What You Might Not Know About The Women’s Movement

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day was yesterday.

There are a massive amount of hashtags floating round the subject too: #beboldforchange #iwd2017 #SheInspiresMe #InternationalWomensDay #ADayWithoutAWoman #fundhercause

The list goes on.

I’m posting this now because I think awareness should go on for more than just 1 day.

And I think we all know why the big push for equality now – it looks like an orange asshole.

It would seem our Southern orange balloon knot of a neighbor has set us all back about 60 years. Thankfully, our Canadian Prime Minister is slightly more progressive.

Justin Trudeau marks International Women’s Day with $650M for reproductive rights

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for Women's Rights
Thank GOD I’m Canadian!


History about The Women’s Movement

The Early Women’s Movements in Canada: 1867–1960 was also referred to as “First Wave Feminism”. It included campaigns in support of temperance, women’s suffrage, pacifism, as well as labour and health rights.

Temperance should not be confused with prohibition. Prohibition banned the production and consumption of all alcohol, while temperance just encouraged moderate use of beer and wine.


 Emily Howard Stowe The first Canadian woman to practice medicine in Canada.

A lifelong champion of women’s rights, Emily Stowe taught school in Brantford and Mount Pleasant, Canada W, and in 1856 married John Stowe, whose illness from tuberculosis inspired her to seek a career in medicine.

No Canadian college would accept a woman student, so she enrolled at the New York Medical College for Women and on her graduation in 1867 set up a practice in Toronto. She was the first Canadian woman to practice medicine in Canada, although she was not licensed until 1880.

Emily Stowe’s struggle to enter the medical profession caused her to organize the Woman’s Medical College, Toronto, in 1883. In 1876 she had founded the Toronto Women’s Literary Club, Canada’s first suffrage group, and she was principal founder and first president of the Dominion Women’s Enfranchisement Association (1889).

Famous Five Alberta’s “Famous Five” were petitioners in the ground-breaking Persons Case. Led by judge Emily Murphy, the group included Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise Crummy McKinney and Irene Parlby.

Although these women stood fast to have women legally recognized as “Persons Under the Law”, their stance on women’s health was kind of fucked.

“Members of the Famous Five are often criticized as having been racist and elitist; their reputation and accomplishments are often seen as tarnished by their associations with the eugenics movement. Though her personal views on compulsory eugenic sterilization are not known, McKinney did support the eugenics movement in Alberta in other ways.

She promoted stricter immigration laws — a means to keep out unwanted, often racialized, individuals — and lobbied for the creation of institutions for “mental defectives” — seen as a means to prevent institutionalized persons from reproducing. 

Sexual sterilization laws were passed in Alberta (1928–72) and British Columbia (1933–73), during which time thousands of people deemed “psychotic” or “mentally defective” underwent eugenic sterilization.”

So, basically if you weren’t the happy, dutiful housewife you were supposed to be, of your husband simply got sick of you, you could be institutionalized. Fun, huh?

Idola Saint-JeanFeminist and pioneer in the fight for women’s suffrage (1880-1945). The first woman from Québec to run as a candidate in a federal election, she devoted over 20 years of her life to active efforts to improve women’s legal rights.


The Women’s Movements in Canada: 1960–85 Often referred to as second-wave feminism — included campaigns in support of peace and disarmament, equality in education and employment, birth control and an end to violence against women.

Florence Bird In 1967 PM Lester Pearson appointed her chairman of the Royal Commission on the STATUS OF WOMEN IN CANADA. Tabled in 1970, the report of the commission made 167 recommendations to eliminate sexual inequality in Canada and sparked the formation of several women’s groups to push for implementation.


Rosemary Brown Rosemary Brown has the distinction of being Canada’s first Black female member of a provincial legislature and the first woman to run for leadership of a federal political party. Brown was born in Jamaica to a politically minded family. She immigrated to Canada in 1951 to pursue post-secondary studies in social work at McGill University (BA) and the University of British Columbia (Masters of Social Work). As a young student, Brown encountered both sexism and racism first-hand when applying for housing or summer jobs, or simply fitting into university life.

In 1972, urged by her fellow Vancouver Status of Women Council (VSW) members, Brown entered provincial politics as a New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate. When, on 30 August, she won her seat in the riding of Vancouver-Burrard, Brown became the first Black woman to sit in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. During her 14 years as MLA, Brown created a committee to remove sexism in British Columbia’s educational material and was instrumental in the formation of the Berger Commission on the Family, among her many other accomplishments. During that time, she also ran for leadership of the federal NDP in 1975. With the slogan “Brown is Beautiful,” she broke colour barriers in the federal arena when she ran a close second to Ed Broadbent, ahead of three other candidates.

Jeannette Vivian Lavell Jeannette Vivian Lavell, community worker (born at Wikwemikong, ON 21 June 1942). From 1970, Jeannette Corbière-Lavell was at the centre of a controversy over inequities in federal Indian status law.

In 1970 she married a Non-Status Indian man, thus losing her legal status as an Indian under the Indian Act. Since Staus Indian men do not lose status when they “marry out” (but gain status for their wives and children), Lavell appealed to the Federal Court of Canada, which in 1971 rejected her case.

The Supreme Court of Canada in 1973 confirmed this ruling in a complex and much-questioned decision, stating that the 1960 Canadian Bill of Rights did not prohibit this particular kind of racial-sexual discrimination and did not invalidate the Indian Act.

Controversy over the Lavell case and similar cases led to censure of Canada by international human-rights groups, as well as to a split in the Indigenous community arising from differing views on intermarriage. In 1985 Bill C-31 amended the Indian Act to remove the discrimination and bring the Act in line with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Issues Women are STILL Being Objected to Today.

Aboriginal women say they were sterilized against their will in hospital Melika Popp, an aboriginal woman, says she was pressured into being sterilized when she delivered her 2nd child in 2008 at the Royal University Hospital.

Oscar winner, Natalie Portman is weighing in on Hollywood’s gender pay gap, saying that she was once paid three times less than her male co-star.

The “Jackie” star, 35, told Marie Claire UK, that Ashton Kutcher, her co-star on 2011’s “No Strings Attached,” earned a salary three times greater than hers.

Gender bias in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) cirriculum: researchers have given us another reason to shake our heads at the STEM field. Already, studies have found systemic biases against women in STEM including hiring decisions for lab positions, selection for mathematical tasks, evaluation of research abstracts for conferences, research citations, invitations to speak at symposia, postdoctoral employment and tenure decisions.

But all this research likely isn’t reaching the people who need to read it most. Ian Hadley of Montana State University and his team found that male STEM faculty are less likely to believe such research, leading them to ask a rather depressing question: “How can we successfully broadened the participation of women and minorities in STEM when the very research underscoring the need for this initiative is less values by the majority group who dominate and maintain the culture of STEM?”

Really. Researchers that don’t believe research. What’s the fucking point.

An article from the Financial Post in 2016: Despite being well educated many women still fall behind in terms of pay. “Female students are still under-represented in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) – all of which can lead to higher-paying occupations. They also tend not to enter skilled trades – making up less than 10 per cent of that group.”

And there’s a big problem when we do. We’re told that “this is a male dominated industry, if you don’t like it, quit.” We are pushed out of the boys’ club. Those of us who are stubborn enough to persevere, develop thick skin and bitter emotions about the situation. I know that I have changed from being in the construction industry, and I don’t particularly like some of the traits I have picked up.


Today’s “Out” Feminists

Emma Watson: British actress, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, spokesperson for UN campaign HeForShe, badass feminist.

Justin Trudeau: Canadian Prime Minister, feminist.

Gloria Steinem: American writer, lecturer, political activist, feminist organizer.

Lena Dunham: American actress, writer, producer, director, feminist.

Beyoncé: really, if you don’t know, go away.

Ashley Judd: American actress, political activist, feminist. Fuck yeah.

Barack Obama: Former US President, feminist. We miss you.

Will Smith: American actor, producer, rapper, and songwriter, feminist.

Louis CK: American comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, and editor, feminist.


The Grande Finale

On a lighter note, read this Buzzfeed article on funny feminist responses. It’s hilarious.


*All italicized text is copied from the source which is referenced in the links provided.


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