law students would do anything to trick me into making a mistake.
Apparently, they resented paying so much for books, which were often just collated (is that the word) bunches of papers.. with yellow paper covers, if I recall. Costing about 70 dollars!
I remember the law students more for what they looked like: All the women were very well dressed, in neatly tailored outfits, lovely mohair sweaters, woolen skirts, with perfectly coiffed and contained hairdos and fine leather pumps.
McGill Law building. In 1913 Dean Walton of the Law School was on the Board of the new Montreal Suffrage Association. It seems he thought women should vote on principle, not because he wanted 'traditional' values restored. "Only imbeciles and criminals do not have the vote," he said.
I went on to get study Communications and work in media. Lately, I've been researching and writing about Montreal women in 1910, Social History. I've also been auditing some online courses, because I took no History Courses in university (for reasons I wrote about in the last post.) History is the history of Politics, so for the first time I am reading Hobbes and Locke and Montesquieu, etc. (All available on Librivox or Gutenberg, so there's the bonus.) (I took classics in CEGEP so I was already familiar with the Odyssey and the Aenaed and such, but not the Politics, per se, not the Republic of Plato or the Ethics of Aristotle.)
You know what? I like LAW, the theory of it... as in What is Justice? That's not such a surprise, as I am a writer (a thinking person) and if you think about the world today, you must think about JUSTICE. Two things came to mind today as I audited a lecture on the Declaration of the Rights of Man with respect to my research into Montreal in the 1910 era. The Berkeley prof was discussing how laws ideally issue out of the social condition, they are not supposed to come before and actually change the social condition.
(Always something to think about in Quebec.)
I thought about something I read years ago, when I visited the Quebec National Archives (National, sic) and I found a letter written by Julia Grace Parker Drummond, President of the Montreal Council of Women, written about 1910.
The Moral and Reform Society of Canada wanted to make some laws to keep people from living in sin. (In those days 'living in sin' was not about youths and premarital sex, it was about poor people just trying to survive, especially immigrants.)
Parker first got some legal advice (probably from McGill) that claimed the law appears aimed at immigrants and that was unfair. She wrote a letter back to the Moral and Social Reform people, stating her views, saying YOU CAN'T MAKE PEOPLE GOOD BY PASSING LAWS.
(And she wrote that in bold, if I recall.) This is one instance where the Council came down on the right side of history. That wasn't always the case. They wanted procurers of prostitutes whipped, but then so did the British suffragettes.
Around the same time Carrie Derick was gave a lecture on the history of the suffrage movement) and she claimed 'Laws are for bad people. Good people don't need laws." At least that was how she was quoted in the newspaper.
Here are two women who worked side by side in the same women's organization,the Montreal Council of Women. Indeed, they were the two leaders of said Council but they have seem to disagree on this point... if I am right.