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The Concept of Feminism in Canada

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Feminism, as a part of Canadian society, has a long and detailed historical significance. In the fight for freedom and equality for the woman, Canadian feminism has contributed a significant portion. Many critical pioneers of feminism in Canada fought for the barest of women’s rights from very early times, arguing for the inclusion of women in fighting wars, contributing to the economy and participating in the elective activities of the nation. The battle for the equality for womenfolk in Canada has therefore been the primary focus of the feminist crusaders, regardless of the different fronts within which the said battle was fought. However, considering that all the women in Canada share the same perspective on feminism, as a construct of society, is inconsiderate of the varying cultural, social and developmental aspects of Canadian society. Thinking that all Canadian women share the same perspective on feminism is unrealistic and this idea undermines the possibility of feminist legal analysis.

The concept of feminism in Canada is one which has evolved over a long time and for many reasons, a fact which would entail differing perspectives on the same. The idea of feminism, although formally centered on ensuring an equal society for all, grows on different fronts and ideals. Feminism in Canada grew out of several differing yet centralized concepts such as the need for religious recognition and activity, the legal recognition of women as persons, the rights to the property for the womenfolk of Canada and the equal treatment of all or the anti-colonialism front. These differing yet connected arguments and pursuits are all interconnected in the concept of feminism in Canada. However, they created several different groups or waves which fought for feminism as a cumulative effort in their pursuits. Therefore, it is unrealistic to consider that all the Canadian women share the same idea of feminism because of the different quests that formed the feminist campaign of that period. Similarly, the fact that these campaigns strengthen the current feminist debate in Canada negates the viability of any significant similarity between the different factions therein. Consequently, when suggesting that all women in Canada view feminism in similar perspectives, one would have to eliminate the very pillars that created feminism in Canada and create a nonexistent faction which would still be divided according to purpose.

Perspectives on feminism in Canada rest squarely on differing cultural principles and can therefore not be clustered into an individual description. From the early 19th century when the feminist agenda was growing in Canada, distinct cultural demarcations appeared and were maintained throughout. Women of color in Canada, black feminists, and the euro white feminist Canadian women, are demarcations which symbolize the distinct color affiliated divisions in the feminist agenda. Although the early campaigns for feminism featured most if not all cultural affiliations, the backdrop of these noble efforts still represented the cultural divisions therein. For instance, the black and aboriginal feminists were known to detest the white Canadian propositions for inclusion within the support mechanisms for the war effort. The opposition of these efforts was grounded in assertions that these women had always supported their families and therefore did not need any formal feminist definition as part of their contribution. Consequently, suggesting that all Canadian women share a similar perspective as relates to feminism is inconsequential because cultural affiliations played and still play a critical role in the considerations of feminist agenda. For instance, while the white portion of the feminist agenda might consider male dominance as a threat to the female, aboriginal feminist consider the same unnecessary since their culture demands the same.

Several ideas about Canadian feminism have been contested by sections of Canadian women thereby negating unified perspectives on the concept. It is unrealistic to suggest that all women in Canada share a similar view on feminism because parts of them have consistently opposed the definition which feminism is accorded within the nation and the courses of action proposed within that meaning. For instance, some portions of the Canadian feminist associations have opposed being called feminists because the definition of a feminist classifies them as anti-family or anti-society. These quarters, mostly from the aboriginal communities, argue against the feminist label as defined by their predecessors in the feminist agenda because they consider it unnecessarily divisive and colonialist especially as relates to the second wave of Canadian feminist agenda. These reservations, coupled with those elicited against religious crusades by Canadian feminists evidence that clustering perspectives of these women into one is impossible if not demeaning to the opposing societies. Therefore, the fact that such divisions exist negates the possibility that they could share a perspective on feminism as a whole.

The consideration that Canadian women share one perspective on feminism is therefore unrealistic and inconsiderate. Since these women originate from different cultural persuasions, it is impractical to suggest that they would hold similar views on an issue that so evidently goes against a significant part of them. This assertion is evidenced in the reservations expressed by the aboriginal section of the feminists in Canada. Further, the fact that the societies in Canada entered the struggle for equality and female recognition for differing reasons derails any possibility that their perceptions on the issue would be unified at any instance. Similarly, the concepts or goals set for feminism in Canada over the time the struggle has existed have also affected some of these communities negatively, a fact which affirms that the consideration held about feminism has to face opposition. For instance, the religious exploits of the earlier times of feminist struggles consistently disagreed with the ideals of the Canadian black society a fact which causes controversy to this day. Finally, the fact that the women of Canada, divided by their cultural persuasions, entered the feminist struggle at differing timelines means that their opinions on the issue differ, be it from lack of knowledge or division of purpose. Therefore it is unrealistic to suggest that the view of all the Canadian women is unified on the issue of feminism because of the apparent societal, cause, course and cultural differences.

The apparent negation of a singular perspective on Canadian feminism derails the creation of a feminist based law analysis. The purpose of a feminist review of the law is to determine the discrepancies of masculinity as included within the legal structures and statutes and to propose possible interventions towards the same. This goal necessitates a precise definition of feminism, a specific approach towards the ideals of feminism and a unified opinion on feminist ideas. Therefore, before developing a feminist based law analysis, a conclusively unified definition of feminism needs to be determined. This is because without a unified description of feminism in the Canadian context, the entire process of creating a feminist based law analysis would be divisive to a feminist agenda that is already contested by some of its members. Further, the fact that some members dispute the definition of feminism in Canada means that the process of creating a single law analysis would face the same opposition as the feminist agenda does. In the interest of identifying the points of inequality within the legal statutes of Canada, therefore, a unified and accepted definition of feminism is necessary if not critical.

The creation of a feminist analysis of law requires cultural inclusivity, a factor yet to be affirmed within Canadian feminism. The central focus of a feminist investigation of law would be to enhance the struggle towards inclusivity for all women regardless of cultural ethnic or societal persuasions. However, Canadian feminism, with its divisions along many lines favors none of the mentions prospects. This fact leaves the possibility of implementing a feminist analysis of law weakened because, without inclusivity, the implementation of such a concept would favor a part of the feminist agenda while demeaning most of the population. Further, the diversity of cultural ideals and ethnicities in Canada needs to be addressed within the definition of Canadian feminism before any attempts at synchronizing the Canadian feminist agenda into the feminist law analysis.

In conclusion, the idea that all Canadian women share a perspective on feminism is unrealistic and this derails the creation of a feminist analysis of law. In the pursuit of equality for all women, the necessity of balance within the definition of feminism is a central and critical pillar. Further, the inclusivity of all cultural preferences within the very definition of feminism is essential in ensuring that feminism is a tool for equality for women and not a division amongst the women themselves.

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The Concept of Feminism in Canada. (2018, October 02). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 12, 2022, from
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