CRANSTON-REIMER: How homophobia, misogyny and race played a role in the Ontario election

Sharlee Cranston-Reimer, a post-doctoral fellow in Women’s and Gender Studies at Brock, wrote a piece recently published in The Conversation about the role homophobia, misogyny and race played in the recent provincial election.

Cranston-Reimer writes:

Kathleen Wynne’s status as the first lesbian premier of Ontario worked against her this election, just as her sexuality has throughout her career. But we cannot stop at sexuality when asking tough questions. Wynne’s tenure as premier might be called feminist, but homophobia may be less of a factor in her defeat than misogyny.

As cultural critics Rinaldo Walcott and Naomi Klein point out in the Toronto Star, Conservative leader Doug Ford’s taunting comments about Wynne’s smile served to remind us of the similarities between her treatment and that of Hillary Clinton, another widely hated (though straight) woman who was well-qualified for the job.

Women in politics (indeed, most women in the public sphere) in the West have always experienced gender-based discrimination in the form of punishment and policing for daring to step out of the domestic sphere.

This discrimination ranges from dismissal, especially of younger women, to the “bitch” stereotype for older women, who would merely be called “tough” if they were men, and, of course, these forms of discrimination extend to sexual harassment and assault.

For queer women, there is the added stereotype of being “man-hating” and they also face the threat of “corrective rape” in addition to slurs and other forms of homophobic harassment.

Continue reading the full article here.

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