For one hundred years women fashioned different dreams of social transformation in their search for equality, autonomy, and dignity; yet what is Canadian feminism?
Demanding Equality offers illustrations of feminist thought and organizing from mid-nineteenth-century, Enlightenment-inspired writing to the multi-issue movement of the 1980s. Broadening our definition of feminism – and recognizing that its political, cultural, and social dimensions are entangled – Joan Sangster explores the different pathways pursued to gain equality. She challenges the popular “wave” theory, concluding that feminist activism was continuous, despite changing significantly across decades.
Demanding Equality presents a picture of a heterogeneous movement characterized by both alliances and fierce internal debates. This comprehensive rear-view look at feminism in all its political guises encourages a wider public conversation about what Canadian feminism has been, is, and should be.
1 Spreading the Word of Women's Emancipation
2 The Origins of Socialist and Labour Feminism
3 Feminism, Democracy, and Suffrage
4 Reform Feminism and Women’s Right to Work
5 Agrarian, Labour, and Socialist Feminism after the First World War
6 Feminism and the Party Question
7 Feminism, War, and Peace
8 Feminism in a Cold War Climate
9 Liberating Feminisms
10 Feminist Organizing in the 1970s and 1980s
11 Afterword: Feminist Challenges of the 1990s and Beyond
"There are few, if any, historians better placed than Joan Sangster to write a history of a century of feminism in Canada... Demanding Equality is a book that is at once capacious in its scope and accessibly written."
~Magda Fahrni, Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Labour / Le Travail
Sangster’s precisely written yet wideranging book is a tour de force that chronicles the struggles for ‘equality, autonomy, and dignity’ in all of their rich complexity.
~Elaine Coburn, York University, Literary Review of Canada
"Demanding Equality is a formidable book, wide in scope, commendably readable, expansive in content, and convincing in analysis."
~Rebecca Priegert Coulter, Professor Emerita, University of Western Ontario., University of Toronto Quarterly
[Demanding Equality] is an impressively balanced account that will undoubtedly become required reading for gender and women's history classes across the country.
~Catherine Carstairs, University of Guelph, JACANZ, Vol. 1, Issue 2
The Canadian Committee on Womens and Gender History English Language Book Prize