Category Archives: Gender and Sexuality

Theme Week Introduction: Women’s Social and Political Activism in the Canadian West

Introduction by Nanci Langford with Sarah Carter. Theme week edited by Sarah Carter, Erika Dyck and Nanci Langford.                           “If I didn’t do something, my spirit would die…” Senator Thelma Chalifoux, 2006 This quote forms the title of Corinne George’s study of the history of Indigenous women activists of Alberta that she drew on for her presentation at the October 2016… Read more »

January Reflections on the Historical Problem of Women and Sexual Misconduct in Academia

By Beth A. Robertson January is typically the month for reflecting on the year that has passed, and it is perhaps without a doubt that 2016 will be remembered for many, even unsavoury things, from the Zika virus, to Brexit, to the US presidential election. This is not to say that 2016 did not have some brighter notes. In September,… Read more »

The Upside Down of 1980s Culture, Gender and the Paranormal: An Historical Analysis of the Netflix Series Stranger Things

By Beth A. Robertson It would seem the 1980s have come back with a vengeance, whether judging from the work of a growing number of historians investigating the decade, or pop culture.[1] My personal favourite of such popular reincarnations is the acclaimed Netflix original Stranger Things. The series unabashedly borrows from the 1980s to achieve its unique aesthetic, drawing on… Read more »

Historicizing Hillary Clinton’s Body

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By Beth A. Robertson   If you are a Canadian as obsessed with current U.S. politics as I am, you probably are aware of the strange presidential election south of the border. In fact, even if you are not interested in US politics, the theatrical run-up to the 2016 US election seems hard to avoid. The Republican candidate, Donald Trump… Read more »

Gender and the Confederation debates

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This is the eleventh post in a two week series in partnership with Canada Watch on the Confederation Debates By Kathryn McPherson The participants in the 1865 Confederation debates were divided by ethnicity, region, political opinion, and religion, but they shared class privilege, a racial identity we would now call “white,” and gender. They were all men. This latter shared identity would… Read more »

AIDS on the Wall: Reflections on the Exhibit “Positive Sex” and the AIDS Activist History Project that Made it Happen

By Beth A. Robertson   Today if you walk into MacOdrum Library at Carleton University in Ottawa, you might be forgiven for taking a double-take. Up on the wall in the main foyer is a striking display that is intended to provide a deeper understanding of what AIDS activism in Canada has looked like since the 1980s. “Positive Sex: Eroticizing Safer… Read more »

Work Always in Progress

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By Veronica Strong-Boag All contributions to debates about a feminist future need a good dose of herstory. No one person or one group speaks for feminism in its entirety. That reality was not reflected earlier this month in the Globe and Mail’s choice of Maureen McTeer and her daughter, Catherine Clark, both white upper-middle-class women of a certain background, to… Read more »

Nothing Sexist is Happening Here: The Ghomeshi Trial and the Historical Normalization of Gender-Based Violence

By Beth A. Robertson   In late January and early February, the trial of former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi officially began, well over a year since the allegations of sexual assault against Ghomeshi first surfaced. Although this case is considered extraordinary, the trial would seem to be fairly typical of other assault cases, at least in terms of the approach… Read more »

Trudeau should pardon bath raid victims

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By Tom Hooper Last weekend, we learned that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office is working to pardon Everett George Klippert, a man who was declared a “dangerous sexual offender” in 1965 for committing the crime of gross indecency,” the Criminal Code statute that outlawed gay sex. His conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1967, and was met with… Read more »

A Century Long Debate over Sexual Education in Ontario

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Michelle Hutchinson Grondin, PhD   On February 23, 2015, Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals announced revisions to provincial sexual education program, which includes teachers explaining “gender expression” in grade five, masturbation in grade six, the hazards of sexting in grade seven, and same-sex relationships in grade eight. [1] Even though the Ontario curriculum had not been updated since 1998, the… Read more »