Dr. Emily Stowe: She Wasn’t a Ho.
Many Canadians know the name Emily Stowe, but aren’t aware of her claim to fame. “Who the $!!@ is Emily Stowe?,” is a common question on many a second-grader’s lips.
This is because, in Canada, we name our schools after our famous people and hero’s, and then neglect to teach our children about Canadian history. Why teach our young people about the history of our country when we can watch crappy American T.V., such as American Idol or programs about Gene Simmons?
Born Emily Howard Jennings in 1831, Norwich Township of Upper Canada (Southern Ontario), she eventually became the first known woman of European ancestry to practice medicine in Canada, as well as the main catalyst for equal rights for women. Her parents had seven children, of which she was one.
By the age of fifteen she had gained employment as a school teacher in the neighbouring town of Summerville.
At the age of fifteen most of my time was spent in the pursuit of alcohol and the incessant performance of masturbation.
Emily worked as a teacher for seven years, which meant after over half a decade of working in a noble career she was only twenty-two years of age.
At the age of twenty-two I spent most of my time in the pursuit of alcohol and the incessant performance of masturbation.
(Is this me dressed up as a hooker during one of my alcoholic binges?)
In 1852 she applied for admission to Victoria College in Coburg. Because she was a woman she was denied entrance into the school; the dean was heard mumbling something about ‘breasts’ and ‘anarchy’. This was only a temporary set back, though, as she then applied to the Normal School for Upper Canada and, in what can only be described as an atypical move, she was accepted.
After graduating in 1854 she became the Principle of a Brantford public school, where she was known as ‘Sufferance Stowe‘ due to her ability to stomach cafeteria food without any apparent ill effects.
In part two of this series we will examine her struggle to become a doctor in Canada: it is a tale fraught with controversy and intrigue. Don’t miss out!
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