Author Archives: Christine McLaughlin

From the Classroom to the Front Lines of Heritage Preservation

By Christine McLaughlin I’ve spent many years in a university classrooms studying and teaching history. In true academic fashion, I’ve published an article that critically analyzes public history production and memory in a postwar industrial city. My recent appointment to Heritage Oshawa by City Council has offered me the opportunity to translate this theoretical engagement into concrete action. This has… Read more »

Miss Representation: A Must-See

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By Christine McLaughlin Miss Representation (2011) is a documentary film that challenges the limiting representations of women in American media, exploring how these impact girls’ and women’s sense of self-worth and emotional health, while contributing to the overall devaluation of women in contemporary culture. Building from the premise that the medium is the message, the film is a call for media… Read more »

The Politics of Motherhood: How Far Have We Come?

By Christine McLaughlin and Councillor Amy England We’ve come a long way from the days when women were denied the vote and barred from public office. Because of the efforts of a few willing to challenge the status quo, women won the right to vote and serve as political representatives in twentieth-century Canada. But many barriers remain for women in… Read more »

Backward as Forward: Reflections on Canada’s “Modern” Political Scene

By Christine McLaughlin While it is too soon for the historian to comment on the long-term effects of recent changes on the Canadian political landscape, the larger rightward shift is perhaps best evidenced by the federal New Democratic Party’s decision to “modernize” its constitution at its recent convention by “toning down” references to socialism. Pointing to “pragmatic” economic policies that… Read more »

What’s So Funny About Sexism, Racism and Harassment?

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By Christine McLaughlin When I ask my students who identifies as a feminist, usually only a few hesitantly raise their hands. I appreciate their reluctance to label themselves. As Ruth Rosen aptly illustrates in a recent article, feminism has been forcefully infused with negative connotations. Students of women’s history learn how cartoons and other forms of humour have been a key… Read more »

Can Ontarians Look Forward to the ‘Right to Work for Less?’

By Christine McLaughlin The Hudak Conservatives have unveiled plans to bring so-called “Right to Work” legislation to Ontario. Following in the footsteps of American Republicans, Ontario’s Conservatives are seeking to unravel an agreement that has maintained relative labour peace in the province for over half a century. This has been painted as a ‘progressive’ measure that will ‘modernize’ what have… Read more »

Unpacking Public Opinion in Oshawa and Durham Region: A Tale of Two Polls

By Christine McLaughlin I recently wrote about an ongoing struggle in Oshawa around the city’s waterfront – the federally-appointed Oshawa Port Authority (OPA) has approved an ethanol refinery at the harbour, despite longstanding local opposition. The battle over public opinion has coalesced around two polls conducted on this topic. The first, commissioned by the OPA, shows a majority in support… Read more »

Federal Oligarchy Versus Local Democracy: Which Will Shape Our Lakeshore?

By Christine McLaughlin On a hot summer day, few activities are more pleasant than a visit to your nearest waterfront to enjoy a cool dip or a stroll along a breezy beach. In my own heavily (de)industrialized city, where the landscape is dotted with abandoned factories, vacant fenced lots, and a few industrial complexes that still produce in the city,… Read more »

Sex, Crime and Power: A Testimonial

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By Christine McLaughlin My background in the history of women and gender has led me to be critical of treating history as a linear march towards progress. In spite of this, I have very much taken for granted what I thought was a much safer and open space for women in my contemporary time and place. I realized how deeply… Read more »

Remembering an Extraordinary Struggle for Sexual Equality in Ontario

By Christine McLaughlin Sometimes ordinary people can do extraordinary things. I had the pleasure of witnessing an example of this recently when I attended a tribute luncheon in honour of the 23rd annual Agnes Macphail Award winner, Beverly McCloskey. Agnes Macphail was the first woman in Canada elected to the House of Commons and first woman sworn into the Legislative… Read more »