Happy Feminist Friday with Jena McGill!

For our last Feminist Friday of the season, we are thrilled to feature Prof. Jena McGill, a true feminist superhero!

Prof. McGill joined the Faculty of Law in 2011. She graduated from the joint LL.B./M.A. program of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, and then served as a law clerk to Justice Louise Charron at the Supreme Court of Canada.  Jena worked at the United Nations International Law Commission in Geneva, Switzerland, and completed her graduate studies in law (LL.M.) at Yale Law School, where she focused on constitutional law, human rights and equality issues related to gender, sexuality and the law.

Jena’s research centers on equality law and human rights, and particularly on questions related to gender, sexuality and the law.  She has researched and published on topics including sexual exploitation and abuse in United Nations peacekeeping operations; constitutional privacy rights under section 8 of the Charter; Canadian prison policy and the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); and the Supreme Court of Canada’s equality jurisprudence under section 15 of the Charter.

  1. The qualities I admire most in a law professor are… patience, creativity, humility and a sense of humour.
  2. The trait I deplore in a law professor is….inflated self-importance.
  3. The best time of day for writing is…7-10am.
  4. My feminist heroes are…..my mother, who has devoted her life to working with and advocating for survivors of sexual violence; Ruth Bader Ginsberg; Abby Wambach; Audre Lorde; Ani DiFranco. 
  5. Right now I am working on…. a re-consideration of the Supreme Court’s section 15 decision in R v Kappas part of the Women’s Court of Canada project. I am also working on caring for my two young sons, which is by far my most challenging and rewarding project to date.
  6. Right now I am reading…Hilary Clinton, What Happened; John Burrows, Canada’s Indigenous Constitution; Maneesha Decka, “Situating Canada’s Commercial Surrogacy Ban in a Transnational Context: A Postcolonial Feminist Call for Legalization and Public Funding” (2016) 61:1 McGill Law Journal
  7. And I wish I were reading…Rachel Giese, Boys: What it Means to Become a Man– I’m hoping this new book will have some useful insights on raising boys to be caring, engaged, feminist men – and the New Yorker.
  8. I would recommend that all IFLS readers read…Dean Spade, Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Trans Politics and the Limits of the Law
  9.  A song I love that doesn’t get enough airplay is….I’m really on a podcast kick these days, but I will always turn up anything from Joni Mitchell’s Bluealbum.
  10. If I wasn’t a law professor, I would spend my time…In another life I’d like to be a professional athlete and/or an arts and culture critic for the New York Times and/or a musician.

Thank you so much Jena! We are lucky to have you.

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