Tag Archives: feminist

NIP & Not unrelated to the IFLS book club: Emily Snyder: Indigenous Feminist Legal Theory in the CJWL

Emily Snyder (previous IFLS post mentioning her here) has published “Indigenous Feminist Legal Theory” (2014) 26:2 Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 365.  Link is to Project MUSE.

Here is the abstract

This article considers the necessity of critical gender analyses of indigenous laws. “Gender neutral” approaches dominate in the field of indigenous law, ignoring the gendered realities of indigenous laws and also the gendered aspects of theorizing. There is a need to develop theoretical frameworks that explicitly address these problems, and, thus, in this article I articulate Indigenous feminist legal theory. This theory is an analytic tool for examining Indigenous laws as gendered. I build this theory by bringing three bodies of work together, which are presently speaking past one another—feminist legal theory, Indigenous feminist theory, and Indigenous legal theory. Indigenous feminist legal theory generates an intersectional, multi-juridical, anti-colonial, anti-essentialist reading of law that is crucial to a multitude of fields.

Hedgehog or Fox? Readings (NIP, Journals, Cdn articles mentioning "feminist")

pen and ink hedgehog and foxThanks to all who are writing and all who are reading – we rely on each other.


This looked fun:  Columbia Journal of Gender & Law vol 27 (2013) A Tribute to the Work of Patricia Williams 

To be honest, most legal scholars tend to be more hedgehogs than foxes, burrowing down deep into an area of law over the course of a career rather than bringing their intellectual talents to bear on a range of social problems or diverse disciplinary locations. One person, without question, stands out as an exception to this tendency in the legal  academy, and that is the incredible Patricia Williams.

And then this as well:  Australian Feminist Law Journal vol 39 December 2013 “Gardens of Justice”: “devoted to thinking about law and justice as a physical as well as a social environment” (from the Foreward by Arvidsson, Matilda; Bruncevic, Merima; Brannstrom, Leila; Dahlberg, Leif) Available on Heinonline here (not open access)



Finally, here’s what comes up if you search “Feminist” in Hein online and restrict to Canada, just in case you missed some of these [of course, that doesn’t mean these articles or authors are or are claiming to be feminist – just that the word somehow appears].  I have not included everything (in particular I removed some but not all of the CJWL references since I usually post the TOC from that journal when it is released)  but a good chunk.  Links are to Heinonline which is NOT open access.  Some journals or articles may be available otherwise, try google to see if they come up.  Very very happy if people want to post other articles in the comments – they are moderated, so you might have to hang on for a day or two to see your comment. Titles are bolded. Sorry for the formatting – it’s a bit off. 
Legal Feminism and the Post-Racism Fantasy [article] Canadian Journal of Women and the Law Ruparelia, Rakhi 26 Can. J. Women & L. 81 (2014)  http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/cajwol26&div=9&collection=journals
Knowing and Unknowing: Settler Reflections on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women [comments] Saskatchewan Law Review Eberts, Mary 77 Sask. L. Rev. 69 (2014) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/sasklr77&div=8&collection=journals

Race Matters: Sexism, Indigenous Sovereignty, and McIvor [article] Canadian Journal of Women and the Law Cannon, Martin J. 26 Can. J. Women & L. 23 (2014) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/cajwol26&div=7&collection=journals
None of That Paper Stuff Works: A Critique of the Legal System’s Efforts to End Domestic Assault in Nunavut [article]  Appeal: Review of Current Law and Law Reform Durrant, Chris 19 Appeal: Rev. Current L. & L. Reform 43 (2014) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/appeal19&div=7&collection=journals
Conceptualizing Reflective Practice for Legal Professionals [article] Journal of Law and Social Policy Leering, Michele 23 J.L. & Soc. Pol’y [i] (2014) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/jlsp23&div=6&collection=journals
Perry v Schwarzenegger: An Opportunity to Do Law Differently [article] Appeal: Review of Current Law and Law Reform Badyal, Jasreet 19 Appeal: Rev. Current L. & L. Reform 3 (2014) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/appeal19&div=5&collection=journals
Criminals Are inside of Our Homes: Intimate Partner Violence and Fear of Crime [article]  Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice Broll, Ryan 56 Canadian J. Criminology & Crim. Just. 1 (January  2014) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/cjccj56&div=5&collection=journals
Old Age (or, Do We Need a Critical Theory of Law and Aging) [notes] Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues Hall, Margaret Isabel 35 Windsor Rev. Legal & Soc. Issues 1 (2014) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/wrlsi35&div=4&collection=journals
Prude in the Law: Why the Polygamy Reference Is All about Sex, The [comments]  Appeal: Review of Current Law and Law Reform Phillips, Dana 19 Appeal: Rev. Current L. & L. Reform 151 (2014) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/appeal19&div=13&collection=journals
Rivalite et Solidarite dans la Resistance: Jodi A. Byrd, the Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2011) [reviews]  Canadian Journal of Women and the Law Couture-Grondin, Elise
26 Can. J. Women & L. 160 (2014)   http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/cajwol26&div=12&collection=journals
Cheryl Suzack, Shari M. Huhndorf, Jeanne Perreault, and Jean Barman, eds., Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, and Culture (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010) [reviews] 
Canadian Journal of Women and the Law
Bourgeois, Robyn
26 Can. J. Women & L. 153 (2014)  http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/cajwol26&div=11&collection=journals

S’Excuser [article] 
Revue Juridique Themis
Morin, Sophie
47 R.J.T. n.s. 469 (2013-2014) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/revjurns47&div=25&collection=journals

Reorganisation d’une Infraction Desorganisee: Le Harcelement Criminel [article] 
Revue Juridique Themis
Santerre, Christine
47 R.J.T. n.s. 195 (2013-2014)http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/revjurns47&div=16&collection=journals

Contract’s Meaning and the Histories of Classical Contract Law [article] 
McGill Law Journal
Rosenberg, Anat
59 McGill L. J. 165 (2013-2014)   http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/mcgil59&div=10&collection=journals
Child Support and Shared Parenting in Canada: A Reality Cheque [article] 
Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies
Palmer, Courtney
22 Dalhousie J. Legal Stud. 101 (2013)  http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/dalhou22&div=9&collection=journals
Thresholds of Actionable Mental Harm in Negligence: A Policy-Based Analysis [article] 
Dalhousie Law Journal
Belanger-Hardy, Louise
36 Dalhousie L.J. 103 (2013) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/dalholwj36&div=8&collection=journals
Community of Procedure Scholars: Teaching Procedure and the Legal Academy, A [article] 
Osgoode Hall Law Journal
Thornburg, Beth;Knutsen, Erik S.;Crifo, Carla;Cameron, Camille
51 Osgoode Hall L. J. 93 (2013)   http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/ohlj51&div=8&collection=journals
Locating the Trans Legal Subject in Canadian Law: XY v Ontario [article] 
Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues
McGill, Jena;Kirkup, Kyle
33 Windsor Rev. Legal & Soc. Issues 96 (2013)  http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/wrlsi33&div=8&collection=journals
Legal Politics of Growth Attenuation, The [article] 
Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues
Malhotra, Ravi;Neufeld, Katharine
34 Windsor Rev. Legal & Soc. Issues 105 (2013)  http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/wrlsi34&div=8&collection=journals
Privatization of Justice in Quebec’s Draft Bill to Enact the New Code of Civil Procedure: A Critical Evaluation, The [article] 
Appeal: Review of Current Law and Law Reform
Horne, P. Scott
18 Appeal: Rev. Current L. & L. Reform 55 (2013) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/appeal18&div=8&collection=journals
Female Genital Mutilation/Circumcision: Reconciling the Ongoing Universalist/ Cultural Relativist Debate to Promote a Cross-Cultural Dialogue [article] 
Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues
Sibian, Christina
33 Windsor Rev. Legal & Soc. Issues 72 (2013) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/wrlsi33&div=7&collection=journals

Rethinking the Prostitution Debates: Transcending Structural Stigma in Systemic Responses to Sex Work [article] 
Canadian Journal of Law & Society
Bruckert, Chris;Hannem, Stacey
28 Can. J.L. & Soc. 43 (2013) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/cjls28&div=7&collection=journals
Gender Risk and Employment Pension Plans in Canada [article] 
Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal
Shilton, Elizabeth
17 Canadian Lab. & Emp. L.J. 101 (2013) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/canlemj17&div=7&collection=journals

Prediction of Recidivism with Aboriginal Offenders: A Theoretically Informed Meta-Analysis, The [article] 
Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Gutierrez, Leticia;Wilson, Holly A.;Rugge, Tanya;Bonta, James
55 Canadian J. Criminology & Crim. Just. 55 (2013) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/cjccj55&div=6&collection=journals
Redressing the Harems [PRIZE FOR BEST TYPO! It should be “Harms” – ed] of Government (In)Action: A Section 7 versus Section 15 Charter Showdown [article] 
Constitutional Forum
Koshan, Jennifer
22 Const. F. 31 (2013) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/consfo22&div=6&collection=journals
Quantifying Desert prior to the Rightful Condition: Towards a Theoretical Understanding of the Provocation Defence [article] Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence Da Silva, Michael 26 Can. J. L. & Jurisprudence 49 (2013)  http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/caljp26&div=6&collection=journals
Exploring Perceptions of Cultural Difference in IRB Spousal Sponsorship Decisions [article] 
Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues
Bahk, Sarom
33 Windsor Rev. Legal & Soc. Issues 24 (2013) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/wrlsi33&div=6&collection=journals
Persons Case and the Living Tree Theory of Constitutional Interpretation, The [comments] 
University of New Brunswick Law Journal
Sharpe, Robert J.
64 U.N.B.L.J. 1 (2013) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/unblj64&div=5&collection=journals
Performing Property: Making the World [article] 
Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence
Blomley, Nicholas
26 Can. J. L. & Jurisprudence 23 (2013) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/caljp26&div=5&collection=journals
Rapport entre le Juridique et le Clinique dans l’Application de la Loi sur la Protection de la Jeunesse: Une Perspective Relationnelle, Le [article] 
Revue Generale de Droit
Ricard, Laurence
43 Rev. Gen. 49 (2013) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/revgend43&div=5&collection=journals
Equality, Democracy, Monogamy: Discourses of Canadian Nation Building in the 2010-2011 British Columbia Polygamy Reference [article] 
Canadian Journal of Law & Society
Sweet, Joanna
28 Can. J.L. & Soc. 1 (2013) http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/cjls28&div=5&collection=journals
One Family, One Judge: Towards a New Model for Access to Justice for Families Facing Violence in BC [article] 

Appeal: Review of Current Law and Law Reform
Dalley, Juliana
18 Appeal: Rev. Current L. & L. Reform 3 (2013)  http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/appeal18&div=5&collection=journals


Kokum Ravens

I had the pleasure of seeing Emily Snyder (author of this report on Gender & Indigenous Law) and Val Napoleon present their work on the forthcoming teaching guide which goes with the graphic narrative Mikomosis & the Wetiko at CALT, the Canadian Association of Law Teachers.  This multifaceted project is real serious about getting the work out into the community, and it’s fascinating.

[new booklet from the Indigenous Law Research Unit or click here )

Kokum Raven Series: Artist Statement

Indigenous law is in the world

and there are many ways to learn about it, teach it, and to represent it.

The way I have chosen here is with the Raven – a trickster for some Indigenous peoples.

She can teach us by being a trouble maker and by

upsetting the log jams of unquestioned assumptions.

She can also teach us with love, patience, and a wicked sense of humour.

She can create spaces for conversations and questions – that is her job as a trickster and a feminist

so that nothing is taken for granted and all interpretations are laid bare.

Val Napoleon


[the last lines of the artist statement i think, represent what I wish I could do in all of my teaching]

Link to pdf file




Judges & Daughters (who is checking this factor wrt new SCC appointments)

h/t Kristina Mansveld

Assuming this government isn’t going to get around to appointing a woman for some time (“be patient”, “there aren’t as many female candidates”, et boring cetera), here’s another factor we could consider, as illustrated in a study by profs from Rochester & Harvard:

Another Factor Said to Sway Judges to Rule for Women’s Rights: A Daughter – NYTimes.com.

See also the issue of Justice Blackmun of SCOTUS, his daughter, and Roe: here.

Slightly heartwarming, in a way.  Although it does raise some VERY pointed questions about race based cases, doesn’t it?  To be fair, at the end of the NYT article, the author suggests other new experiences which might affect our view of the world.

I couldn’t quite tell, from the article, whether the effect was as pronounced for women as for men, so I’m interested in that as well.  I should get the study, which is here.

critique of critique: why don't we listen to people who don't look like us? [Listen up / Time's up!]

stock photo man in suit looking in mirrorWhen Nancy Fraser first published How feminism became capitalism’s handmaiden – and how to reclaim it in the Guardian, I thought it was interesting.  I did think that perhaps she had made some rather naive assumptions:

As a feminist, I’ve always assumed that by fighting to emancipate women I was building a better world – more egalitarian, just and free. But lately I’ve begun to worry that ideals pioneered by feminists are serving quite different ends. I worry, specifically, that our critique of sexism is now supplying the justification for new forms of inequality and exploitation.

but generally I thought, better late than never, especially  when i read the concluding lines.

First, we might break the spurious link between our critique of the family wage and flexible capitalism by militating for a form of life that de-centres waged work and valorises unwaged activities, including – but not only – carework. Second, we might disrupt the passage from our critique of economism to identity politics by integrating the struggle to transform a status order premised on masculinist cultural values with the struggle for economic justice. Finally, we might sever the bogus bond between our critique of bureaucracy and free-market fundamentalism by reclaiming the mantle of participatory democracy as a means of strengthening the public powers needed to constrain capital for the sake of justice.









I tweeted the piece out in case anyone hadn’t seen it, and moved on. 

Others were more thoughtful and put this piece in a more complete context.  Denise Ferreira da Silva (Queen Mary), over at Critical Legal Thinking: Law & the Political,  title their response White Feminist Fatigue Syndrome. They write:

What appears at first glance to be a reasoned self-​reflection, one that takes stock and respons­ib­il­ity for past alli­ances and cel­eb­ra­tions of stra­tegic moves for the bet­ter­ment of women’s lives, at second glance reveals the innate and repet­it­ive myopia of White fem­in­ism to take account, to con­verse and think along with Black and Third World Feminists.

Having read their critique and then Fraser’s article again, I wouldn’t argue against them.  I’m grateful that they threw in the bone of “at first glance” so that I don’t feel quite so awful about my first read – so much for twitter academia (though retweets aren’t endorsements!).

In addition to the ignoring that Bhandar and Ferreira da Silva thoroughly document, they point out that Fraser does not question her liberal feminism – just the slide towards neo-liberal feminisms.  The scholars she ignored did largely work from socialist, critical or explicitly Marxist perspectives.  And Fraser’s piece does not ultimately reject liberalism (in my view).  I have no doubt she chooses her words carefully, and it is neo-liberalism she critiques.  The words she uses to describe where feminism should be are “social solidarity”, “solidary” and “solidaristic”.  This is not a belated and uncredited convergence, I think.

I then saw another two pieces of commentary which seemed quite parallel.  Maybe you agree.  The first was philanthropist Peter Buffet’s The Charitable Industrial Complex, which appeared in the New York Times:

Early on in our philanthropic journey, my wife and I became aware of something I started to call Philanthropic Colonialism. I noticed that a donor had the urge to “save the day” in some fashion. People (including me) who had very little knowledge of a particular place would think that they could solve a local problem. Whether it involved farming methods, education practices, job training or business development, over and over I would hear people discuss transplanting what worked in one setting directly into another with little regard for culture, geography or societal norms.

Oh that’s good, I thought, that he gets that and is saying it out loud.  As the son of Warren Buffett, he is probably well connected and will be listened to.  This piece inspired another (here) in the Guardian.   Then, thanks to facebook, I saw this Open Democracy/OurKingdom: Power and liberty in Britain piece by Guppi Bola, entitled On Posh White Blokes in NGO’s.  She writes:

My boss… isn’t the first white male to publicly question his position of power in the “doing-good” field. From his own admission, part of his learning about privilege was influenced by another powerful white male; Peter Buffet. It strikes me that it takes someone who looks like you to encourage a response to a problem that marginalised people have been talking about for many many years.In understanding what’s needed for a free and fair world, maybe my boss would have noticed the hundreds of other articles, emails and conversations that spoke of oppression, privilege, diversity and respect way before Buffet scored an article in the New York Times.

Bola goes on, like Ferreira da Silva and Bhandar, to catalogue the number of (mainly) people of colour who have made the same points, to much less fanfare.

1. This is very depressing.

2. These are newspaper commentaries where people regularly write without any acknowledgement of sources at all.  I agree that in both these cases, the problem is much more than a “lack of citation” problem.  It is the way in which the theorizing of women of colour or people of colour or critical thinkers is just not relevant at all and beyond not citing a source the ideas are put out as completely novel. But i’ll just throw it in there for all the times that I have failed to honour the people who inspired and developed ideas I have adopted.

3. At one point, very early in my teaching career, I used to teach a class where I thought a central piece of the foundation had to be “Criminal Justice is systemically racist”.  But there were a certain segment of my class who simply could not get past that.  They could not let me get away with saying that.  They wanted to pick on that point.  They did not want to read the reports on this or that that I was citing. They did not want to ignore what I was saying as they usually did.  They wanted to prove that I was wrong about it.   They seemed to be infuriated that I had said it. The fact that I said it was part of the proof that I did not get my job on merit (imagine how they thought I got it! No – don’t), was stupid, and would never learn to teach properly or fairly.  Eventually I got into the habit of having a judge from the local court come into my class for half an hour to give a little talk, the core of which was “criminal justice is systemically racist”.

Problem solved.

Did I mention – did i need to mention – that the judge was an older white man?  Nevermind, he was an ally in this.  I don’t know if I did the right thing (there are deeper ironies here that I will not get into) but i did manage to finish the semester.  This problem is old and it’s a reason that (we) need true allies.  The kind of genealogies and calling out that Bhandar, Ferreira da Silva and Bola have done looks to be spot on.  But it was all done (not surprisingly!) in spaces with much less circulation than the original problematic piece.  Quite depressing.