Magazine article Herizons

Canadian Women's Issues Volume I: Strong Voices

Magazine article Herizons

Canadian Women's Issues Volume I: Strong Voices

Article excerpt


I'm glad-and greateful-for having cracked the cover of this book. Put together by four academics who actually give activists the time of day, this book is a gem to anybody interested in what Canadian feminists have been fighting for, and fighting about, over the last 25 years. Our bodies. Our social programs. Our treatment in court. Our culture. And our cultural differences.

The value of Canadian Women's Issues lies not in what the academics say, but in the documents they've chosen, courtesy of activists and archivists, to accompany each chapter.

Want to measure the depth of white man's insecurity? Read the urgent 1981 memo sent to B.C. chiefs from Fred J. Walchli, high-ranking flunkey at the Department of Indian Affairs. He shut down the department's entire regional office because it "was partially occupied by 30-40 Indian people, mostly women..." Poor, desperate Freddie.

Want to know why some lesbians can now insist that men are merely dildos in a carrying case? Follow the self-insemination guide taken from a 1985 issue of Vancouver's Angles magazine. Careful not to skip any details: "Sperm is sensitive to light, heat, and air, so it should be kept in a clean glass jar {or} a brown paper bag..."

Want to really challenge racism, including your own? Listen to Carolann Wright as she explains in a 1993 Womanist article why the June Callwoods of our world must be held accountable: "It is a dangerous precedent when we immediately exonerate people based on the good works they may do in the future, and not on how they are conducting themselves in their everyday interactions with Black people and People of Colour. …

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