Enlightened Feminism and Charles Adler: The New Backlash?

Shannon Sampert


For many young women, feminism is no longer a salient issue. Indeed, women, particularly young women are regularly told in the media that they are doing just fine and that the goals of gender equality have been reached. This paper examines the construction of feminism and more specifically, the backlash against feminism in talk radio. It explores the construction of gender found in the Charles Adler radio program, broadcast across Canada on Corus radio. The paper argues that the way that Alder represents the issues of women’s equality is important. It is evident that he employs a language of “backlash” to suggest that equality and rights-based discourse are anti-men and that feminist views are not supported by mainstream Canadians. In doing so, Adler endorses the moves by the current Conservative government to dismantle advocacy programs that support women’s rights.


feminism; backlash; Conservative; talk radio; Charles Adler; Stephen Harper; advocacy; women’s rights; labour

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@Canadian Political Science Review (CPSR). ISSN 1911-4125