Feminism à la Québécoise

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Micheline Dumont,
Trans. Nicole Kennedy

Micheline Dumont is a brilliant historian who is an authority on the history of women in Québec. As a member of the Clio collective, she has co-authored previous path-breaking books about feminism in Québec. In 2009 she was inspired to write a book for young women, who may not have been aware of the history of the Québec feminist movement. Her goal was to produce a very accessible book rather than an academic one and she choose the format of a grandmother telling the stories to her granddaughter, Camille. In a book review for érudit, Marie-Andrée Bergeron of Lavalle University said that the tone of the book gives the impression that the author is speaking directly to her readers and that the personal narrative makes the story alive and vibrant.

Micheline Dumont photo

Micheline Dumont

The original book is a wonderful gift to young francophone women and the members of the Feminist History Society thought that an English version would provide an opportunity for all of us to understand the Québec experience better. Rewritten to make the book accessible to an audience outside of Québec, this version sparkles in English as the original did in French. The book has an abundance of photos, many of which were not available for the first version. Read this and marvel at the remarkable exploits of Québec feminists.


“ Hurray for Feminism à la québécoise! We follow the adventures of Marie Gérin-Lajoie as she manoeuvres around the bishops and is tracked down and hounded by the villain journalist Henri Bourassa. We admire the irreverent, bold and daring feminist artists of the 70s (the photographs are great!), and we ponder the implications of both the Montreal massacre and the huge success of the Women’s March Against Poverty ... The book is really captivating and so much fun to read : I want five... ”

Nathalie Des Rosiers
General Counsel / Avocate générale
Canadian Civil Liberties Association / Association canadienne des libertés civiles

“À madame Dumont, nous levons notre chapeau. A remarkable raconteuse, Dumont tells us with great verve the story of the feminist movement in Québec, from the fights to be educated beyond the secondary level; to become doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, accountants and architects “just like American women”; to be considered legally competent; to vote and even to run for politics; to control our sexuality and reproductive lives; and to take our rightful place in society. I highly recommend this gem of a book which intertwines pictures of pioneers of the Quebec feminist movement, marching feminists, slogans and posters.”

Josée Bouchard
Equity Advisor/Conseillère en matière d'équité
Law Society of Upper Canada/Barreau du Haut-Canada
130 Queen St. West
Toronto M5H 2N6

“Written and translated in a clear and readable style, illustrated with historically important photographs, this is a chronological account of feminism in Quebec and from a Quebecer’s viewpoint. It is fascinating both for its careful review of all the significant events and organizations from 1893 to the present day and for its worldview. Professor Dumont is clear that this account is written for her granddaughter and young women today. They will be entranced by what their grandmothers were up to. It is written from the inside of this important culture and society and much will be astonishing to the Anglophone world in Canada. The analysis is implied rather than explicit but it exemplifies much of the findings documented elsewhere: that women’s organizations need the interest of journalists to survive and circulate their views; no political party has consistently supported women’s interests; some problems such as violence, child care, and poverty never go away. But some issues were unique in Quebec such as the power and pervasive influence of the Catholic Church In civil society and politics. This hugely helpful history needs to be on the bookshelves of every library and everyone interested in Canadian history, social movements, women’s rights.”

Lorna Marsden
York university
June 2012

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