Tracking and Resisting Backlash Against Equality Gains in Sexual Offence Law

Elizabeth Sheehy, Sheila McIntyre, Christine Boyle, and Lee Lakeman, “Tracking and Resisting Backlash Against Equality Gains in Sexual Offence Law” (2000) 20 Canadian Woman Studies 72-83

12 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2013

See all articles by Sheila McIntyre

Sheila McIntyre

Queen's University

Christine Boyle

University of British Columbia (UBC)

Lee Lakeman

Independent

Elizabeth A. Sheehy

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

The authors document feminist efforts to expose, challenge, and eliminate direct, indirect, and systemic inequality in the substantive, evidentiary, and procedural laws proscribing sexual offences and in the enforcement and application of those laws have not only been consistently resisted by police, lawyers, judges, and juries, but have also consistently generated backlash against those responsible for and/or supportive of such egalitarian change. Actual and imagined social, economic, political and legal equality gains by women as a class-however unevenly distributed- have triggered a variety of types of backlash, including an escalation in actual or threatened violence against women accompanied by new equality-resistant strains of legal doctrine that effectively offset or bypass earlier reforms. The authors illustrate these forms of backlash by examining three decades of feminist reforms to sexual assault laws.

Keywords: systemic inequality, substantive laws, procedural laws, evidentiary laws, sexual offences, actual violence against women, threatened violence against women, equality-resistant legal doctrine, feminist reforms, sexual assault law

Suggested Citation

McIntyre, Sheila and Boyle, Christine and Lakeman, Lee and Sheehy, Elizabeth A., Tracking and Resisting Backlash Against Equality Gains in Sexual Offence Law (2000). Elizabeth Sheehy, Sheila McIntyre, Christine Boyle, and Lee Lakeman, “Tracking and Resisting Backlash Against Equality Gains in Sexual Offence Law” (2000) 20 Canadian Woman Studies 72-83. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2289335

Sheila McIntyre

Queen's University

Christine Boyle

University of British Columbia (UBC) ( email )

Lee Lakeman

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Elizabeth A. Sheehy (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

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