Gender and Sexuality

Canadian History Through the Stories of Activists

By Scott Neigh  

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The freedoms and liberties that every community, workplace and individual in Canada enjoys are due to the many struggles and social movements in our country’s history. Yet the stories, accounts and histories of the movements to overcome racism, sexism and poverty, for example, remain largely untold, thanks to the single, simplistic national story taught to the masses in school. Deftly combining history with accounts from activists and participants in social movements, two new books from Scott Neigh introduce us to the untold histories of two crucial issues in contemporary Canadian society that challenge all of us to engage in the struggles that will shape our shared tomorrow.

Gender and Sexuality unearths a diverse spectrum of struggle through the accounts of longstanding activists and social movement participants. From Indigenous women working against colonization and Christian women trying to end sexism and homophobia in their churches, to gay men opposing sexual oppression and women fighting against hostile employers and violence, this book reveals the ways that gender and sexual oppression – and the struggles against them – have shaped our society.

“This work is a treasure that provides a portal to Canadian history, bringing it alive and urgent through the voices and profound insights of veteran social justice activists, an indispensable guide for present and future generations to carry on these struggles.”

— Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, veteran activist and author

“Never doubt that a few committed people can change Canada (and the world) for the better. Scott Neigh’s oral histories show not only the power of committed idealism, but also how the history of our whole country has been shaped in large part by brave Canadians who refuse to accept the misery and injustice that surrounds us. Read these books to learn how the history of social change organizing is indeed the history of Canada – and then go out and start making your own history.”

— Jim Stanford, union economist and peace activist

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  • Foreword: Encounters with a Radical History From Below (Gary Kinsman)
  • Introduction
  • Decolonize Your Mind—Doreen Spence & Donna MacPhee on the Plains Indian Cultural Survival School
  • Against Company, Church, and State—Madeleine Parent and the Dominion Textile Strike of 1946
  • Women Against Violence (Part I)—Lee Lakeman on Feminist Anti-Violence Activism in Woodstock and Vancouver
  • Women Against Violence (Part II)—Shree Mulay & Sadeqa Siddiqui on Feminist Anti-Violence Activism in Montreal
  • Living Rooms, Bed Rooms, and the Streets—Chris Vogel & Richard North on Gay Liberation in Winnipeg
  • Women’s Liberation and the Lord—Shelley Finson on Feminism in Christian Churches
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Index


  • Scott Neigh

    SCOTT NEIGH is a professional writer, researcher and media producer.

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