Gender, Law & Justice

Compiled by Emily van der Meulen  

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Gender, Law and Justice explores feminist theoretical frameworks and gendered experiences of Canadian law and the criminal justice system. Taken together, the authors advance an intersectional approach that examines how the law structures and is structured by social contexts, socio-demographics and social inequalities, including race, class and sexuality.

This Custom Textbook from Fernwood draws draws on a variety of Fernwood publications and is designed for undergraduate courses related to gender, sexuality and the law. Chapters topics include: feminism and theory, marriage and family violence; racism and colonialism; reproductive justice; poverty; labour; the war on drugs; and prison. This collection was compiled by Emily van der Meulen, Department of Criminology, Ryerson University.

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  • Race, Class, Gender and the Law: Introduction (Elizabeth Comack)
  • The Feminist Engagement with Criminology (Elizabeth Comack)
  • Agency and Resistance: Debates in Feminist Theory and Praxis (Ellen Faulkner and Gayle MacDonald)
  • Feminism, Law and “the Family” (Dorothy E. Chunn)
  • In Defiance of Compulsory Mothering: Voluntarily Childfree Women’s Resistance (Debra Mollen)
  • Representing Victims of Sexualized Assault (Linda Coates and Penny Ridley)
  • Criminalizing Race (Wendy Chan)
  • Surviving Colonization: Anishnaabe Ikwe Street Gang Participation (Nahanni Fontaine)
  • Standing Against Canadian Law: Naming Omissions of Race, Culture and Gender (Patricia Monture)
  • Constructing Difference, Constructing Deviance: The Eugenic Model (A.J. Withers)
  • The Construction of “Welfare Fraud” and the Wielding of the State’s Iron Fist (Janet E. Mosher)
  • From Welfare Fraud to Welfare as Fraud: The Criminalization of Poverty (Dorothy E. Chunn and Shelley A.M. Gavigan)
  • Discussions of Welfare Fraud in the Canadian News Media (Kiran Mirchandani and Wendy Chan)
  • The Incall Sex industry: Gender, Class and Racialized Labour in the Margins (Chris Bruckert and Colette Parent)
  • Bad Girls Like Good Contracts: Ontario Erotic Dancers’ Collective Resistance (Suzanne Bouclin)
  • Representations of Women in the Drug Trade (Susan C. Boyd) \
  • Regulating Women (Gillian Balfour)
  • Reforming Prisons for Women? (Carolyn Brooks)
  • Experiencing the Inside-Out Program in a Maximum-Security Prison (Monica Freitas, Bonnie McAuley and Nyki Kish)


  • Emily van der Meulen

    Emily van der Meulen is an associate professor in the Department of Criminology at Ryerson University. Her co-edited books include Red Light Labour: Sex Work Regulation, Agency, and Resistance and Expanding the Gaze: Gender and the Politics of Surveillance.

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