restricted access Conservative Consumerism: Consumer Advocacy in Woman’s Century Magazine During and After World War I

Whereas most historical research into Canadian women’s consumer advocacy presents that activism as progressive, many Canadian women have organized as consumers to serve conservative ends. References to consumer issues that appeared in Woman’s Century, the official magazine of the National Council of Women of Canada between 1914 and 1921, reveal that the magazine’s contributors advocated consumer activism to protect their own pocketbooks and to advance the interests of Canadian manufacturing and the federal state. The consumer politics evident in Woman’s Century would suggest that scholars reconsider the political motives of consumer activism. Maternalism influenced many twentieth-century Canadian women’s consumer movements, as it did those articulated in Woman’s Century. Yet, while many leftist and liberal Canadian women become involved in consumer politics to create broader material equality, Woman’s Century’s writers engaged in consumer advocacy to entrench Christian, Anglo-Celtic, and bourgeois national dominance.