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Anti-feminism and the rise of the right in liberal Canada

Anti-feminism and the rise of the right in liberal Canada

Janet Conway (Brock University, professeure invitée MSH)

Heure: 17-19h

Salle: ULB Salle Henri Janne

Abstract: In the contemporary global resurgence of right-wing politics, many variants of antifeminism
are becoming apparent — in a range of social movements, political regimes, institutional
initiatives, policy consequences, and on- and off-line cultural practices. Different explanatory
frameworks emphasize the role of neoliberal austerity policies, religious movements countering
sexual rights, reactionary responses to globalization, and mutating forms of misogyny, with variable
intersections of sexism, racism and homophobia with religions and nationalisms.
Despite its international reputation as a bastion of liberalism and pro-feminist politics, Canada has
also seen a rise of right-wing groups over the last decade, targeting political parties, electoral politics
and policy reforms. In 2022, a right-wing trucker convoy occupied the capital and shut down border
crossings, demanding the government resign, while harassing sexual, gender and racialized
minorities. Campus-based men’s rights and anti-abortion groups organize under the banner of free
speech and academic freedom in order to wage campaigns against gains made in university
contexts around a range of social justice concerns, many of them associated/aligned with
intersectional feminisms. This talk will consider these developments in Canada in relation to the
transnational anti-feminist gender politics of the resurgent right.
Biography: Janet M. Conway PhD (York 2002, Political Science) is Full Professor of Sociology at Brock
University, where she held the Canada Research Chair in Social Justice (2008-2018) and was founder
and Director of the Social Justice Research Institute. She held the Nancy Rowell Jackman Chair in
Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University, 2019-21. Her research has centred on
transnational social justice movements under conditions of globalization, notably transnational
feminism, peasant and Indigenous peoples’ organizing, and their significance for social innovation,
political thought, and democratic life in the face of contemporary crises. Her current research
focuses on the intersectional gender politics of the rising right in Canada and worldwide. She is
author of more than fifty published works, including three sole-authored books and is co-author and
editor of Cross-border Solidarities: Feminist Perspectives and Activist Practices (Rowman and
Littlefield 2021). Her work has been published in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German and
Italian and is transdisciplinary, addressing the social sciences and humanities.