Mary Ann Müller, born in London, was a determined suffragist who fought for her rights with just a single pen. She was born on September 22, 1820, but moved to New Zealand with both of her sons. Before she moved, she was believed to have a husband, but got a divorce once she moved away. She worked as a teacher and got married again to Stephen Lunn Müller. He was also an immigrant from London, and served as a surgeon in the medical field. A few years later, the new feminist movements caught her eye when she met a women’s rights supporter. This was Maria Rye, a woman who started campaigning for women’s rights when she was only sixteen years old. She saw the lack of opportunity for the employment of women and decided to take action by hiring middle class women. This inspired Mary to take action just like Maria did.
Mary Ann Müller was in a time period where not a lot of women stood up for themselves. Once she realized what she could do, she stood up for not just herself, but all women in New Zealand. She did research and gained new knowledge on an “irrelevant” movement at the time, Feminism. Feminism is what she wrote about, though it was not easy. A fake author’s name was required in order to protect herself from angry men who could possibly be a danger to her. Even her own husband, a politician, rejected her views. This is why her author’s name was “Fémmina.” Writing was a passion of hers, so she expressed her views on feminism through writing. Her goal was to spread the same concepts that were developing in the United States and Britain. She got a friend of hers, Charles Elliot, to publish her articles in the local newspaper.
Charles was the editor of the newspaper, the Nelson Examiner, and was one of the main reasons for Mary’s movement to spark up in New Zealand. As new times were moving on, she decided to step up from articles and write a pamphlet. This pamphlet was named, An Appeal to the Men of New Zealand, and it was the first pamphlet focused on the issue of women’s suffrage. Mary focused on only one topic throughout the pamphlet, voting rights. She argued that women should need to vote in order to fulfill their duty to contribute and keep progress going within the nation. What she wrote about is exactly what she stood up for against a parliament that was full of male politicians. Asking the men of the parliament was incredibly hard for her, as most of them were biased because no women had roles. This sparked a huge controversy and she was recognized by not just her own country, but many others. Letters of support and backing came from everywhere, even from philosopher John Stuart Mill, a male who believed in her. William Fox ended up meeting with her to discuss her future in being a public activist for her cause. In the end, her biggest achievement was most likely The Married Women’s Property Act of 1870 which included most of the ideas she expressed. Around seven years after her husband's death, she disclosed her true identity and passed away three years later in 1901.