Marie Henein at Hart House Debate
February 14, 2018 in the Great Hall
"The most important contribution about #metoo is removing our complacency."
Marie Henein is a polarizing figure, but she shouldn't be. In her keynote address, she spoke of the controversy between her advocacy and her feminism, but more importantly explained how the very fact that she is forced to reconcile her career with her feminism is indicative of the underlying patriarchal structure which tries to put women in neat boxes. For women, there seems to always be something which needs justification, explanation, something that isn't right, especially for trailblazers like Ms. Henein. She spoke of how social networks have changed the rules and created new ones, and how #metoo is a wake up call. It is forcing us to ask ourselves hard questions, to question our conception of normal, but also how none of that undermines the purpose of the movement and its importance to society. In some ways, #metoo is a long time coming.
Dr. Kim Stanton commenced the moderated portion of the event with an important call of action to our government and to the public to recognize the systemic issues facing Indigenous people in our society. The murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, the years of complacency from our government, from the criminal justice system, from the police investigating these cases, amount to gross injustices and human rights violations.
Questions from our audience ranged from how to resolve the attrition rate of women in law, to how best to mitigate the systemic structures which oppress women and racial minorities.