Temperance and the Suffragettes

The Women’s Christian Temperance Union was formed in 1885, Kate Sheppard being the founding member. The union was created for the protection of the family. Its slogan : “For God and Home and Humanity”.
In the late 1800s it was assumed that women would favour prohibition for economic reasons. Keeping husbands, fathers etc out of pubs would reduce physical suffering and allow women and children more money for staples like food, shoes and clothing. It was said that women were ruled by emotions with superior moral issues –the shrieking sisterhood was mentioned- where men were, apparently, more rational.
1893 saw women barred from holding liquor licences although those closely related to the licence holders were exempt. A new law came into force in 1910 banning any new barmaids. It was said that the ‘innocents’ had to be protected from the evils of drink and barmaids tempted men into their establishments. A cartoon from 1906 depicts a barmaid and a group of men who utter “Why not make plainness and age compulsory. ‘What oh! Boys let’s get out of this quick. The beer’s sour in this bar”
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