Justice Bertha Wilson and the Politics of Feminism
41 Supreme Court Law Review (2d) 33-52.
20 Pages Posted: 25 May 2013
Date Written: 2008
Canadian Supreme Court Justice Bertha Wilson reportedly never self-identified as a feminist. Why have people like Justice Wilson, whose legal work has inspired social justice advocates, been reluctant to identify as feminists? Are Canadians today prevented from describing Justice Wilson as a “feminist judge” because she did not label herself a feminist?
Justice Wilson’s judicial career created great inroads for women in law. During her years on the bench, feminist activism changed from seeking formal gender equality and accommodation, to seeking revolutionary change. Justice Wilson played an active role in gender-focused legal issues during this contentious time, and her work appears to have been influenced by feminism. The fact that she did not identify as a feminist suggests that feminism has been misconceived and maligned. The author concludes by titling her a feminist in tribute to her contribution to Canadian women.
Keywords: Justice, Bertha, Wilson, Canada, Canadian, Supreme, Court, feminist, identity, feminism, social, justice, advocate, judge, activism, legal, law, equality, gender, sex, abortion, accommodation, history, historical, biography, biographical, Backhouse, women, law, legal
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