By Eloise Moss Part 1 of this two part series appeared on Tuesday, October 3 2023. You can read it here. In part one, last week, I discussed the criminal investigation following the sexual assault of five hotel chambermaids in London in 1926. Committed by a wealthy Canadian named Mervyn Brown, these events were sheltered from international scrutiny and mislabeled… Read more »
The case of Mervyn Brown offers an important, if disturbing, precedent for understanding just how entrenched have been the practices of protecting powerful men from the consequences of misogynistic and abusive behaviour historically. Hotels have long been spaces in which women’s labour, often menial, has been confused with their sexual availability; this case demonstrates the legitimisation of sexual violence towards impoverished and vulnerable women in those spaces. Orchestrated at the highest levels of government, this cover-up provides an important lesson in the history of modern political celebrity, and acts as a register for the strength of the imperial and economic relationship between Britain and Canada during the late 1920s.
https://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/History-Slam-206.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham On July 29, 1987, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its ruling in the case Robichaud v. Canada. In its decision, the court noted that the Canadian Human Rights Act places “responsibility for an organization on those who control it and are in a position to take effective remedial action to… Read more »
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 »