Historicizing Whiteness within Canadian First Wave Feminism

Avery M.



This factsheet provides a critical reexamination of the first wave feminist movement in Canada, with a focus on racism in the fight for the right to vote, drug legislation and eugenics.



  • Burton, Sarah. "The Person Behind the Persons Case.” Canada's History (2016). http://www.canadashistory.ca/Magazine/Online-Extension/Articles/The-Person-Behind-the-Persons-Case

  • Carstairs, Catherine. "Deporting 'Ah Sin' to Save the White Race: Moral Panic, Racialization and the Extension of Canadian Drug Laws in the 1920s." Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadien d'Histoire De La Medecine 16, no. 1 (1999): 65-88.

  • Sitara, Georgia. “Racism, anxieties about the “race”: Situating first wave feminism (1880-1930) in its historical context.” HSTR 329B: Race, Racism and Ethnicity in Canada Since 1900. Class lecture at the University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, February 22, 2021.

  • The Sterilization of Leilani Muir. Directed by Glynis Whiting. National Film Board of Canada, 1996. https://www-nfb-ca.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/film/sterilization_of_leilani_muir

  • Valverde, Mariana. "Racial Purity, Sexual Purity, and Immigration Policy." The Age of Light, Soap and Water: Moral Reform in English Canada, 1885-1925. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008: 104-128. https://coursematerials.library.uvic.ca/ares/ares.dll?Action=10&Type=10&Value=182904