Category Archives: Gender and Sexuality

Pregnancy and Politics: Niki Ashton’s NDP Leadership Run and the History of Political Motherhood in Canada

Christo Aivalis Last week Niki Ashton, a challenger for the New Democratic Party’s federal leadership, announced that she was pregnant, and that stated that “like millions of Canadian women I will carry on my work…to build a movement for social, environmental and economic justice for all.” The response to her announcement has been largely supportive, although some have questioned whether… Read more »

High Risk: Women, Healthcare, Trauma and History

By Beth A. Robertson A Canadian-born meme became briefly popular on social media less than a week after the US House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in early May. Modeled after a series of other well-known “Hey Girl” memes (typically featuring Canadian actor Ryan Gosling), the meme pictured Prime Minister Justin Trudeau surrounded with the words:… Read more »

“Men Want to Hog Everything”: Women in Canadian Legislative Politics after Suffrage Victories

In 2017, 150 years after Confederation, only 315 women, the vast majority of British origin, had served as MPs, most in the previous three decades.

The “A” Word: Intertwined Histories of Infertility, Adoption and Abortion

By Katrina Ackerman I never anticipated that my research on abortion politics would collide with my recreational interest in CrossFit. I found the sport of CrossFit while trying to manage the stress of the PhD qualifying year, and it remained an important form of escapism for me throughout my doctoral studies. But there I was, sitting at home watching the… Read more »

The Politics of Personality and Abortion Access in Atlantic Canada

By Katrina Ackerman While following the 2016 United States presidential election through social media and ‘fake news’ outlets, I was reminded of the significance of personality in creating social and political change. The personalities of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were constantly juxtaposed and used by opposition groups to discredit the presidential candidates. After Donald Trump was elected, other world… Read more »

Policing Gay Sex in Toronto Parks in the 1970s and Today

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Tom Hooper From September to October 2016, members of the Toronto Police conducted a six-week undercover investigation in Marie Curtis Park, located in the city’s west end.  72 people were charged with engaging in sexual acts.  Police Constable Kevin Ward has argued “it is a multi-faceted issue,” linking park sex with sex offenders, drugs, and alcohol.  Although 95 percent of… Read more »

Rediscovering the “Oracle of Wheat”

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By Anne Dance E. Cora Hind, first-wave feminist and famed agricultural journalist, was never one to back down from a fight. In the 1930s, the septuagenarian recommended reforms to a federal cabinet minister. The Canadian politician quickly dismissed Hind’s suggestions, much to her disgust. “This merely shows his colossal ignorance of the whole situation,” Hind later wrote in one of her… Read more »

Silenced Histories: Accessing Abortion in Alberta, 1969 to 1988

By Shannon Ingram Two years following the 100th celebration of Canadian confederation in 1967, the Omnibus Criminal Law Amendment Act was passed on May 14th, 1969 by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau that partially lifted the strict criminal sanctions regarding abortion nationwide. [1] The decades that followed the passing of, what many deemed, “the monumental omnibus bill” was no more liberating… Read more »

Firmly on the Left: ‘Ethnic Hall’ Socialist Women’s Activism and State Responses, 1919-1945

By Rhonda Hinther Authorities caught up with Regina Communist Party Activist Gladys Macdonald on June 3, 1940, along with two men, John Slavkowsky (whom the press identified as a Hungarian relief recipient) and Clifford Peet, another local Party organizer. According to news reports, the three, were “accused of printing a pamphlet known as the Saskatchewan Factory and Furrow, containing materials… Read more »

Rethinking the Contributions of Union Activist Ethel Wilson Within the Postwar Context of Alberta’s Male-Dominated Industrial Complex

By Cynthia Loch-Drake Struggling to make ends meet in 1934 while raising three small children after her husband deserted their family, Ethel Wilson took a job as seamstress in one of Edmonton’s major meatpacking plants. During WWII she became a union organizer and in the postwar era entered community politics, rising to become a cabinet minister in the Social Credit… Read more »