By allowing the reader to draw comparisons between women's movements in Canada and the United States, Challenging Times shows that certain political and theoretical issues transcend international borders, ebbing and flowing between the two countries symbiotically. Topics discussed include the origins of "second-stage feminism," the strength of the women's movement within academic structures, and the challenges posed by racial, ethnic, and class diversity; violence against women; the promise and limits of legal reform; reproductive technology; and economic discrimination.
Readers who are interested in the recent history of the North American women's movement will find answers to many of their questions about the victories, defeats, and fundamental challenges facing modern feminism. Those who have been active in the current wave of feminism, either as central participants or serious critics, will find Challenging Times equally fascinating because it endeavours to provide answers to pressing questions about the nature of feminism, the inter-relationships and tensions between different sectors of the movement, and the prospects for future growth.
Many of the contributors to this volume have lived through and personally shaped the unfolding of the rich history of North American feminism. In addition to Backhouse and Flaherty, the contributors are Catharine A. MacKinnon, Greta Hofmann Nemiroff, Monique Bégin, Mariana Valverde, Naomi Black, Marjorie Griffin Cohen, Micheline de Sève, Micheline Dumont, Margrit Eichler, Sara M. Evans, Marianne A. Ferber, Lorraine Greaves, Marjorie Heins, M. Patricia Fernández Kelly, Patricia A. Monture-Okanee, Arun Mukherjee, Jean F. O'Barr, Christine Overall, Glenda Simms, and Jill Vickers.