Works in the Bulletin 1908

Mr. Bayles said that until he was convinced that a majority of the women of the State desired the franchise he could not vote for it.
Mr. Lemmon : You an judging the whole of the State by the ladies of Toorak.
Mr. Bayles: That would not be a bad standard either.
 -Debate on Women's Franchise Bill in Vic. Assembly.

Oh women of Australia, and ladies, if you please,
If you want to serve your country you should live a life of ease;
If you want to be true helpmeets to our patriots, you must
Persuade yourself you do not spring from common, vulgar dust.
If you yearn to be politically equal with the males,
Pray note the standard pointed out by lofty Mister Bayles.
Put aside domestic duties, and, whatever else you lack,
Imitate the modes and manners of the ladies of Toorak.
Oh, the ladies of Toorak, on the upper social track --
High and haughty; how the "Pawty" loves to have them at its back.
         You must live for social pleasure,
         Vote for Tory man and measure;
You must live a life of leisure, like the ladies of Toorak.
Never, never in the morning wear your diamonds in the street,
And be very, very careful whom you condescend to "meet."
Recollect that nursing children is considered rather wrong,
And you must not let your daughter out without a chaper-ong.
Prithee, don't be too familiar with your chauffeur or your cook,
And regard all "working people" with a cold, disdainful look.
To be worthy of the franchise "put on dog" or else, alack,
You can never reach the level of the Naicest in Toorak.

P'raps your husband may expect you now and then to cook a chop.
If you're truly patriotic, you would sooner see him drop
Dead before you soil your fingers with a task so mean and low.
Women voters, household duties are politic'ly de trop,
You may be a trifle flighty if you're slim and young and strong;
But you must be staid and haughty it you're old and ombongpong.

These and other Toorak manners, women voters, closely note,
If at all intelligently you would exercise your vote.
As for Socialists -- oh, ladies, shun them as you would a plague!
And adhere to B. Smith's tenets, tho' they are a trifle vague.
In regard to population -- should you own a kid to whack,
Keep it dark; for vulgar babes are not the fashion in Toorak.

Oh, the Naicest in Toorak -- all the babies that they lack
Would extend from Yarra Bend up to Bendigo and back.
         Youngsters are not in the running;
         Dogs are far more cute and cunning
To the starchy and the stunning staple product of Toorak.

The Bulletin, 12 November 1908, p10

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-07