Feeling Feminism

Activism, Affect, and Canada’s Second Wave

Edited by Lara Campbell, Michael Dawson, and Catherine Gidney
Categories: Canadian History, History, Women’s Studies
Publisher: UBC Press
Hardcover : 9780774866507, 336 pages, April 2022
Paperback : 9780774866514, 336 pages, December 2022
Ebook (PDF) : 9780774866521, 336 pages, April 2022
Ebook (EPUB) : 9780774866538, 336 pages, April 2022

Table of contents

Introduction: Second-Wave Feminism and the History of Emotions / Lara Campbell, Michael Dawson, and Catherine Gidney

1 Pride, Shame, and Anger: Women’s Struggles to Achieve Natural Childbirth in Postwar Canada / Whitney Wood

2 The Good Mother of Science: Emotional Letters to Frances Oldham Kelsey during the Thalidomide Crisis / Cheryl Krasnick Warsh

3 Therapeutic Political Spaces: Collective Resistance among Indigenous Women in British Columbia / Sarah A. Nickel

4 “Feeling My Way”: Women’s Community Activism in the Company of Young Canadians / Kevin Brushett

5 Tears and Tiaras: Affect, Beauty Pageants, and Protests / Patrizia Gentile

6 “Jesus Is Not Part of This Collective”: Secular Passions and Religious Alienation among the Sisterhood / Lynne Marks, Margaret Little, Marin Beck, Emma Paszat, and Taylor Antoniazzi

7 Intense Times: Love, Fear, and Pride as Guides to Lesbian Feminist Organizing / Liz Millward

8 Resisting Red Hot Video: Feminism, Pornography, and the Political Utility of Emotion / Eryk Martin

9 An Assumption of Shared Fear: Feminism, Sex Work, and the Sex Wars in 1980s Kinesis / Emma McKenna

10 Emotional Scripts of Difference: Black Women Teachers and Feminist Mobilization / Funké Aladejebi

11 “Briser le mur du silence”: Emotions, Gender, and the 1981 Women Journalists’ Conference in Quebec / Josette Brun, Laurie Laplanche, and Sophie Doucet

12 Anger, Melancholia, and Hope: The Feminist Politics of Emotion and the Centre for Women and Trans People at Wilfrid Laurier University / Matthew Fesnak



From beauty pageant protests to fire bombings of pornographic video stores, emotions are a powerful but often unexamined force underlying feminist activism. Feeling Feminism examines the ways in which anger, rage, joy, and hopefulness shaped and nourished second-wave feminist theorizing and action across Canada. Drawing on affect theory to convey the passion, sense of possibility, and collective political commitment that has characterized feminism, contributors reveal its full impact on contemporary Canada and highlight the contested, sometimes exclusionary nature of the movement itself. The insights in this remarkable collection show the power of emotions, desires, and actions to transform the world.


To call this book thought-provoking is a profound understatement.

- Phyllis Reeve