Women’s Press
Canada’s leading academic feminist publisher
Canada’s leading academic feminist publisher
2013 gender and women's studies in canada cvr
760 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
May 2013
Print ISBN: 9780889614840
eBook ISBN: 9780889615120
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With essays from some of the most influential contemporary feminist writers, such as Jessica Valenti, bell hooks, Afua Cooper, Gloria Steinem, and Kim Anderson, and covering topics as diverse as women with disabilities, transgender rights, abortion, ageism, and Tyra Banks, this collection goes beyond the Canadian context to form an ideal introductory-level textbook for the contemporary gender studies classroom.

Reflecting the intersectional nature of feminist thought today, these essays incorporate voices from across multiple marginalities, discussing gender, race, class, Aboriginality, ability, age, sexuality, and weight. A unique combination of scholarly articles, news clips, fact sheets, blog posts, poetry, short fiction, and personal narratives keep the collection engaging and varied. Editors Margaret Hobbs and Carla Rice have compiled a comprehensive introduction to the past, present, and future of gender and women's studies in Canada.


  • includes feminist theory and scholarship stemming from multiple disciplines such as sociology, psychology, Indigenous studies, cultural studies, health studies, Canadian studies, political economy, and anthropology
  • provides a strong foundation in the history of the field, while also offering fresh perspectives that point toward the future direction of this meaningful area of inquiry
  • contains rich pedagogy, including critical thinking questions, statistics, and activist insights

Related Titles

Table of Contents



Part 1A: This Is What a Feminist Looks Like

Chapter 1: You're a Hardcore Feminist. I Swear, Jessica Valenti
Supplement 1: Top 10 Feminist Stereotypes
Chapter 2: Introduction to Feminism Is for Everybody, bell hooks
Chapter 3: Feminism Is for Everybody: Aboriginal Women, Feminism, and Diversity, Verna St. Denis
Supplement 2: Activist Insight: Alice Walker (1944-)
Chapter 4: The Historical Case for Feminism, Estelle Freedman

Part 1B: Diversity and Intersectionality

Chapter 5: Intersectional Feminist Frameworks: A Primer, Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)
Supplement 3: Intersectionality Wheel Diagram
Supplement 4: Activist Insight: Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)
Chapter 6: Reformulating the Feminist Perspective: Giving Voice to Women with Disabilities, Neita Kay Israelite and Karen Swartz
Chapter 7: Overview and Introductions: This Is What a Feminist Looks Like, Shira Tarmant

Part 1C: Women's Status, Women's Rights
Chapter 8: Reality Check: Women in Canada and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 15 Years On, Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) and Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
Supplement 5: Race and Income Inequality in Canada: A Troubling Trend
Supplement 6: Unpaid Work: A Global View
Chapter 9: Unpaid Workers: The Absence of Rights, Marilyn Waring
Chapter 10: Don't Blame Mother: Then and Now, Paula Caplan


Part 2A: The Social and Historical Construction of Sexed Bodies
Supplement 7: Sex = Gender?
Chapter 11: Introduction to Beyond the Natural Body, Nelly Oudshoorn
Chapter 12: The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles, Emily Martin
Supplement 8: Where's the Rulebook for Sex Verification? Alice Dreger
Chapter 13: Dueling Dualisms, Anne Fausto-Sterling
Supplement 9: Defining Genitals: Who Will Make Room for the Intersexed?

Part 2B: The Making of "Difference" and Inequalities
Chapter 14: Women's Brains, Stephen Gould
Chapter 15: Freaks and Queers, Eli Clare
Supplement 10: 10 Things Everyone Should Know about Race
Supplement 11: Racism in Canada: A Timeline

Part 2C: The Social Construction of Gender
Chapter 16: X: A Fabulous Child's Story, Lois Gould
Supplement 12: Understanding Masculinities: The Work of R.W. Connell
Chapter 17: "No Way My Boys Are Going to Be Like That!" Parents' Responses to Children's Gender Nonconformity, Emily W. Kane
Supplement 13: Guide to Intersex and Trans Terminologies, Survivor Project
Chapter 18: Transgender Rights, Riki Wilchins
Supplement 14: Activist Insight: Men and Feminism, The White Ribbon Campaign

Part 2D: The Social Construction of Sexuality
Chapter 19: Becoming 100 Percent Straight, Michael A. Messner
Supplement 15: The Heterosexual Questionnaire, Martin Rochlin
Chapter 20: The Ethics of Genetic Research on Sexual Orientation, Udo Schuklenk, Edward Stein, Jacinta Kerin, and William Byne
Supplement 16: Activist Insight: Homophobia and Heterosexism
Chapter 21: Loving Women in the Modern World, Leila J. Rupp
Chapter 22: Man-Royals and Sodomites: Some Thoughts on the Invisibility of Afro-Caribbean Lesbians, Makeda Silvera


Part 3A: Thinking about Difference and Identity
Chapter 23: Stereotyping as a Signifying Practice, Stuart Hall
Chapter 24: Undoing the "Package Picture" of Cultures, Uma Narayan
Chapter 25: The Hall of Shame: Lies, Masks, and Respectful Femininity, Amita Hamda

Part 3B: Histories and Legacies of Colonialism and Imperialism
Chapter 26: Women's Experience of Racism: How Race and Gender Interact, Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)
Chapter 27: The Secret of Slavery in Canada, Afua Cooper
Chapter 28: Black Women Rage, Wendy Braithwaite
Chapter 29: The Construction of a Negative Identity, Kim Anderson
Supplement 17: Colonization and the Indian Act
Chapter 30: Regulating Native Identity by Gender, Bonita Lawrence
Supplement 18: Colonization and Residential Schools

Part 3C: Aboriginal Women: Agency, Creativity, and Strength
Chapter 31: Cattle Thief, Pauline E. Johnson
Chapter 32: I Am Not Your Princess, Chrystos
Chapter 33: "You Can't Change the Indian Act?" Shirley Bear with the Tobique Women's Group
Chapter 34: The Eagle Has Landed: Native Women, Leadership, and Community Development, Sylvia Maracle


Part 4A: Cultural Representations and the Creation of Desire
Supplement 19: Fast Facts about Sexualization and Marketing to Girls, Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown
Chapter 35: Image-Based Culture: Advertising and Popular Culture, Sut Jhally
Supplement 20: Disney's Version of Girlhood, Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown
Supplement 21: Questions for Critical Viewing, Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown
Chapter 36: Ghetto Bitches, China Dolls, and Cha-Cha Divas: Race, Beauty, and the Tyranny of Tyra Banks, Jennifer L. Pozner
Supplement 22: Activist Insight: Fun with Media Literacy, Jennifer L. Pozner
Supplement 23: Gender Play, Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown

Part 4B: Regulating Women's Bodies and Desires
Supplement 24: If Men Could Menstruate: A Political Essay, Gloria Steinem
Chapter 37: The Cult of Virginity, Jessica Valenti
Chapter 38: Introduction to Our Schools Our Selves, Jessica Yee
Supplement 25: Activist Insight: The New Sex Ed, Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice
Chapter 39: Sugar and Spice and Something More Than Nice? Queer Girls and Transformations of Social Exclusion, Marnina Gonick

Part 4C: Beauty Projects: Conformity and Resistance
Chapter 40: Exacting Beauty: Exploring Women's Body Projects and Problems in the 21st Century, Carla Rice
Chapter 41: Fat and Fabulous: Resisting Constructions of Female Body Ideals, Kathleen LeBesco
Chapter 42: Body Beautiful/Body Perfect: Where Do Women with Disabilities Fit In? Francine Odette
Chapter 43: "We Need a Theoretical Base": Cynthia Rich, Women's Studies, and Ageism: An Interview, Valerie Barnes Lipscomb
Supplement 26: The Beast of Beauty: Toxic Ingredients in Cosmetics

Part 4D: Politics of Women's Health: From Medicalization to Health Care Reform
Chapter 44: Introduction to Women and Health: Power, Technology, Inequality, and Conflict in a Gendered World, Kathryn S. Ratcliff
Supplement 27: Activist Insight: Our Bodies, Ourselves
Chapter 45: Racism, Women's Health, and Reproductive Freedom, Carolyn Egan and Linda Gardner
Chapter 46: Women, Disability, and the Right to Health, Paula C. Pinto
Supplement 28: Understanding the Social Determinants of Health
Supplement 29: How Sexism and Racism Determine Health
Chapter 47: HIV/AIDS, Globalization, and the International Women's Movement, Sisonke Msimang

Part 4E: Social Status and Reproductive Rights
Chapter 48: The Women Are Coming: The Abortion Caravan, Judy Rebick
Chapter 49: Sterilization and Abortion, Betsy Hartmann
Supplement 30: Large Numbers of Natives Were Sterilized by Province, Brian Savage
Chapter 50: A Primer on Reproductive Justice and Social Change, Lorette Ross, Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective, Rickie Solinger, and Population and Development Program at Hampshire College
Supplement 31: Reproductive Rights around the World

Part 4F: Violence against Women
Chapter 51: The Ultimate Rape Victim, Jane Doe
Chapter 52: Factsheet: Violence against Women and Girls, Marika Morris and the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)
Chapter 53: Their Spirits Live within Us: Aboriginal Women in Downtown Eastside Vancouver Emerging into Visibility, Dara Culhane
Supplement 32: 10 Things Men Can Do to Prevent Gender Violence, Jackson Katz


Part 5A: Women and Global Restructuring
Supplement 33: What Is Neo-liberal Globalization? Alison Jagger
Chapter 54: Women and Globalization, Shawn Meghan Burn
Supplement 34: The IMF: Violating Women since 1945, Christine Ahn and Kavita Ramdas
Chapter 55: Women behind the Labels: Worker Testimonies from Central America, STITCH and the Maquila Solidarity Network
Chapter 56: The Gendered Politics and Violence of Structural Adjustment: A View from Jamaica, Faye V. Harrison
Chapter 57: Fruits of Injustice: Women in the Post-NAFTA Food System, Deborah Barndt

Part 5B: The "New Economy": On (Not) Getting By in North America
Chapter 58: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in North America, Barbara Ehrenreich
Chapter 59: Factsheet: Women and Restructuring in Canada, Deborah Stienstra
Chapter 60: Provisioning: Thinking about All of Women's Work, Marge Reitsma-Street, Sheila Neysmith, Stephanie Baker-Collins, and Elaine Porter

Part 5C: Poverty, Homelessness, and Social Welfare in Canada
Chapter 61: Poverty in Canada, Ann Duffy and Nancy Mandell
Chapter 62: The Leaner, Meaner Welfare Machine: The Ontario Conservative Government's Ideological and Material Attack on Single Mothers, Margaret Hillyard Little
Supplement 36: Hidden Homelessness, Raising the Roof
Chapter 63: Research Bulletin no. 2: Women and Homelessness, Street Health and Sistering
Supplement 37: Rural Women and Poverty
Chapter 34: A Study of Women's Homelessness North of 60, The Little Voices of Nunavut


Part 6A: Women's Movements in Canada
Supplement 38: Activist Insight: History Shows the Importance of Breaking Silence, Paulette Senior
Chapter 65: The Women's Movement in Canada, Jacquetta Newman and Linda White
Chapter 66: 2,000 Good Reasons to March, Fédération des femmes du Québec
Supplement 39: Activist Insight: Messages of Hope for Young Aboriginal Women, Priscilla Settee
Chapter 67: The Future of Feminism, Judy Rebick
Supplement 40: RebELLES: Manifesto of the Pan-Canadian Young Feminist Gathering

Part 6B: Transnational Feminism: Challenges and Possibilities
Supplement 41: The World Conferences on Women
Chapter 68: The Evolution of Transnational Feminisms: Consensus, Conflict, and New Dynamics, Aili Mari Tripp
Supplement 42: Feminism without Borders
Supplement 43: Gender Power in the United Nations
Chapter 69: A Conversation with Cynthia Enloe: Feminists Look at Masculinity and the Men Who Wage War, Carol Cohn and Cynthia Enloe
Supplement 44: Global Women's Strike, Huelga Mundial de Mujeres

Margaret Hobbs

Margaret Hobbs is an Associate Professor Emeritus and former Chair of Gender and Women's Studies at Trent University.

Gender and Women's Studies in Canada, Gender and Women's Studies, Second Edition

Carla Rice

Carla Rice is Canada Research Chair in Care, Gender, and Relationships and an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph.

Gender and Women's Studies in Canada, Gender and Women's Studies, Second Edition


"This comprehensive collection provides an entry-point for students new to Women's and Gender Studies. The carefully selected readings clearly illustrate why the theories, perspectives, and insights offered in Women's and Gender Studies are, more than ever, critical to understanding the world in which we live and the challenges we face, and for re-visioning a better, more just, national and international community."
Lori Chambers, Women’s Studies, Lakehead University

Emphasizing a feminist activist framework, this text provides a comprehensive guide to many of the key topics, debates, and approaches that engage students and scholars in Gender and Women's Studies. Its accessible format introduces readers to a comprehensive range of topics and a wide array of perspectives.

"While nation-specific in title, this collection is not confined by conventional political constructs, as the authors consider how power is exercised, and embodied, by the individual and the collective within nation-states or dictated by forces of capitalism. Hobbs and Rice forge a systematic pathway through the essentials - body, sexuality, reproduction, representation, labour, citizenship, masculinity, violence, poverty, health - needed at entry levels of Women's and Gender Studies.
Carol Williams, Associate Professor and Chair, Women and Gender Studies, University of Lethbridge

Instructor Resources

When you adopt Gender and Women's Studies in Canada, you will receive access to a wealth of in-class activities and discussion questions as well as suggested assignments, including response papers and research essays. This supplement also features suggestions for additional resources, such as readings, online lesson plans, websites, and films. This comprehensive resource includes material for all sixty-nine chapters, plus selected supplementary documents, offering instructors a wide selection of material and tools to use in the classroom.

See sample

Student Resources

General Student Resource - Download