Women to Harper: We won’t be silent

October 12, 2010

TORONTO – Prominent Canadian women have a message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper: they refuse to be silenced. The women – feminists, activists,
academics, economists, and former politicians – contributed to a new anthology by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

“Senator Nancy Ruth unleashed a firestorm last spring when she advised
women to ‘shut the f*ck up’ about our Prime Minister’s attempt to cut foreign
funding on maternal health,” says Trish Hennessy, the book’s co-editor.
Ruth was quoted as saying to women’s groups last spring: “If you push it, there will
be more backlash. This is now a political football.”

“That warning shot – the implication that Canadians who fight for women’s right to
choose, no matter where they live, could face retribution from our own federal
government -- reminded us of the troubling fragility of our democracy,” says Hennessy.

“It made us want to give voice to women, so they can do what they have long done – speak truth to power.”

The book, Speaking Truth to Power, features essays by Pat Armstrong, Sheila Copps, Eve-Lyne Couturier, Shelagh Day, Jane Doe, Martha Friendly, Josephine Grey, Michele Landsberg, Heather Mallick, Alexa McDonough, Chi Nguyen, Lana Payne, Shannon Phillips, Elizabeth Quinlan, Qianru She, Judy Rebick, Heather-jane Robertson, Laurel Rothman, Paulette Senior, Priscilla Settee, Uzma Shakir, Elizabeth Sheehy, Marit Stiles, Armine Yalnizyan, and Jessica Yee.

Senator Nancy Ruth has the final say in the book, explaining the rationale behind her comment and urging women to “cultivate and nurture broad-based coalitions of allies”. She ends with these parting words to feminists: “Good luck and never STFU!”


For an interview with one of the book’s contributors please contact: Trish Hennessy
(416) 551-2059.  For more information and/or to purchase a copy of the book, click here.